Thinking of becoming an Apprentice Electrician?
An apprentice electrician is involved in the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical wiring systems and equipment under the general supervision of a qualified electrician.
Depending on the specific field of electrical work, an electrical apprenticeship can lead to a job with varying responsibilities or duties.
This can range from providing everyday services for domestic and urban dwellings (like ensuring heat, light and power are present); to servicing specialist systems such as fire, security, railway signalling and process control systems.
As electricians are responsible for the installation of electrical wiring in newly constructed buildings, they can find themselves working on similar projects to other tradespeople – such as bricklayers, in the building and construction industry.
Becoming an apprentice electrician – things to consider
Because an apprentice electrician needs to work with intricate colour coded wires, good eyesight is a must (this includes having good colour vision).
And similar to bricklaying, having a methodical and accurate approach and good hand-eye coordination is important too. Technical ability to reinterpret electronic drawings and determine wiring layouts is also needed.
Of course handling colourful wires doesn’t mean life as an apprentice electrician is all ‘light’ work either. Like most tradespeople, electricians have equipment and supplies to carry – which can weigh up to 16kg. So as an electrician, or an apprentice electrician, be prepared to do some heavy lifting and lugging around.
Due to the nature of the trade, learning about electrical safety is also of paramount to an apprentice electrician because of the potential risk of electric shock. That’s why ‘installing a mindset’ of keeping safe from electrical hazards, plays just as an important role – as the job of installing electrical systems itself.
Apprentice Electrician or Apprentice Bricklayer?
As either an apprentice electrician or an apprentice bricklayer, you can be a part of the building and construction industry. However although these two trade apprenticeships share similarities, they are quite different too. It’s important to know what you’re looking to get out of a trade apprenticeship career. Below are a few questions that may shed some light on whether becoming an apprentice electrician, or an apprentice bricklayer, is the right apprenticeship career choice, for you.
Electrical apprenticeships and bricklaying apprenticeships
1. Will an electrical apprenticeship or a bricklaying apprenticeship keep me more physically active?
Most trades involve some form of regular physical effort. However if you enjoy being active and involved in physical activity, then a bricklaying apprenticeship could be more your thing.
2. Between an electrical apprentice and a bricklaying apprentice which one will allow me to spend more time outdoors?
Bricklayers tend to be involved in the exterior facades of a building, so they generally get to enjoy the benefits of an open air, outdoor ‘working lifestyle’ more so, than electricians.
3. A lot of people tend to seek out an electrical apprenticeship. Is this because there are more job opportunities out there for electricians than bricklayers?
Far from it! In fact in reality, the popularity of electrical apprenticeships means there are actually more people competing for a job in the industry once they complete their apprenticeship.
On the flipside, there is an extremely high demand for bricklayers in Australia – which is only set to continue in to the future. Meaning once you’ve successfully completed your bricklaying apprenticeship – chances are you’ll also have a stable job at the end of it. (In fact you could say, the odds are ‘totally stacked’ in a brickies favour).
4. Does starting out as an apprentice electrician offer me a better career path than becoming an apprentice bricklayer?
Whilst becoming an apprentice electrician can lead to a worthwhile career path in engineering and management positions, a bricklaying apprenticeship can be the first stepping stone into a lucrative career as a building and construction boss. You can also become a licensed builder. So if you’re interested in a starting out on a ‘well paved career path’ – pursuing a bricklaying apprenticeship, is actually a great place to begin.
5. I like working with my hands and seeing the results of my work. From this sense, will being a bricklayer apprentice – or an apprentice electrician; give me more satisfaction?
Both these trade apprenticeship careers are hands-on; but because bricklaying is less reliant on creating things with tools, it involves a more ‘hand crafted’ approach. Plus, a bricklayer’s finished work is visible for all to see (not excluding of course – to the one who did it!) So from this perspective too, bricklaying creates an added ‘visual satisfaction’ that most trade careers – such as the electrical trade industry, just can’t compete with.
6. Do electrical apprenticeships and bricklaying apprenticeships receive an equal amount of support in terms of funding and development?
There is currently a standard government subsidy of $4,000 provided to employers of new apprentices in traditional trade industries like electrical and bricklaying.
Of added interest is that the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) provides an extra $3,000 to those bricklayers who employ new bricklaying apprentices on top of the government subsidy (a total of $7,000). This makes it the only trade industry support body doing this for its apprentices – and ensures a more stable and secure training ground for bricklaying apprentices, when compared to other trade apprenticeships.
ABBTF also provide guidance and support in many other ways for any new or aspiring bricklayer apprentices throughout the term of the apprenticeship. By doing so, they maximise the apprentice’s chance of obtaining stable work – and building a stable career.
If you’re still undecided about whether you want to become an apprentice electrician and enter an electrical apprenticeship – it won’t hurt to check out other viable options available to you first.
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Discover how becoming an apprentice bricklayer can lead to a fulfilling career path in the building and construction industry.
Feel free to contact ABBTF today – we’d be happy to talk to you and see if becoming a bricklaying apprentice over an electrical apprentice, is the right choice for you.