How do I become an Electrician?
You might be thinking about training to be an electrician in London, an electrician in Manchester or maybe even and electrician in Timbuktu, but before you get started – here are a few things about the industry that might help you make up your mind:
Becoming an electrician is suited for those akin to practical, hands-on work with a close attention to detail. It also suits those who are technically minded and consider the idea of fixing faulty fuses, sockets and circuit boards a challenge – rather than a problem.
Your clients – when qualified, will consist of businesses and home owners; so being customer friendly, approachable and knowledgeable about the vast array of electrical components is vital, and it can’t hurt – you can be sure that a satisfied customer will specifically ask for the same electrician again and again, anytime that they have an electrical fault that needs fixing.
A common route into becoming an electrician is to do an apprenticeship – combining both work and study at either a college or a training centre. The range and the types of apprenticeships in your areas will entirely depend on the local job market and the types of skills employers need from their chosen work force.
So, what exam do you need to take before becoming a qualified electrician?
To qualify as an electrician, you need an industry recognised level 3 qualification which is mentioned below:
• Level 3 Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (electrical maintenance)
• Level 3 Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (buildings, structures and the environment)
• Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (building structures) – if part of an apprenticeship
These qualifications are normally completed during the duration of your apprenticeship – this route will normally take about two years to qualify.
You’ll also need some hard skills to become and sustain a career as an electrician;
These skills will include the following:
• Good amount of practical skills
• Ability to measure accurately
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Good problem solving skills
• Ability to work in somewhat small, confined spaces
• Ability to work safely, methodically and by following instructions
• Ability to follow technical drawings, wiring diagrams and technical drawings
What does it pay to be an electrician and how many hours will required to work?
You will work 37 hours per week; usually with the possibility of overtime; the possibility of shift work as well as being on call may also come into play. Most of the jobs you work on will be local and travelling between each job will normally be relatively easy. Due to having to carry heavy equipment from place to place, some companies may require you to have a full driving licence for use in travel but a lot of companies will supply you with a vehicle.
The salary as an apprentice will usually begin at the £8,000 mark in your first year, quickly rising to between £17,000 – £20,000 once you’ve become a qualified electrician and the of course with further experience, your salary can extend as high as £30,000 a year.
Your first step is working for a large employer, who can teach you the ins and outs of the industry and with time and experience; you may even decide to set up your own business.