Cable jointers work outdoors in most weather conditions, often in cramped and confined conditions or at heights. In order to minimise the risks associated with working with high-voltage electricity, they must follow strict safety requirements. They may be required to work shifts, which can include nights and weekends. These workers may also be expected to be on call to respond to emergencies that occur outside of regular hours.
There are two main employers of cable jointers in Western Australia. Western Power operates in the south west corner of the state, with Horizon Energy looking after electricity supply and generation throughout the rest of the state. Some large companies with high energy usage, such as mine sites in remote locations, may operate their own private network and so also employ cable jointers.
Electrical distribution trades workers, which include cable jointers, can expect to earn between $916 and $1,575* per week, depending on their level of experience and the organisation they work for.
* ABS Census (2006)
Cable jointers lay insulated power cables and use a number of specialised tools and electrical components to cut and join these as required. They also use electrical equipment such as multimetres, ohmmeters or voltmeters to test whether a cable is live and if it is performing appropriately. Safety is a key concern when working with high voltage electricity and so cable jointers must wear protective clothing including, hard hats, overalls, rubber insulating gloves, safety boots and safety glasses.
To become a cable jointer you need to complete a traineeship in ESI Cable Jointing. As a trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. Visit Power Training Services to find out more. An ESI Cable Jointing traineeship generally takes 48 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. Visit the ApprentiCentre to find out more.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.