How to Become an Electrician



Skilled trade professionals are in demand more than ever, and there is a shortage of qualified electricians. Although there are numerous factors as to why this may be happening, the fact is that the sector is lacking new entrants. Becoming an electrician is often considered to be a complicated process, partly because there are a number of routes into the trade, and working out which is best for you can be very confusing. From apprenticeships to practical education options, finding the best route to becoming an electrician needn’t be that complex. Below are the basics that you need to know if you are contemplating a career as a trained electrician.


The Essentials


As a respected career option, electricians are very much in demand, and with the variety of work available, it can be a stimulating career option as well. Whether you’re installing, testing or maintaining electrical wiring, repairing fixtures or working in either domestic or commercial environments, no two electricians have the same career path. You will need industry-recognised Level 3 qualifications if you’re hoping to become a professional electrician, and these could be in the form of either:


  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Maintenance)


  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structure and the Environment)


  • Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures): this qualification is usually part of an apprenticeship package


These qualifications are often undertaken alongside practical work experience and will provide you with the basic level of knowledge required to establish yourself as a qualified electrician. If you wish to specialise in additional areas, such as solar installations, then you will need extra qualifications on top of these. It’s important to stress that these three qualification options are not the only route to becoming an electrician, and there are also a number of Electrotechnical Apprenticeships available as well, which consists of both on the job training and class lessons in either a college or specialist training centre. Once you have qualified, then your next step should be to set up your electrician insurance, which will protect you and your customers from any future incidents.


Training Duration


Due to the variety of training options available, the time that it takes to obtain the relevant qualifications varies significantly. Apprenticeships with educational course elements can take between two and four years, and the more standardised educational options such as the NVQ at level 3 stage can be much faster. However, there are also City & Guilds and EAL qualifications that are as acceptable as your Level 3 NVQ and can be shorter depending on your level of initial knowledge.


No two days as an electrician are the same; from assessing blueprint plans to fitting fuse boxes or repairing faulty plug sockets, it’s a career option that offers much in the way of variety. With the growing need for professional and qualified electricians, now may be the time to look closer at what you need to do to enter this exciting and profitable sector.


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