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Expect the work to be strenuous and tiring. You may have to install wiring from a great height, so you'll have to be physically fit and have the head for heights to work nervelessly on ladders and rigs. The job comes with risk. You can expect to sometimes work in confined, cold or damp spaces. With proper training, however, these risks can be minimised.

Who can I work for?

A wide range of industries need electricians. Private residents, local authorities, public institutions, manufacturing and engineering firms employ electricians, often on contracted job-by-job deals.

Where and when can I work?

You will usually work in offices, public buildings or residential buildings, ensuring the safety of wires and circuits and installing new circuits once building work is complete. You'll work about 40 hours a week, usually Mondays to Fridays, except in emergencies. Or you may be required to work away from home on special projects from time to time.

What qualifications do I need?

An NVQ level 3 in electrotechnical services from the City & Guilds or EMTA Awards Ltd. The alternative is the City & Guilds Technical Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology. This provides training in electrical theory and some practical skills, but without completing a placement or apprenticeship the certificate does not give trainees a full electrician qualification.

Do I need any experience?

The best way for teenagers to get into the industry is to serve an apprenticeship, which lets you study the relevant NVQ while offering a small wage throughout. Employers would prefer a decent GCSE in Maths, English and Science or at least expect you to pass an aptitude test.

What attributes are needed?

Practical skills. Normal colour vision – to be able to differentiate between the coloured wires in a circuit. Health and safety knowledge.

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