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Plug into a career of the future

Jennifer connects apprentice electricians with the in-demand careers of tomorrow, in everything from sustainable energy to project management to teaching.

“Electricians can always find work. Once you’re qualified, you’re never out of a job.”

When you consider how reliant society is on electricity – no matter what the source – the words of Jennifer Perkins, Team Leader of Electrical Trade at TAFE NSW, make a career in electrotechnology sound like a great choice.

Jennifer has accumulated a great deal of experience over her 30-plus years as an electrician, and has seen a lot of changes too.

“There’s been a big shift in way the industry operates due to changes in technology,” she says. “I have also seen more diversity coming into what is a male-dominated industry, with more female choosing to become electricians.”

Start off strong with an apprenticeship

“When you start your apprenticeship, there are no fees for coming to TAFE NSW, so you’re earning straight away. My son has started as an electrical apprentice and, at 22, he’s making really good money and he’s got his own car and a really good lifestyle.”

There are a lot of great apprenticeships and traineeships available through TAFE NSW that can lead to equally great lifestyles.

There are a range of directions you could take an electrotechnology career. From construction and industrial to automotive, maritime, telecommunications, entertainment and events.

“Electricians can pick where they work and who they work for. Once you finish your apprenticeship, the world really is your oyster,” Jennifer says. “It’s not just limited to tools either. You can move into areas like project management, sales, less hands-on managerial roles, or become a teacher like me!”

Teaching skills to the next generation

“Working at TAFE NSW has given me the chance to pass on my knowledge to students, providing them with the skills and opportunity to progress into their own electrical careers, which is very rewarding,” Jennifer says.

“One of my former students has gone onto selling lighting equipment and programmable relays. Several have gotten into project manager roles, and one student has just become a teacher as well.”

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