The electrical industry has become one of the most significant aspects of life today. We constantly need skilled electricians for both domestic housing and industry. Fundamentally electrical workers are employed to install, manage and test equipment and systems. The work is heavily dictated to by health and safety standards. In 2009, over six hundred thousand people were employed in one sector or another of the UK's electrical industry. With the right qualifications you too could be enjoying a profitable and rewarding electrical career.
Who gets on well with this type of work? You'll need to be a hands on, practical sort of person who's good with tools. Systematic attention to detail is necessary in order to comply with safety guidelines. Your training will give you the technical knowledge, but you must have the capacity to solve problems as you go. You should be reasonably fit, as some of the work can be physically demanding. And ultimately, anyone looking to start their own business must be focused and motivated.
Once you've passed the correct industry exams, you can be on your way to a great new career. Yet many people find it hard to know who is best to train with, and which courses to take. That's why we've compiled an impartial report to help you understand. All the different training options are clearly explained - and we'll send it to you for FREE.
You'll find it answers all the questions you might have about getting into the industry (and probably a few more too!) It makes sense to go through that first before you do anything else. And then when you've got the hang of what you need, come back to this site and look at what some of the training companies featured here are offering. If you enter Ctrl D, this page will save in your 'Favourites' file automatically.
The driving force to get back into training is often motivated by a person's goal to work for themselves. Indeed, it's fair to say that most mature electrical students go that way. And there appears to be an on-going healthy demand for electrical contractors in private housing, so it can work very well. It's also not unusual for other tradesmen to get some electrical qualifications to boost their offering to clients. Others want the skills and legal qualifications to do more of their own DIY.
The beauty of doing electrical work is that every good job you do will be talked about by your clients. Obviously, the same goes for any bad experience they have! Your chosen college should give you all the technical expertise, but do remember to maintain a good attitude whenever you're working for others.
It's normal for employee electrical workers to put in around a 40 hr week - sometimes with extra overtime. Despite regional variations, the average employee electrician in Britain in 2009 earned approx 26K. On the other hand, electricians who are self-employed can expect more erratic hours, but they can also command more money. Being self-employed also means there are overheads to consider, so prices have to reflect that.
City & Guilds and EAL are the Trade Certification organisations to be aware of. In addition, teenagers doing C&G exams at technical colleges will find working assignments to complete their more practical NVQ's. They're looking at a number of years before qualifying on this track. So older career changers tend to go for less lengthy courses that they can fit in around their current work. This type of coursework prepares students mostly for domestic jobs, so negates the need for the more extended NVQ's.
Commercial training companies provide a variety of options to help students prepare for work in the shortest time possible. This still allows students to meet the legal trade requirements, just in a narrower field over a shorter period of time.
Domestic electrical installation training will generally lead to an EAL qualification. Your course will deal with basic wiring principles - installing new electrics, rewiring houses, fitting appliances etc. You'll be primed to pass Part P, so that all the work you do will conform to legal requirements. A second essential qualification from C&G is the 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations.
You might also cover training for the C&G 2392 certification, which demonstrates competency in initial testing and verification, C&G 2391 for Inspection, Testing and Certification and C&G 2377 which covers PAT testing. The whole process will probably involve around 300 -500 hours of training, which will be part home study and part in-centre training. Qualified electricians are needed all over the country. The opportunities are there - now it's up to you.