Burraneer's Scarlett Money has found the spark she needed to start out in a male-dominated career as an electrician.
Ms Money, 24, is studying a Certificate III in Electrotechnology at TAFE NSW Gymea campus and has secured a job as a first-year apprentice electrician with Defence Electrical, where she helps refurbish office spaces in Australian Defence Bases.
With females accounting for just 2 per cent of electricians in Australia, she is encouraging other females to consider the trade.
While being one of the only females in the industry had its challenges, she is pleased to be blazing a trail for other women thinking of entering a male-dominated field.
"I was previously studying graphic design before I decided to challenge myself and pursue a trade," Ms Money said.
"I would encourage other women to take up the trade.
"Even though you may stand out, you will fit in, especially if it makes you happy.
"The support from my TAFE NSW teachers and employer has been great.
"There is a lot of problem-solving in electrical, so I am enjoying learning more as my apprenticeship continues."
TAFE NSW head teacher of electrical trades Robert Russell said the demand for "sparkies" was surging due to a push for a 'tradie-led' COVID-19 recovery, which meant multiple construction and infrastructure projects were in the pipeline.
"It's such an exciting time to be an electrician and it's a gateway to a lucrative career where you can work anywhere in the world," Mr Russell said.
"It's common for a qualified electrician to be earning six figures.
"It's an industry where you can get almost guaranteed employment and I have businesses ringing me regularly asking if I know of a good apprentice or qualified electrician."
To become an electrician you must complete a Certificate III in Electrotechnology.
The three-year course coincides with an apprenticeship, which runs for four years. Final-year apprentices work full-time and receive trade qualifications after their final exams.
For more information about TAFE NSW courses phone 131 601 or click here.