Automotive Electricians install, maintain, diagnose faults and repair electrical wiring and computer based equipment in cars, trucks, caravans, trailers, earthmoving and agricultural equipment and boats.
Specifically, they diagnose, service and repair faults on electronically controlled vehicle systems such as electronic fuel injection and ignition, anti-lock braking, cruise control and automatic transmissions. In addition, they test, replace, recondition and install equipment such as generators, alternators, starter motors and batteries. They also repair or replace faulty ignitions, electrical wiring, fuses, lamps and switches and use specialised electrical tools and machines.
To be qualified as an automotive electrician you must complete formal studies and obtain a certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology or Automotive (Electrical), which in most cases would be obtained while undertaking an apprenticeship.
Knowledge, skills and attributes
An Automotive electrician needs:
- a good background in reading, writing and mathematics
- good eyesight and vision for detail
- good problem-solving skills
- to be able to interact with customers
- to be able to use hand and power tools confidently
- to be willing to undertake ongoing training in the field
Education and Training/Entrance Requirements
In order to become an automotive electrician a person usually needs to complete an Automotive Electrician apprenticeship. As an apprentice you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. The apprenticeship usually takes four years to complete.
To improve the chances of gaining an apprenticeship, you can learn some basic skills and knowledge used in the automotive electrical trades through a pre-apprenticeship course. These courses include a supervised work placement and usually take 1 year (2 semesters) to complete.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification
Formal Qualifications include:
- Certificate III in Automotive (Electrical)
- Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
- These certificates are part of the Australian Qualifications Framework and are nationally recognised.