Can an Electrician Be Colour Blind in Australia?

Colour blindness is a condition that affects approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women globally.

This phenomenon alters the perception of colours.

While often not debilitating in everyday life, it raises significant questions about its impact on certain professions.

Particularly, professions that rely heavily on colour recognition, such as the electrical trade.

This article aims to explore the implications of being a colour blind electrician in Australia.

We will address key questions and provide insights from online discussions.

While the focus is on Australia, the information is relevant and applicable to readers from the UK and US.


Understanding Colour Blindness

Before delving into the specifics of colour blindness in the electrical trade, it’s crucial to understand what colour blindness entails.

Colour blindness, or colour vision deficiency, is a condition where individuals find it difficult to distinguish between certain colours.

The most common form is red-green colour blindness, where red and green are perceived as similar colours.

Can Colour Blind People Be Electricians?

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether colour blind individuals can become electricians.

The answer is not a simple yes or no.

Colour blindness does not necessarily exclude individuals from becoming electricians.

However, it can pose challenges, especially in tasks that require distinguishing between different wire colours.

In Australia, the Energy Safe Victoria guidelines state that individuals with colour vision deficiency can work as electricians, but they must pass a colour vision test to ensure they can recognise cable colours.

This is a safety measure, as misidentifying wire colours could lead to serious accidents.

Is Being Colourblind a Disability in Australia?

In Australia, colour blindness is not officially classified as a disability.

However, it can limit career choices and create difficulties in certain professions, including the electrical trade.

Individuals with colour blindness often have difficulty distinguishing between green, yellow, orange, and red, which are common colours for electrical wires.

While colour blindness is not considered a disability, it’s essential to note that it can significantly impact an individual’s life.

In the UK and US, colour blindness is also not officially classified as a disability, but accommodations are often made in educational and professional settings to support those with the condition.

Can an Electrical Engineer Be Colour Blind?

Just like electricians, electrical engineers can also be colour blind.

However, the impact of colour blindness in this profession might be less severe, as the role of an electrical engineer often involves more design and theoretical work rather than hands-on wiring tasks.

Nonetheless, colour blindness could still present challenges in certain situations, such as reading colour-coded diagrams or schematics.

Can a Red-Green Colourblind Person Be an Electrician?

Red-green colour blindness is the most common form of colour blindness, and it can pose significant challenges for electricians.

This is because red and green wires are common in electrical systems, and misidentifying these could lead to serious safety issues.

However, some individuals with this condition have reported being able to work as electricians by developing strategies to compensate for their colour vision deficiency.

Insights from Online Discussions

Online forums provide a wealth of information and personal experiences regarding colour blindness in the electrical trade.

For instance, a discussion on Reddit revealed that some colour blind individuals have successfully pursued careers as electricians by learning to recognise wires by their shade rather than their colour.

On the Electricians Forums, a user shared their concern about starting training as an electrician due to their colour blindness.

The responses varied, with some stating that colour blindness tests were mandatory in their training courses, while others had not encountered such tests.

A Quora discussion highlighted that most forms of colour blindness, including red-green deficiency, do not necessarily prevent individuals from working as electricians.

However, it was advised that anyone suspecting they may be colour blind should be cautious when dealing with older coloured wires.


In conclusion, while colour blindness can present challenges in the electrical trade, it does not necessarily prevent individuals from becoming electricians.

With the right strategies and awareness, colour blind individuals can navigate these challenges and have successful careers in the electrical field.

Whether in Australia, the UK, or the US, the key is understanding one’s limitations and finding ways to work around them.

As technology advances, there may be more tools and resources available to assist colour blind electricians in their work.

Until then, knowledge, understanding, and adaptation are the best tools at their disposal.

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