The Electrical Trades offer a diversity of unique career choices. So before starting an apprenticeship, it’s important to consider where you want to work as a qualified A-Grade Electrician.

The Electrical Trades, although universal, fall into four general industry sectors:

  • Rail
  • Contracting
  • Power
  • Manufacturing

"You grow up a lot throughout your apprenticeship. Five years ago, I didn't know what I was doing. I did my Pre Apprenticeship course fresh out of school, and I've been in the trade ever since - and loving it."


Recently qualified, Post Grad Study

Career Choices: A Career in Rail

A career in Rail begins with choosing the right apprenticeship, so that you arrive at the right destination. There are four apprenticeships in Rail:

Rolling Stock Electrician

Carries out maintenance and fault-finding on trains/trams.

Substation Electrician

Carries out maintenance, fault-finding and construction on Electrical Substations.

Signal Maintenance Technician

Maintains the signal network, fault-finding, maintenance and construction.

Line Worker

Maintains the overhead electrical network that powers the trains and trams.

Rail Apprentices enjoy teamwork, communication, problem-solving and a structured training program that provides ongoing support. A career in Rail is usually a career for life, built on long-term mateship and secure employment into the future. 

To learn more about an apprenticeship in Rail, speak to an ETU Organiser and get your career on the right track.

Finding work in rail

Rail companies advertise apprenticeships from September to October each year, for an intake at the start of the following year. 

"I have a hands-on attitude towards things and a bit of a knack for maths, and an Electrical Apprenticeship combined the two strengths I have."


2nd Year Contracting Apprentice

Career Choices: A Career in Contracting

A career in Contracting is working on new or old buildings, in the areas of installation, modification, renovations, and service and maintenance work.

Contracting covers Commercial, Industrial, and Domestic – so you work on a variety of sites (including apartment buildings, shopping centres, hospitals and houses), installing power points, light fittings, switchboards and various electrical appliances. 

Contracting Apprentices are adaptable. They enjoy mateship, working together and independently, and thrive on the buzz of construction sites. The ETU has a strong presence on many sites, and apprentices quickly become part of the team.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship in Contracting, speak to an ETU Organiser and start building your career today. 

"In the Construction industry, the money's really good and the conditionsare really good. First year of my apprenticeship, I earned more than I did working an office or that I would have earned if I'd finished my paramedic's course."


4th Year Contracting Apprentice

Gaining Experience

It can take months to fit-out a new building, and some apprentices may find the work repetitive or feel that they are not gaining enough experience in other areas. It is your employers’ responsibility to provide a wide scope of work. If you’re concerned that that’s not happening, please contact EPIC or speak to an ETU Organiser.  

Career Choices: A Career in Power

There are three main streams in Power. Each of them works with both high-voltage and low-voltage cables.


Changes the poles, wires, and cross-arms, runs services to households, and fixes faults in storms.

Underground Cable Joiner

Provides underground power to new estates and existing houses.

Electrical Fitters

Maintains and constructs existing Zone Substations, and locates faults.

Power Apprentices have good analytical skills and an eye for detail, and enjoy problem-solving and working with their hands. Good balance is also necessary, because you may often need to climb or work at great heights. 

If an apprenticeship in Power sparks your interest, speak to an ETU Organiser about your career today.  

Making a switch

When you're qualified in Power, you can easily work in the Manufacturing industry.

"An advantage to being a tradesperson is you're always all over the place, doing different things, so you don't get a chance to get bored."


Recently qualified Adult Apprentice

Career Choices: A Career in Manufacturing

A career in Manufacturing can either be complex or simple, depending on the industry and the machinery where you work. A site may only have one machine, but most usually have several different machines.

Manufacturing Apprentices are generally exposed to a variety of work, including maintenance, basic installation, fault-finding, and testing. They tend to be tech-savvy, enjoy problem-solving as well as research and development, and are always ready to try new things.

If you want to know more about an apprenticeship in Manufacturing, speak to an ETU Organiser and work out your career today.  

Like robotics?

If you're keen on programming, get excited by robots, or if you just like to know how things work, consider an apprenticeship in Manufacturing.

"When I first got here, I felt like it was an excursion for the first month, because there's that many things to see and learn that it's unbelievable, and I'm still learning today."


3rd Year Manufacturing Apprentice

Next Section - Helping You Decide