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About electrical apprenticeships

An electrician’s apprenticeship includes formal schooling and on the job training.

Overview

An electrician’s apprenticeship is a contract of training. It includes a national qualification (formal schooling) at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO or 'trade school') and on-the-job training. An apprenticeship can be full time, part time, or school based (which is also part time).

At the completion of your training, you'll get a Certificate III in Electrotechnology. This Certificate is one of the documents you'll need to provide to Energy Safe Victoria to qualify for an Electrician's licence.

Note: A statement of competency, statement of results, or statement of attainment will not be accepted. You must provide a copy of the Certificate III Electrotechnology.

Apprentice contracts of training

To enrol in a Certificate III in Electrotechnology, you must:

  • have an employer
  • be signed under an electrician’s apprentice contract of training.

The contract period is 4 years.

The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) can help you to complete the paperwork for an apprentice contract of training.

Before you can legally carry out electrical installation work you must:

  • be employed under an apprentice contract of training
  • be under supervision while doing electrical installation work.

If you are in a trial period (including work experience undertaken by students still at school) you are not allowed to carry out electrical installation work. This includes installing cables and fitting lights, socket outlets, and other related work.

Completing an apprentice contract of training

The trade school (RTO) you're attending will begin completing your contract of training when you have:

  • passed all the knowledge and skills assessments at your RTO
  • completed the on-the-job work components of the Certificate III in Electrotechnology.

The RTO will seek confirmation from your employer to ensure that you are competent. If you are, the RTO will then issue the Certificate III in Electrotechnology.

If you have completed part of your apprenticeship in another state or territory, you'll need to show evidence of that training contract when applying to Energy Safe for a licence.

For a list of all state and territory authorities see Connect with us (Australian Apprenticeships)(opens in a new window)

If you completed an apprentice contract of training in the past, but you didn't apply for an A Grade Electrician’s licence, and now want to apply, you should check this guidance to determine the pathway to take: After your apprentice training contract ends(opens in a new window)

Expired apprentice contract of training

Apprentice contracts of training have a nominal completion date. If you haven't passed the Certificate III in Electrotechnology before this date, you must extend your apprentice contract to legally continue to carry out electrical installation work.

To allow time for processing paperwork we recommended you consider your apprenticeship progress 3 months before the nominal completion date.

If you need help extending your contract of training, contact the VRQA.

Licensed Electrician's Assessments (LEA)

In Victoria, to obtain an A Grade Electrician’s licence at the completion of your apprenticeship, you must pass:

  • Safe Working Practice (SWP)
  • Licensed Electrician’s Theory (LET)
  • Licensed Electrician’s Practical (LEP).

You must get a result of 75% or greater for each assessment. To learn more, see LEA sample assessments(opens in a new window)

You will need to get an 'Authorisation to Undertake the Licensed Electrician’s Assessment (LEA)' letter from your RTO (trade school) stating that you have completed all the required units of competence and can attempt an LEA assessment. You'll need this letter before you can book an assessment.

To find more information about attempting your assessment, see Undertaking the Licensed Electrician's Assessment

You can attempt your assessment at one of these assessment venues

Evidence of 12 months' employment

You'll need to show at least 12 months' electrical installation work — carried out during your contract/s of training — to Energy Safe when applying for an electrical licence. A letter from your employer/s is evidence you've done this work.

If you worked at more than one employer during your contract, you'll need a letter from each employer to reach the required total of 12 months.

This is a sample of an employer support letter:

Employer support letter
PDF 57.34 KB
(opens in a new window)

Sample letter from Employer

Applying for an A Grade electrician’s licence

To carry out electrical installation work you need a licence. At the completion of your apprenticeship, you must apply for an A Grade electrician’s licence to continue to carry out electrical work.

Related information:

Apply for Electrician's licence checklist
PDF 192.87 KB
(opens in a new window)

3-month exemption period

You can carry out electrical installation work for a period of up to 3 months after you complete your apprenticeship. This 3-month exemption period begins on the date shown on the letter you receive from the VRQA when you complete your apprenticeship.

This exemption provides you time to:

  • receive all the documents required to apply for a licence
  • complete any licensing assessments you may not yet have passed.

This exemption time also includes Energy Safe licence application processing time, which can be up to 10 business days from the submission of a complete application. Please allow for this time when applying for your licence within this 3 month period.

It is illegal for you carry out electrical installation work after the 3-month period if you do not hold an electrical licence.

Supervised Worker's licence

If you have:

  • completed your apprentice contract of training
  • your Safe Working Practice assessment

you may be eligible to apply for a Supervised Worker’s licence until you meet all the requirements to apply for an A Grade Electrician’s licence.

Related information:

Apply for Supervised Worker's licence checklist
PDF 150.05 KB
(opens in a new window)

Electrical apprentice safety

Energy Safe Victoria regards electrical apprentice safety as a high priority.

It is vital that electrical workers follow safe work practices at all times. Electrical apprentices are particularly vulnerable and must be effectively supervised.

See: Requirements for the effective supervision of apprentice electricians

Energy Safe has developed a video to help apprentices understand the importance of safety in the electrical industry with the following key messages:

  • Never work live
  • Test before you touch
  • Lock out tag out (LOTO)
  • Effective supervision

The video can be found below or accessed from Energy Safe’s YouTube channel.

Electrical safety for apprentices

Apprentice Support Officers

You are assigned an Apprentice Support Officer (ASO) to assist during your apprenticeship. ASO’s offer a free and confidential support and advice service.

Find out more — see Apprentice Support Officer Program

Learn more about apprenticeships

See these resources:

Date: 20/07/2024 9:54

The currency and accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the Energy Safe Victoria website for the current version.

Reviewed