Name: Mathew Lawrence

Age: 24

Job: Electrician

City/town: Tauranga 

What does your job entail? The installation, service and maintenance of electrical equipment. Electricians perform a range of tasks on domestic, commercial, industrial, medical, aviation, marine, data, CCTV, alarms, pumps and electric machinery. The day-to-day role of an electrician varies, and you become skilled in a variety of sectors within our industry.

How long have you been doing it? Eight years. Three years as an apprentice and  five years as a registered electrician.

What led you to this job? I wanted a job in a career that was well paid.

What attracted you to this line of work? It’s generally a clean trade, and there’s also a shortage of qualified electricians so finding employment isn’t difficult.

What training was involved? Three years of part-time study for a national certificate in electrical engineering and complete an electrical apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is made up of ‘on job’ tasks.

What do you love most about your job? The variety of work and continuous opportunities. I’ve worked on generators; runway and taxiway lighting; factories; wired cowsheds and new houses to name a few. Shortly I’ll be moving into the medical sector. I love that you can always up-skill and the learning doesn’t end when you become qualified.

And what are the worst bits? As an apprentice you’re the cheapest labour on site so you’ll dig trenches and climb under the house or in the roof. Luckily it’s not forever!

What motivates you in your work? Working in a team. A few jokes and banter goes a long way in the trade and a fun company culture is one of the keys to success.

What are your career goals? Self-employment is a career goal. So I’m learning as much as I can and getting to know key people in the industry.

Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? Two previous employers have influenced me a lot; we’re still in regular contact and bounce ideas off each other.

Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in the Waikato and went to Te Awamutu College. It was a good place to grow up as you got to know everyone fairly quickly, which helped with employment opportunities following high school.

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