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Anyone who does electrical work is required by law to have a valid, current electrician’s licence. You can find licensed electricians on A licensed electrician is a trade profession who has proven they know how to do their job by strict Australian Standards. Together, these essential Australia-wide requirements ensure that all licensed electricians have the necessary training and have proven their ability to perform as working electricians after undergoing training and apprenticeship.

Licensing of Electricians

State regulatory bodies have individual licence and renewal regulations. Some states may have only three licence classes, while others may have up to six and licences may need to be renewed every three years in one state or territory or five years in another. For further information about licensing of electricians in your state or territory, read our state overview below.

Types of Electrician Jobs

A licensed electrician is required to undertake any job that requires the installation of an electrical supply or supply outlet. Just some of the jobs an electrician will do in the home include:

  • Electrical wiring & rewiring
  • Electrical repairs
  • Installation of safety switches
  • Lighting installation
  • Power point installation or repair
  • Switchboard installation, testing and repair
  • Solar power installation, repair and servicing

The only time a licensed electrician is not needed is for plugging in an appliance. If any work is needed on your electrical system, a licensed electrician must do the job.

Electricians - NSW

NSW Fair Trading regulates electricians in New South Wales. In NSW, there are two types of electrical licences:

  1. Individual contractor licence
  2. Company/Partnership licence

In addition, there are two types of certificates available:

  1. A Qualified Supervisor Certificate for Electrical Work
  2. Disconnection and reconnection of fixed electrical equipment

Individual contractor licences must be renewed every three years. A company/partnership licence expires after 1-3 years. If an apprentice does electrical work, it must be under supervision of a licensed electrician who holds a Qualified Supervisor Certificate. The Certificate for disconnection and reconnection of fixed electrical equipment must be renewed every three years. Intended for contractors carrying out work outside of their usual job function, it is not a contractor’s licence for electrical work and is limited in scope.

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Electricians - Victoria

In Victoria, a licensed electrician is qualified to carry out all types of electrical work. If an electrician wishes to carry out electrical installation work, they must also hold an electrical contractor’s licence. Electrician Licences in Victoria must be renewed every five years and are issued by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).

Disconnection and reconnection of fixed electrical equipment can be carried out by an individual who holds a Restricted Electrical Worker’s Licence. Formerly called a “Disconnect/Reconnect Worker’s Licence,” this licensed is restricted to carrying out low voltage electrical work related to equipment connected to a fixed electrical installation. It is designed for tradespersons such as air conditioning installers or plumber/gasfitters who need to install electrical equipment as part of their job.

An apprentice electrician may hold an Electrician (Supervised) Licence or a Supervised Worker’s Licence, but is not qualified to carry out unsupervised electrical work. After completing 12 months full time employment with an Electrician (Supervised) Licence and obtaining further proof of proficiency, a supervised electrician can be issued an Electrician Licence.

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Electricians - Queensland

All but limited electrical work must be carried out by licensed electricians in Queensland. Exceptions include:

  • Authorised testing of electrical equipment
  • Installation or repair of telecommunication cables
  • Electrical work carried out by licensed electrical engineers
  • Apprentice or trainee electrical work under supervision

Most residential work can be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor who holds an Electrical mechanic licence. Plumbers, gasfitters, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment service technicians and other licensed tradespersons who need to disconnect and reconnect electrical equipment as part of their job can do so if they hold a restricted electrical work licence.

In Queensland, electrical licences must be renewed every five years.

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Electricians - SA

Electrical work in South Australia is governed by Consumer and Business Services (CBS). Under the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995, all of these services can be carried out only by licensed contractors. If a business is a partnership, each partner in the business must have an individual licence. If an electrical contractor also carries out electrical work, they must also hold a worker’s registration card. A contractor’s licence is a business licence only.

In South Australia, contractor’s licences must be renewed yearly. A worker’s registration card is valid for a period of three years.

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Electricians - WA

The Electrical Licensing Board issues electrical workers licences in Western Australia. A person or partnership running a business must have an electrical contractor’s licence and all electricians working for their business must have individual worker’s licences.

The Electrical Licensing Board and Energy Safety in WA use the set of 66 essential performance competencies as stipulated by NUELAC in determining a prospective electrician’s qualifications for becoming a licensed electrician.

Four types of electrical licences are issued in Western Australia:

  1. An electrical contractor’s licence is a business licence only.
  2. An electrical installation licence is required to carry out electrical work. An electrical installation licence is valid for five years.
  3. An electrical training licence is issued to apprentices and trainees. A training licence is valid for the period of apprenticeship or traineeship.
  4. Restricted electrical licences (RELs) are issued to tradespersons other than electricians. The restrictions are limited in scope and holders of RELs are not permitted to carry out electrical wiring work or fit power points, lighting or other fixed electrical connections.

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Electricians - Tasmania

In Tasmania, electrical licensing is governed by the Department of Justice. There are four categories of electrical licences available:

  1. A Practitioner’s Licence allows an individual to carry out electrical work.
  2. If an electrical practitioner is also the person who enters into a contract for carrying out electrical work, they must also hold an Electrical Contractor’s licence.
  3. Air conditioning, refrigeration and other trade specialists who install electrical equipment must hold valid Restricted Electrical Licence.
  4. Persons who hold valid electrical licences from countries outside Australia can apply for a Provisional Licence in Tasmania.

In Tasmania, an electrical practitioner’s licence must be renewed every three years.

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Electricians – ACT

Electricians are licensed and accredited in the ACT by the Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA). Three types of electricians’ licences are issued in the ACT:

  1. Electrical contractor’s licence for individuals and partnerships running a business.
  2. Unrestricted electrician’s licence for qualified electricians.
  3. Restricted electrician’s licence for individuals, partnerships or companies.

Restricted licences are issued to experienced persons who disconnect and reconnect electrical equipment as an incidental part of their work. If an employee is not experienced enough to qualify for a restricted licence, they may be issued a permit that allows them to work under supervision.

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Electricians - Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, the Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board is responsible for issuing all types of electrical licences. There are four types of licences in the Northern Territory:

  1. An ‘A’ Grade Electrical Mechanic’s Licence
  2. A Mutual Recognition Licence for holders of current licences in other states or New Zealand
  3. A Restricted (Grade ‘R’) Licence
  4. An Apprentice Training Licence

In addition, there are two types of electrical contractor licences:

  1. Sole Trader or Natural Person
  2. Company, Partnership or Association

Before a contractor’s licence can be issued, the applicant must have held an Electrical Mechanic’s Licence for at least two years.

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As is true in other states and territories, a contractor’s licence alone does not give the licence holder authority to carry out electrical work. In order to install, maintain or replace electrical wiring and hard-wired electrical installations such as power points, an electrician must hold a current A Grade Electrical Mechanic’s Licence. If a tradesperson disconnects and reconnects electrical equipment (such as air conditioners) as part of their main occupation, they can do so with a restricted licence. Holders of apprentice training licences can work under supervision only.

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