Guide to Becoming an Electrician

What is an electrician?

An electrician is someone who works in a variety of electrical related tasks like bring power to homes or even installing renewable energy technology like solar panels. It is the job of an electrician to guarantee safety when they install, repair, maintain or inspect electrical systems.

Why should you become an electrician?

There are a number of advantages in an electrician career compared to other trades or sitting in an office all day. Firstly, electricians are one of the most well paid tradespeople with the average salary in 2013 for a fully qualified electrician in the UK between £27k and £40K. However, electricians who owned businesses earned much more than £40K. In addition, the hours are quite good and you can expect to work on average 37 hours a week from Monday to Friday. In addition, the variety of work will keep you interested because you could be working anywhere and doing a number of very different tasks. If you are good at problem solving, have excellent evaluation and analytical skills and are capable of following plans, drawings and diagrams, an electrician career may suit you. Furthermore, if you are an EU citizen and between the age of 16 and 19, you will be entitled to the theory training for free.

How do I become an electrician?

The entry requirements to become an electrician in the United Kingdom is that you need an industry-recognised Level 3 qualification like a Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment, Diploma in Electrical Installations or a Diploma in Electrotechnical Services. There are three major options to become an electrician; you can become a Domestic Electrical Installer, complete a Diploma and then complete your NVQ, get an apprenticeship so you can work and study at the same time. The first option is to simply complete a Level 2 and 3 Diploma and then use the knowledge to obtain a job as an electrician but then you will have to complete your NVQ. The second option is to find electrician apprenticeships where you can work to obtain your NVQ and earn an income while you study your diploma. The third option is training as a domestic electrician and then obtaining the qualifications when you are ready. The apprenticeship option is the most efficient to complete your qualifications but it is very difficult to find employers willing to take on young trainees so you may have to contact plenty of local electrical businesses. With any of the options you will have to find an adequate college or learning centre where you can complete your diploma and make sure you apply as soon as possible because spots do fill up quickly.

If you wish to be recognised as a fully qualified electrician, you can complete the AM2 assessment after the completion of your Diploma and NVQ. The AM2 is a practical exam testing you in a variety of tasks.

Where do I start?

  • The first thing to do is find a college or learning centre where you can complete your Diploma.
  • If you want to find an apprenticeship, make sure you compile a list of all the local electrical companies and contact them by phone or a letter with your resume. In addition, keep contacting businesses until you find an employer.
  • If you find an employer, contact a college or learning centre immediately to book your spot.
  • If you are unable to find an employer, continue trying or try one of the other options.

If you want to read more about starting a career as an electrician, I found these websites to be very useful: