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All you need to know about electrical licensing.

When it comes to electrics, you need to know that any work you have done in your home is being carried out by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. You also need to be 100% satisfied that the electrician carrying out the works holds a valid electrical contractors licence and is legally entitled to work where you are.

Electrical work conducted by unlicensed electricians is unlawful. Or, put another way, if someone is trading as an electrician, then by law they must hold an appropriate license for the work they do in the state or states they work in.

If you hire an electrician who doesn’t hold an appropriate licence for the type of works in your state, you’re both breaking the law. Even worse, the works undertaken and completed by that unlicensed electrician could cause damage to your home.

And that’s where we come in. With LicenceHero’s help, you can carry out an electrical licence search to find a tradesperson who holds the appropriate registered electrical licence to undertake the work you require in the right state for you.

Licensed electrical works


Registered Electrical Licence

Electricians must apply for their registered electrical licence with each state they plan to work on. The licences that are granted can have a particular class associated with them. Those different classes mean that the electrician is only legally permitted to carry out that specific type of work and nothing else.

Each state has its own electrical regulatory body, with their own rules and licensing requirements. While in some states there might be as many as six different classes of electrician licensing, in others there might be only three. Licensing renewal periods differ too: in some sates a licence might be valid for three years, or five in another.

Works Conducted by Electricians Around Australia

There are many jobs associated with electricians in Australia, but the more common ones that are carried out include:

Typical Electrical licensing Classes

If you’re planning on having any electrical works completed, you’ll need an electrician who holds an electrical contractor licence in one or more of the following classes:

As you can see, there are quite a lot of different classes of electrician across Australia. That means it’s vital you hire one who is fully licensed to do the works required. To give you some extra information and make it all seem a little less confusing, we’ve detailed some of the key requirements each state has and the electrician classes they licence.


Victoria Electrical Licences

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is the regulatory body that issues electrical licences in the state of Victoria. There are six classes of electrician’s licences here.

Example ESV Electrical Contractors Licence

The above four classes of licences may have a variety of conditions attached to them.

LicenceHero maintains an up-to-date directory of licensed electricians in Victoria.


NSW Electrical Licences

Electricians trading in NSW are regulated by FairTrading NSW. There are two types of licences issued by them for electricians:

In NSW, Individual Contractor Licences must be renewed every three years while a Company/Partnership Licence expires after one to two years. As in other states, if an apprentice undertakes any electrical works, they must do so under the supervision of an electrician licensed to supervise such work.

Also, since December 2014, Automatic Mutual Recognition laws allow some specifically licensed electricians from Queensland, Victoria and the ACT to work in NSW, without the need to obtain an NSW licence. More details on that can be found here.

As well as the licences mentioned above, two types of electrician certifications are also available in NSW:

Holders of the “Certificate for disconnection and reconnection of fixed electrical equipment” must renew their certificates every three years.


Queensland Electrical Licences

In order for an electrician to carry out electrical works in Queensland, they require specific licences which are issued by the Queensland Government’s workplace regulator and tailored to their skills and market.

Electrical work licences are required for individuals carrying out electrical works. If the licensed electrical work is carried out as part of a business, then an electrical contractor licence must be held.

There are six different electrical work licences that cover different types of electrical works. They are:

There are two different types of electrical contractor licences:


ACT Electrical Licences

In Canberra and across ACT, there are two main categories of electrician licences: “Unrestricted” and “Restricted”. Permits can be issued to allow individuals to perform certain electrical tasks before they have completed all the required qualifications, however permit holders are only able to perform wiring-related work under direct supervision of another, suitably licensed electrician.

An “Unrestricted” license holder in the ACT can undertake electrical wiring work without supervision and is also able to conduct supervision of others undertaking electrical wiring work.

An Electrotechnology Systems Permit allows the holder to conduct electrical wiring work under appropriate supervision and incidental wiring work.

There are also five restricted licences, that limit the holder to only carry out that type of electrical work. They are:

For more details on these electrical licence classes, you can take a look at the Access Canberra electricians licensing pages here.


South Australia Electrical Licences

In South Australia, electrical work is regulated by Consumer and Business Services (CBS). Under the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995, all of the services listed can only be carried out by licensed contractors. Even if a business is a partnership, each partner must hold their own individual licence.

There are two classes of electrical licences in South Australia:

In the instance where an electrical contractor also conducts electrical works, they must hold both a contractor’s business licence and a worker’s registration card.

A contractor’s licence must be renewed every year while a worker’s registration card is valid for three years.


Tasmania Electrical Licences

In order to conduct electrical work in the state of Tasmania, an electrician will need to hold one of four licences, each with its own restrictions. They are:

Electrician’s licences in Tasmania are issued by the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Justice.


Western Australia Electrical Licences

In Western Australia, the Electrical licensing Board issues all licences for practicing electricians in the state. There are four types of licences that are issued. They are:

More details of Western Australia electrical licensing regulations can be found here.

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