Electrician Kaimahi Hiko

Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems and equipment.

Electricians may do some or all of the following:

  • interpret wiring diagrams and floor plans
  • install electrical wiring and equipment
  • repair and replace electrical wiring, parts and equipment
  • safety-test electrical work
  • keep records of problems they find and work they do
  • prepare quotes.

Self-employed electricians also run their own businesses.

Physical Requirements

Electricians need to be fit, healthy and strong, as the work involves climbing and lifting.

They also need to be comfortable working in confined spaces and at heights, as they may need to crawl through small spaces under buildings and above ceilings.

Personal Qualities

Electricians need to be:

  • accurate and methodical
  • practical and logical
  • good communicators
  • able to work well independently or in a team
  • safety-conscious
  • good at problem-solving.

Subject Recommendations

Level 1 NCEA in maths, construction and mechanical technologies, English and science – preferably physics – is usually required to enter an apprenticeship.

Year 11 to 13 students can also gain industry experience through programmes such as Gateway.

They can also participate in Bright Sparks, which organises competitions, support and NCEA-approved training for students who are interested in electronics and robotics. 

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Electricians can earn around $23-$32 per hour per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Electrician are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Electricians may progress to become:

  • supervisors
  • consultants at building construction companies or engineering firms
  • business owners.

They may also become electrical inspectors by doing further training and passing an exam.

Electricians usually specialise in low-voltage or high-voltage work.

Low-voltage work involves installing, maintaining and repairing electrical wiring. Within this field, electricians may further specialise in domestic (house), commercial (new buildings and shop fittings) or industrial (factory) work.

High-voltage work involves installing, maintaining and repairing electrical wiring and electrical equipment in power stations, substations and other sites. (This work is done by electrical fitters.)