The tradies in demand across Australia
ELECTRICIANS are in hot demand, with jobs for the tradies increasing by as much as 66 per cent in the past year.
While they've gone up across all states, Victoria experienced the largest jump in job ads on SEEK in the 12 months to October 2018 (up 66 per cent) - followed by Western Australia (36 per cent), South Australia (22 per cent), New South Wales (20 per cent) then Queensland (15 per cent).
SEEK managing director Kendra Banks said recruiters predicted strong, long-lasting career prospects for electricians.
"We know that automation is not negatively affecting job opportunities for electricians compared to other industries, due to the non-routine and problem-solving nature of their work," she said.
"Therefore, there is and will be a consistent demand for electricians with the right skill set and experience.
"To make sure we are meeting the demand for candidates, we need to educate people on the exciting career prospects within the electrician trade and its longevity."
Employers had difficulty attracting electricians to jobs across NSW, Queensland, SA and Victoria.
SEEK data revealed a 37 per cent drop in available workers in Victoria - the largest decrease in the country.
Protech business manager for Victoria Michael Bateman said employers sought more specialised skills when hiring in his state.
"For example, there is an increased requirement for high voltage or commissioning technicians to service the demand in construction and infrastructure work; electricians with data and AV specialisations within facility management; and for electricians in the facility maintenance and service industry, which service health care facilities and schools," he said.
"We are also seeing a significant increase in demand for electrical apprentices within the commercial industry for both general and data cabling work."
In Victoria, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of ad growth in the trades and services sector came from electricians, the SEEK data showed.
Automotive trades workers contributed 20 per cent and plumbers contributed 14 per cent.
In NSW, electricians accounted for almost half (48 per cent) of all new job ads in the trades and services sector.
Other contributing occupations were gardeners and landscapers (21 per cent), bakers and pastry chefs (6 per cent) and automotive trades workers (6 per cent).
National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) chief executive Suresh Manickam said it was no surprise qualified electricians were in high demand in NSW with the infrastructure boom, proliferation of commercial renewable and energy efficiency projects, and rapid adoption of connected devices and solar and storage by households.
"That's why it's important federal and state governments ensure the right support and training is in place for people - especially young adults considering the career path - to get into trades," he said.
"Those who do choose a career as an electrician can expect interesting, well-paid work, and won't be stuck behind a desk in an office staring at a screen, nor will they have a HECS debt to pay off.
"Demand for electrical skills is unlikely to slow. After all, electricians will be wiring up the robots and computers that replace people in other professions. Meanwhile those data centres, smart buildings, and internet networks that will underpin the economy of the future won't work without a sparky."
Federal Government figures predicted 7100 new jobs would be created for electricians by May 2023, representing 4.5 per cent growth over five years.
Other trades forecast for increased demand nationally were chefs (16,800 new jobs in five years), plumbers (10,500), carpenters and joiners (7100) and plasterers (4300).