Blog post

Career focus: Electrician

Do you love problem-solving? Do you enjoy challenging yourself, and working with your hands? Do you hate being in the same place every day? If so, then perhaps you’re destined for a career as an electrician.

 

Employment rates over the past eight years have remained steady in the face of the financial crisis. The growing dependence on electrical equipment, as well its increasing presence in our day-to-day lives, has meant electricians are rarely short of work. 

 

This certainly seems to be the case with more than 5,000 vacancies for electricians live on this site here https://www.allthetopbananas.com/Jobs/electrician.aspx 

  

WHAT DO ELECTRICIANS DO?

 

The main role of an electrician is to install, test and maintain electrical wiring, equipment, appliances, apparatus and fixtures in properties and businesses. These responsibilities can cover lighting, power, security and many other things.

 

From bringing power to people’s homes, to taking part in big engineering projects, a career as an electrician allows you to work in a diverse range of areas. 

 

The different types of electrician can be divided into five specialties:

 

·         Installation electrician

Installing power systems such as lighting, fire protection, security etc. in buildings. These can be residential or commercial properties.

 

·         Maintenance electrician

Checking all systems work efficiently and safety, usually in a business context. 

 

·         Electrotechnical panel builder

Building and installing control panels to operate the electrical systems inside buildings.

 

·         Machine repair and rewind electrician

Fixing and maintaining motors.

 

·         Highway systems electrician

Installing and maintaining street lighting and traffic management systems.

 

HOW MUCH COULD I EARN AS AN ELECTRICIAN?

 

In a 2017 Trades Salary Survey, electricians reported higher earnings than any other trade, including plumbing, for the fourth year in a row. 

 

However, the average starting salary for an electrician is between £18,000 and £23,000.

 

Nonetheless, qualified electricians can earn around £30,765 a year. This salary only applies to in-house electricians, who are employed by a company. 

 

Self-employed electricians or contractors can earn much more. In fact, a qualified, experienced and self-employed electrician can earn between £30,000 and £45,000 per year, if not more!

 

IS BEING AN ELECTRICIAN THE RIGHT JOB FOR ME?

 

Electricians are usually practical people who are hardworking, dedicated and comfortable working under pressure. By the time you are fully qualified, you will be expected to have highly developed technical skills and a strong attention to detail.

 

Many electricians are expected to have a friendly and approachable manner as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. This is because one of the lesser-known responsibilities of an electrician is to deliver good customer service.

 

Though most of the job will be hands-on, you will need some understanding of administrative skills in order to fill out the necessary paperwork. Finally, an electrician should have good manual dexterity and normal colour vision.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN?

 

It can take between three to four years to fully qualify as an electrician. However, this timescale can vary, depending on the route you choose to take. If you’re keen to get qualified in a short amount of time, some providers offer fast-track, intensive courses.

 

For more information on the different routes available, read on below.

 

ARE THERE ANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER PROGRESSION?

 

Whether you are self-employed, or working for a company, once you have a suitable level of experience you will have plenty of opportunities to progress.

 

Electrical Supervisor, Electrical Engineer or Foreman are just a few roles you may choose to pursue. There is a wide range of avenues available in the electrical field. For example, you could move into design engineering, site or project management, consultancy work or training others. The world is your oyster!

 

You don’t need to know which path is right for you straight away. Most electricians will finish their training and gain a little experience before figuring out what best suits them and their interests.

 

HOW DO I BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN?

 

If you think an electrician is the job for you, there are plenty of routes available to become fully qualified. Most colleges and training providers will ask that you take an assessment exam upon enrolment. Reaching a good level of maths and science GCSE or A-Level qualifications is beneficial, though not compulsory. If you don’t have any pre-existing qualifications then don’t worry, there are many home study and college courses that offer the training you will need to get up to speed. 

 

To become an electrician, the minimum requirement is an industry-recognised Level 3 qualification, for example a Level 3 Diploma in Electrotechnical Services. Throughout your training, you will gain fundamental skills, such as understanding electrical diagrams and plans, knowledge of installation techniques and fault-finding, and experience with electrical testing and safety regulations.

 

WHAT IS AN NVQ, AND DO I NEED ONE?

 

NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification, and is an assessment qualification. The NVQ Level 3 is a benchmark qualification for electricians, and is a crucial component of your final year of training. As part of your NVQ, you will be required to keep a portfolio to track your progress throughout your training. 

 

WHAT IS THE ACADEMIC ROUTE?

 

Colleges across the country offer electrical courses. Although, you should expect to roll your sleeves up for some hands-on training at some point, as it’s not possible to qualify as an electrician without some experience.

 

WHAT IS THE VOCATIONAL ROUTE?

 

Vocational routes, such as apprenticeships, allow you to combine on-the-job training with studying and are the most popular option for aspiring electricians. When you choose an apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills and earn a wage, whilst still having enough time for your studies.

 

Most employers work in partnership with apprenticeship training providers. Colleges and training centres often run their own apprenticeship schemes. On the other hand, larger companies may run their own apprenticeship schemes that are fully funded by the employer. A quick online search will return plenty of training providers, as well as reviews and pass rates, so you can find the right course provider for you.

 

HOW DO I CHOOSE A COURSE PROVIDER?

 

It can be hard to decide between the different course providers available. However, ensure your qualification is legitimate by targeting industry-recognised courses. Most employers will recognise City & Guilds or EAL approved courses, so these websites make a good starting point for your electrical career!

 

CAN I BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN IF I’M ALREADY IN ANOTHER CAREER?

 

Becoming an electrician isn’t just limited to school-leavers. If you have already started your career in another field, you can conduct your training as you work. In fact, some employers are keen to support mature students they offer day release for college attendance.

 

 

This content was provided by The Electrical Guys, an online electrical wholesaler selling electrical items throughout the United Kingdom.