Exam and legal
This can be within the building or engineering trades, working for manufacturers, on commercial premises or in hospitals, offices etc.
The work can be performed indoors and out and electricians can be expected to work alone or as part of a team. Electricians can form part of the general paid workforce or on a contractual basis or be self employed. It may be possible to progress to supervisory or management positions but competion for these postitions is great and will depend on an individuals commitment to enhancing their professional development.
This can prove difficult when in full time employment but can be managed more easily by using an effective resource such as online and home study courses, allowing you to study at your own pace and in your own time. Electricians who need to supplement their qualifications can study at day release or evening classes and/or use the online course material such as the City and Guilds 2391 or 2382 using an Exam Simulator as an effective means to check their progress.
Summit Skills ( Sector Skills Council For Building Services Engineering ) is responsible for providing the framework for CPD in the electrical sector and actively encourages employers and employees to pursue their knowledge and skills in the electrical industry.
Qualities Useful For Becoming An Electrician
To be an electrician you must be a practical person as you will be using your hands and a variety of tools in lots of different areas. You should be methodical, able to follow procedures and guidelines and be a good problem solver requiring you to use your skills and knowledge and apply it to a problem with good attention to detail.
You will be required to be a good communicator be physically fit and confident enough to be able to make decisions alone or as part of a team.
Electricians must have perfect colour vision.
Salaries and Hours
These vary according to qualifications and experience gained and are estimated currently to be between £10,000 for an apprentice with an average basic salary of £17,000 increasing to around £23,000 or more for an experienced electrician. Many electricians also work on a self employed basis.
Hours of work are variable between 37-40 per week depending on the employer with the option of overtime in some circumstances. Some electricians e.g. those working for the Health Service may be required to work shifts including rotas at weekends.
Routes To Becoming A Qualified Electrician
For the younger student, the most common route to becoming an electrician is through an apprenticeship in electrical installation with the average age of an apprentice being between 17-19 years old although some are available to more mature applicants.
To be accepted for an apprenticeship, an applicant will usually require the following qualifications:-
GCE’S in mathematics, english and a science at grade C or above. An ability to understand technical drawings is an advantage but an employer may be flexible depending on interview performance and aptitude test as they may be convinced of the commitment of the applicant having developed knowledge prior to interview and also to commencing the apprenticeship. This can be done conveniently with the wealth of knowledge now available online.
Advanced apprenticeships generally take 3-4 years to complete and involve on the job employment and theory gained from attending college as a day release which constitutes the theoretical aspect of becoming an electrician and supports the practical training gained on a daily basis.
By the end of the apprenticeship, the trainee may have gained an NVQ ( National Vocational Qualification ) Level 3.
Alternative routes to becoming a Qualified Electrician
Times are changing and with the immediate and growing demand for qualified electricians, it may not always be possible for an individual to pursue an apprenticeship for example competition may be fierce for places or there may be change of career involved for the more mature individual or a person may already work in the electrical industry as an electrician’s trainee or assistant for example.
Many mature candidates and candidates from a variety of backgrounds are now training for a career in the electrical industry.
In these instances, these people may find it more practical to study electrical courses in their own time, to gain essential electrical qualifications such as the City and Guilds 2382 17th Edition course in the Requirements for Electrical Installations BS7671 or the City and Guilds 2391 Certificate in Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations. This is a highly flexible method of gaining a good basic grounding of electrical knowledge and allows an individual to study in their own time and in their own home to gain two qualifications that are now seen as essential for practicing electricians.
Many electricians are furthering their skills and opening up additional avenues of employment and self-employment by studying for additional qualifications such as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT).
So there are many opportunities for training to become an electrician.
How To Become A Qualified Electrician
This document aims to give you an easy ‘How To’ become an electrician guide.
This is a general guide containing up to date information on the electicians qualifications needed and the routes and electrician courses that can be taken in order to gain the electrical qualifications to help you become a qualified electrician.
Benefits of Becoming An Electrician
Employment opportunities look good for becoming a qualified electrician as the general economy and population increases. New government rules and increased public awareness regarding electrical safety means that the demand for qualified electricians looks set to rise dramatically over the next decade. Also, it is anticipated that many practicing electricians are coming to retirement age and so this will further increase the demand for electricians with the right qualifications and experience. So there really is no better time to start on the road to achieve the electrical qualifications needed for a rewarding and potentially profitable career in the Electrical Industry.
Qualified electricians work in a variety of areas within public or private organizations and so the nature of the work depends on their experience or training. This can involve general maintainance or inspecting and testing and installation of equipment.