Learn about the electrical trade

Want to know more about the electrical trade? We asked HVTC's Apprentice of the Year and NSW Training Awards State finalist Justin Curley to share his insights as a qualified electrical tradesperson.

What is your current role?
I'm a full time electrician at Centennial Coal Myuna.

In the simplest terms, what exactly is an electrician?
An underground electrician ensures continuous electrical supply to all mining equipment, as well as planning, installing and maintaining electrical systems.

Was there anything in particular that interested you in the electrical trade?
The broad range of diversity that the electrical trade has to offer. 

What do you enjoy about being an electrician?
The day to day work of an electrician is never the same. With the variety of work there is always something new to learn, understand and master.

What are some of the different career pathways you can pursue as an electrician and what ones interest you?
There are lots of different career pathways you can choose from in the electrical trade, from domestic and commercial work, to heavy industries, solar and renewable energy. You could go from installing residential electrical systems, to fault finding on underground mining equipment, to planning a renewable energy source for a greener future. The world is your oyster.

What are some of the core skills you’ve gained in your trade?
Problem solving skills, teamwork, safety & compliance.

What have you learnt about the electrical trade since completing your apprenticeship?
Completing my apprenticeship at Eraring Power Station opened my eyes to the magnitude of how power is generated and exported to homes around the country. Currently, I am working at Centennial Coal Myuna as an Underground Electrician, now the focus has been switched to the production of coal, which is delivered to Eraring Power Station to fuel their generators. Being apart of both industries has been a valuable insight into how production of both coal and electricity is crucial for our daily lives.

What sort of training do you need to do in the industry? Obviously you have to do the Cert III, are there any other certs you need or is it industry dependent?
In addition to your Certificate III in Electrotechnology, both the Certificate 4 in Industrial Electronics & Control and Certificate 3 in Instrumentation are highly regarded qualifications within the industrial industries.

Why would you recommend this career/study pathway to others?
Becoming an Electrician opens up so many opportunities that leads to a life long rewarding career. It is a trade that is always in demand, is well respected and is also one of the highest paid. As your career progresses, you can set your sights higher from running your own business, specialising in a particular sector, such as renewable energies or furthering your study in electrical engineering.


Male miner in high visibility protective clothing