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Why An Electrical Apprenticeship May Be A Good Alternative To University

September 27, 2022 | Career

So, you’ve finished school and you’re ready to take your next step. Many of your friends are off to university, but you’re not sure if it’s for you. Work versus study. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do both? With an electrical apprenticeship you can.


Here are some reasons why an electrical apprenticeship may be a good alternative to university.


Earn While You Learn

As an apprentice, not only will you be learning on the job, but you’ll be also earning too. Sure, you’re not going to be a millionaire overnight, but by the time you’re qualified, you could have some nice savings, not to mention minimal debt.

Unlike your university friends who’ll finish study with an average debt of $24k, your apprenticeship or traineeship fees will be a lot less. In fact, your apprenticeship may be fully subsidised by your employer and you may also be eligible for Trade Support Loans.


Gain Real Life Skills

As an electrical apprentice, you’ll learn all the skills that you need for working in the industry. Every skill you learn, you’ll be able to put into practice immediately, and as and when demands and skills change in the industry, you’ll be the first to know.

This isn’t the case for all university graduates.

According to The Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018, a huge number of graduates were not using the skills they acquired at university when they got a job.


Comparable Earning Potential

Contrary to popular belief, university qualified graduates don’t always come out on top in the earning stakes.

The gap between wages for university qualified and VET qualified students is narrowing, and with increasing demand for trade qualified personnel, it’s likely to continue.

According to a report by The Grattan institute, vocational qualifications in engineering, construction and commerce resulted in higher average earnings than a degree qualification.


One Step Ahead

Most degrees can take up to four years to complete when studying full time. Apprenticeship training can be completed in one year.

This means you have a three-year head start on those at university. During this time you’re able to build up good network connections and gain real life experience, all while earning money.


Perfect work life balance

Apprenticeships offer the perfect work life balance.


As an electrical apprentice your study takes place throughout the week during work hours, but once Friday evening rolls around, you’re free. You have the weekend to enjoy yourself with no study pressures or assignments to complete.


Finding Work

Finding a job is always easier when you’re in a job. And with references, skills, and industry contacts under your belt, you’re one step ahead of others.

Many apprentices don’t have to look further than their current workplace for a job. Your apprenticeship employer already knows your capabilities and work ethic, so they’ll likely want you to stay.

Compare this with university graduates who can spend many years finding the job of their dreams while competing with other graduates.


Ongoing Work

Electricians are currently in high demand and that’s not changing anytime soon.

According to the Australian government’s job outlook site, future growth is strong in this field.  Consequently, job security is too. 90 per cent of qualified electricians are currently in full time employment.


Multiple Career Paths

Once qualified as an electrician, you can choose your own adventure. With an array of roles available, you’ll never get bored. From residential, to construction, to emergency, an electrical apprenticeship opens a world of opportunity.

Best of all, it gives you the skills and training to start your own business.

Being your own boss has so many benefits including flexible working hours, open ended career progression and a good work life balance.


Learning on the Job

While learning skills for your trade, you’ll also be acquiring ‘real life’ workplace skills. You’ll learn about your employee’s expectations, work ethics and workplace etiquette and be able to immediately apply these.  

Learning visually and practically within the work environment every day makes you qualified both professionally and personally.


Transferable Skills and Qualification

A VET qualification provides you with valuable transferable skills. These skills can be used in another trade role or used as credits to gain entry to further education.  As an electrical apprentice, you may wish to study electrical engineering at university.

Alternatively, you may want to take a pathway into tertiary education before you commit to a degree.


Maximum Experience and Support

Doing your apprenticeship through a service provider like FHR means that you’re supported every step of the way.

With solid relationships across all industries and a group training model, you’ll be matched with a host of employers to gain comprehensive experience.

For those unsure, pre-apprenticeships are available as well as school pathways for Year 10, 11 and 12 students enabling students to gain a head-start on an apprenticeship while simultaneously completing school.


Want to find out how we can help you get started on your career? Give us a call today. There’s never been a better time.

Author - Frontline Human Resources


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