Well firstly, let us congratulate you on a very good career choice! Every home and business needs an electrician, whether or not they choose YOU, is down to how you study, train and develop your skills from the very beginning of your career. We hope this information set out below is a useful guide for any budding electricians.
What does an electrician do ?
Working as an electrician means working in a range of areas, from rewiring houses and installing solar panels to huge industrial installations. Day-to-day tasks may include finding and fixing faults, checking systems regularly to make sure that they're working efficiently and safely, installing power systems, lighting, fire protection, security and data-network systems, installing and maintaining street lighting and traffic management systems or making and installing control panels that operate electrical systems in buildings. This is not an exhaustive list and your career path may well take you on a specialised path, for example, a highways electrical systems electrician or large scale industrial electrician. Of course you could also move into design engineering, project management, consultancy work or training. You could also set up your own business, the possibilities are endless.
Where do you start?
There are 3 main routes to becoming an electrician, 2* of them will result in you becoming ‘fully qualified’ and able to work on both domestic and commercial jobs, the 3rd route is ideal for people wanting to pursue domestic electrician work only.
NVQs are a great way to get electrician qualifications whilst gaining practical training experience within the industry. It can take 2-4 years to complete an apprenticeship and you will not gain the full qualification once your NVQ is complete so the electrician you are placed with must have the sufficient breadth of work for you to complete what’s required for the NVQ.
City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma* in Electrical Installations (Building and Structures)
The Diploma route is open to anyone and is a great way to gain the qualifications needed if you are unable to find a work placement to support you through your NVQs.The 2365 Level 2 is for anyone aged 16 and above regardless of previous experience or knowledge, who wishes to become an electrician and work in commercial, industrial and domestic electrics. The 2365 Level 3 is designed for those who have already completed the Level 2 Diploma 2365. Completion of the above Diplomas will enable you to work in the following sectors:
Commercial - such as Supermarkets, Offices, Warehouses, Schools, Shops, Restaurants, Hospitals.
Industrial – such as research/development parks heavy manufacturing buildings, factories.
Domestic –such as Houses, Flats, Bungalows, renewable, Solar PV
Agricultural – Farms
Maintenance services, local authorities
Media – Electricians required for the day to day running operations in television, radio.
Sporting Venues – Theatres, concert halls, stadium Events.
Domestic Electrician Qualification
This third route is open to people with no previous experience and would like to start a new career as a domestic electrician only and gain a recognised UK qualification. You can train as a Domestic Electrical Installer and register with one of the Domestic Installer Schemes like NICEIC or ELECSA. This is a fast-track route to becoming an electrician and your work will be limited to residential installations only
And what about working conditions?
Usual weekly working hours are 30 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday. Some jobs will require you to shifts or be on call. You might have to travel between jobs or work away from home. You will often have to work closely with other trades such as plasterers, carpenters etc. You may have to work in all weathers, in cramped spaces, or at height so be prepared!
We think that sums up the options available to help you on your path to becoming an electrician, it just leaves us to say that although hard work, being an electrician is a very rewarding and interesting career so we highly recommend you join this fantastic trade!