How To Become a Registered Electrical Contractor in Australia

In the current scenario with rapid infrastructure development in Australia, the demand for skilled electricians is on a constant rise. It is an opportunity to build a rewarding and lucrative career with your own electrical contracting business. 

To become a Registered Electrical Contractor, you certainly need the technical skills and expertise to carry out electrical installation work.  You must also understand the nuances of business. This is where the Registered Electrical Contractor Training Course is useful. It is specially designed to help Grade A electricians prepare to register with Energy Safe Australia and start their own electrical contracting business. 

Now, let us understand the step-by-step process to become a Registered Electrical Contractor in Australia, read on. 

Who Is a Registered Electrical Contractor?

Safety and adherence to compliances is extremely important for electrical contractors. For this reason, Energy Safe Victoria ( ESV) requires applicants to have the necessary experience, proven skills, business and technical knowledge to undertake any type of electrical installation work. 

Any individual or business who undertakes electrical contracting must be registered as an electrical contractor. This includes individuals and businesses who employ electricians to carry out any electrical installation for profit. 

There are three types of entities that can apply for registration as an electrical contractor: 

  • Individuals or sole traders
  • Partnerships 
  • Companies 

Technical and business supervisors must be present with the necessary qualifications in order to apply for the above mentioned registration types. 

Now, Let us take a look at the steps involved in starting an electrical contracting business in Australia. 

Step 1: Get The Necessary Qualifications

To become a registered electrical contractor, the individual or business entity must have qualifications to: 

  • Design, supervise and execute electrical installation work in adherence to all the compliances. 
  • Manage and administer the business of electrical contracting. 

These roles and responsibilities are undertaken by a suitably qualified technical supervisor and business supervisor respectively. 


  • In case of a sole trader, the individual may hold the necessary qualifications for both roles.
  • In case of a partnership, one of the partners must be qualified as a technical supervisor and the other as a business partner 
  • In case of larger companies, one or more technical and business supervisors may be present. 

Qualifications for a Technical Supervisor

A technical supervisor must hold a Victorian Electrican’s Licence. For this licence to be issued, the individual must hold a UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician or equivalent. They are also required to demonstrate adequate work experience and fulfil necessary eligibility criteria in order to apply for an Electrical Licence. 

Quick Glance: UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician 

This course is designed to provide competencies to select, install, set up, test, fault find, repair and maintain electrical systems and equipment in buildings and premises. It includes ERAC requirements for an ‘Electrician’s licence’. 

You can view the course in detail here. 

Technical Supervisors are required to fill in a nomination form and submit it to ESV with supporting evidence of technical experience and skills. 

To understand the roles and responsibilities of a Technical Supervisor, click here. 

Qualifications for a Business Supervisor 

A business supervisor must have completed a Registered Electrical Contractors Course through a recognised training provider. This course helps learners understand the various aspects of operating an electrical contracting business. 

Quick Glance: Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) Training Course 

This short course is designed to provide Grade A electricians with specialised business skills and knowledge. This includes regulatory, occupational, technical and workplace-related subjects that help you operate a contracting business successfully. It is best suited for: 

  • Individuals looking to start their own electrical contracting business 
  • Businesses/ Partnership companies looking to contract or employ electricians to carry out any electrical installation work. 

You can view the course in detail here. 

Business Supervisors are required to fill in a nomination form and submit it to ESV with a statement of attainment for the Registered Electrical Contractor Training Course.  

To understand the roles and responsibilities of a Business Supervisor, click here. 

Step 2: Get Insurance 

Electrical work is risky. There are chances of damage to property and equipment and injuries. Therefore, for an individual or organisation to become a Registered Electrical Contractor, public liability insurance, with a minimum cover of $5,00,000 is mandatory. This insurance must be purchased in the name of the individual or business registered with ESV. 

It is important to note that any electrical contracting work that is carried out without insurance is a criminal offence and may be subject to penalties based on the nature of the business. 

Step 3: Register Your Business

You can offer your services as an electrical contractor in the marketplace only if your business is registered. Electrical contractors must fulfil the eligibility requirements and register on the Australian Business Register. Once the application is accepted, you will receive an Australia Business Number (ABN). 

The ABN is provided based on the business structure, whether you are a sole trader, partnership firm or a company. 

Step 4: Get Your Resources in Place 

While you can operate as a single person business, you may require additional resources as your business expands. It is a good idea to prepare in advance, considering the high demand for electricians in Australia. The first step is to understand various sub-contractor and employment agreement formats, each outlining the rights and obligations of the parties involved in detail. 

Following this, you can look for the resources that you need through your current network, social media platforms and through job portals such as Seek, CareerOne or Indeed Australia.

Note:  Always make sure that the employees and subcontractors have the necessary licence to carry out electrical work.  

Now that you have an understanding of all the steps involved in becoming a Registered Electrical Contractor, here is some additional information that may be useful once you are open for business: 

  • Make sure that you keep your REC licence card safe and easily accessible. 
  • Electrical contractors must issue a certificate of electrical safety after completion of any electrical installation. ESV must be notified about each certificate and provided with a copy. They must also provide a copy of the certificate to the party that hired them for the job. 
  • When putting out any advertisement, statement or notice, your REC number must be displayed. 
  • Electrical contractors must maintain a register of all licensed electricians that they have employed. They must keep this available for inspection by ESV when required. 
  • In case of any changes in the business, or structure of the business, ESV must be notified within 10 business days. 
  • The REC must be renewed as required. The ESV provides a reminder via email,  3 months before the expiry of the registration. 

Please note: Qualification and licensing norms vary in each state/territory. Make sure that you connect with the right authorities to get correct and updated information. 

If you are reading this, then you are in the right place! 

Frontier can help you obtain necessary qualifications and training to become a Registered Electrical Contractor. Learn from industry experienced trainers and get all the support that you need to apply for your licence. Frontier also provides apprenticeship pathways to help learners find employment opportunities upon completion of their courses. 

We hope that this information will help you set up your business and achieve the success that you are aiming for.