Electrical engineers are responsible for maintenance and operation of a range of machinery used to generate power and electrical systems. 

Where electrical engineers are employed

Electrical engineers may specialise as electrical maintenance engineers, electrical power engineers, electrical design engineers, communications engineers or computer engineers. They may also specialise in areas such as the design and operation of power plants, generators, metal refining, rolling mills, motors and transformers and in researching new applications of technology or production machinery.

Electrical engineers work for state, territory and federal government departments, electricity suppliers, consulting engineers and firms in the minerals, defence, telecommunications, information technology, steel, manufacturing and service industries.

The telecommunications industry is expanding due to factors such as the rapid development of technology, the increased use of mobile phones by the Australian public and new telecommunications companies entering the market.

Pay

Full-time electrical engineers in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Job prospects

New opportunities are arising in the areas of entertainment, transport and telecommunications.

In 2011 there were 358 people employed full-time as electrical engineers in South Australia compared with 382 in 2006.

How to become one

To become an electrical engineer you usually have to complete an engineering degree at university with a major in electrical, electronic, electrical power or telecommunications engineering or in networking and communications. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Prerequisite subjects or assumed knowledge in one or more of English, maths, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

Licensing and registration requirements

In South Australia there are no licensing or registration requirements.

Engineering is a self-regulated profession that focuses on professional recognition through membership with professional bodies to gain professional standing within the industry. Many employers prefer candidates with recognition and or membership with Engineers Australia and/or Institution of Engineering and Technology.

The highest level of formal recognition is through the Chartered Status Professional Development pathway with Engineers Australia. 

Recognition of engineering qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

For engineers that have completed their training overseas it is helpful to have overseas skills and qualifications assessed to help in finding work.

If you come to South Australia as a migrant you may already have a pre-migration assessment from a professional body that indicates the status of your qualification(s) and or work experience. This is often all you need for the purposes of looking for work.

If you do not have this pre-migration assessment you can access assessment services through Engineers Australia. This assessment will examine your qualifications and work experience to determine recognition levels and whether you are eligible to join National Registers and gain Engineers Australia Chartered status. 

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Specialist Migrant Services on 08 8303 2450 or email sms@sa.gov.au.

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information. 

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