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Posted By Topic: First employee - Apprentice or electrician?

Aug 19 2019 23:28

Any preference & why?

I’ve had an apprentice previously for about a year & found they sucked up a lot of time as I am the sole operator.

I’m now thinking maybe a better option is to hire a registered sparky so I can free up time to help grow the business & then maybe get an apprentice further down the track that we can both use & train, lessening the burden on one individual.

I’ve built up a good reputation & have outstanding reviews everywhere but am concerned it may be hard to find someone who (a) meets my standards & (b) will want to work for a company that is so small & has minimal career options.

I guess at a minimum I will have to pay above market rate on this point alone.

Interested as to others opinions & what has worked well for them!


Aug 20 2019 05:51

Get a tradesman, with a tradesman you can charge for each job, with an apprentice (especially so for 1st year)it is hard to justify them on the job and even harder to justify to the customer why you are charging for an apprentice.


Aug 20 2019 17:22

Apprentice is well justified when the job is done faster with two people. Which is easiest to make work out when there is work for many, like a new build, or the work is repetitive, like equipment modifications.

I can see that being difficult for a small contract business that has a lot of chargeable time on repairs.


Aug 21 2019 10:08

Have you considered getting a contractor as opposed to an employee in the first instance? If you know another lone ranger like yourself that shares your work values it may be a good idea to bring them in for a couple of days a week so you can focus on building your business without completely jumping in the deep end by hiring a tradesman full time.
I would think in most situations an apprentice is a good first option but getting a one that ticks all the boxes would be the hardest part. In my opinion an apprentice is easily justifiable on a job as most can be done faster & more efficiently with an extra pair of hands.
I don’t think you are selling a career path, nor do you need to but if you pay reasonably well & train/work to a high standard that would be appealing to many.


Aug 29 2019 22:58


Maybe I’ll try the apprentice path once again..if it fails for a second time then maybe I’ll just work for myself & by myself for the rest of my career..

Which brings me to apprentice wages.

Speaking to couple of other sparkies today it seems the going rate for an apprentice is roughly

$20 for 1st year with approx $2 increments for each year thereafter - ending up on $28 for a qualified sparky.

More than I was paying my last apprentice $18.50 (3rd year) although he had hardly any units signed off & was more like a 2nd year.


Aug 30 2019 13:58

Hi there, I have graduated with a Diploma in Electrical Engineering(Level 6) from Otago Polytechnic and currently looking for an apprenticeship. I understand you are a small business and maintaining a good reputation is essential for your business, when you are hiring someone who meets your standards.
You can reach me on 0210681848 or I would be happy to send you my resume to give you a better idea of my qualification and experience.

Thank you

Sep 09 2019 19:48

bakinthegame Where are you located?

Sep 09 2019 22:32

Am in Auckland?
Why do you ask?

Sep 09 2019 23:42

Shame, wrong island. I'm looking for another sole trader to work in with on jobs that require 2 people or when I have and excess of work and vice versa.

Sep 11 2019 21:25

Bugger....could’ve been keen otherwise...hope you find someone!