what is an industrial electrician?

As an industrial electrician, you maintain and test electrical equipment. You are responsible for installing electrical systems and operating machines. Employers hire you to guarantee the safe functioning of production lines in manufacturing companies. That means you should be an expert in hydraulic and pneumatic machines with knowledge of reading blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications.

Industrial electricians are up to date on the latest New Zealand electrical standards. You implement a scheduled maintenance programme to ensure systems are in perfect condition. As an industrial electrician, you inspect and test the wiring systems to ensure the fixtures and power outlets are correctly grounded. If you are in charge of machines and electronic equipment, you do repairs, replacements or maintenance to ensure customer safety.

where do industrial electricians work?

You work in chemical plants, manufacturing units, and mines as an industrial electrician. Unlike commercial electricians, who supervise lower-scale electric systems in office buildings and retail businesses, you deal with complex electrical systems. For instance, you work in manufacturing plants and production facilities to ensure the machines work as expected. Your role often involves dealing with high voltage components and repairing automated mining systems. You also work in steel factories and electrical firms.

industrial electrician jobs

average industrial electrician salary

An industrial electrician takes home a median salary of $85,500 annually in Australia. The earnings usually rely on the complexity of the role and work experience. In an entry-level position, you have minimal skills and are likely to handle simple maintenance tasks. Hence, your remuneration package starts at $64,350 per year. Your earnings increase when you have adequate skills and experience in the role and can handle complex tasks. Experienced industrial electricians take home over $100,000 annually. Some companies include additional benefits in their remuneration package, including car allowances, annual sick leave and medical or life insurance schemes.

what factors affect the salary of an industrial electrician?

As an industrial electrician, your remuneration package depends on the complexity of your role and company size. Some companies are more likely to pay more due to their resources at their disposal. For instance, if you work for an electricity company with more significant resources, you are likely to earn more than working in a small factory. The complexity of tasks and experience required in large companies warrants higher remuneration packages and additional benefits.

three blue-collar colleagues taking a break
three blue-collar colleagues taking a break

types of industrial electricians

The types of industrial electricians depend on where they work and the certifications required. Some include:

  • linemen or outside industrial electricians: as a line industrial electrician, you install electric distribution systems and utility transmissions at high voltages. You work outdoors in large power generation companies to ensure the electricity produced is distributed from power plants to substations.You should be equipped to handle high voltage lines as an industrial electrician.
  • wiremen or inside industrial electricians: as a wireman or inside industrial electrician, you resolve problems that involve electrical systems inside buildings and structures. For instance, you install and maintain electrical systems to ensure factories have reliable power. You also handle repairs and replacements for large machines to ensure they are safe for use.

working as an industrial electrician

Industrial electricians specialise in troubleshooting and repairing electrical equipment in processing plants, mines, factories and power plants. Due to the job's hands-on nature, it requires physical and mechanical skills. Here are some of the duties of industrial electricians:


education and skills

To become an industrial electrician in New Zealand, you require certification or traineeship to get a licence. Some of the educational qualifications include:

  • apprenticeship: industrial electricians require practical experience since they work with advanced electrical systems. To become an industrial electrician, you undertake an apprenticeship to gain a New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4). Electrical apprenticeships are supplied by the Electrical Training Company (ETCO).The apprenticeship takes four years and equips you with the necessary experience for working in industrial settings.
  • work experience: After the apprenticeship, you have adequate work experience to apply for an electrician's licence. You can apply for entry-level jobs after completing the assessments and receiving your licence.

industrial electrician skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an industrial electrician include:

  • mathematical skills: as an industrial electrician, you rely on complex mathematical calculations and knowledge of physics to complete your work. For instance, your mathematical knowledge is useful in taking measurements, calculating power and voltages and determining the electric system's resistance.
  • problem-solving skills: as an industrial electrician, you should be an expert trouble-shooter to help you identify problems in an electrical system. Problem-solving skills help you resolve issues that arise in the systems. Keeping a log of past problems also enables you to complete repairs efficiently.
  • time management: as an industrial electrician, you require exceptional time management skills. Sometimes, you have a short time to complete repairs to unexpected electrical system malfunctions.
  • teamwork skills: as an industrial electrician, you complete high-risk tasks, requiring working with a team to ensure smooth operations.
  • Interpersonal skills help you become productive in a team setting and ensure effective teamwork.

FAQs about working as an industrial electrician

Here are the most asked questions about working as an industrial electrician:

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