Electricians are skilled trade professionals and, in the UK, there are several routes that you can take if you are looking to become an electrician. Due to the number of new build homes that are being erected due to the government’s net-zero goal, skilled tradespeople are in high demand. In this job, you will deal with a range of electrical power issues including installation and maintenance and can earn a higher-than-average wage.
What qualifications do you need?
If you have completed your GCSEs and are looking to go to college, you should look to enter into a level 2 or level 3 college course or NVQ. These courses will cover a range of topics including health and safety, scientific principles, inspection testing and wiring installation. Once you have completed the course and gained some work experience, you will be a licensed and qualified electrician and can then join a company or set up your own business.
What types of electricians are there?
Within the electrical trade, there is a range of fields in which you can work or specialise. Some of these include:
- Industrial – specialised work in agricultural or industrial settings using large machinery such as power plants.
- Domestic/Residential – work within private domestic settings. Many will be self-employed or independent contractors.
- Electrotechnical panel builders – specialised work using IT and programmable logic controllers to build and install control panels to operate electrical systems in buildings, as well as test, maintain and diagnose issues.
- Highway Systems – maintains and replaces traffic management systems and street lighting on roads and motorways.
Will I need tools?
Once you have achieved the relevant qualifications, if you are looking to become a self-employed or independent contractor like many domestic electricians, you will need to take your own tools to each job that you go to.
Due to working in a professional setting, it is best to invest in high-quality equipment that will get the job done quickly and efficiently. For example, a Milwaukee drill set will provide durable tools that last. Some other key items for your arsenal include pliers, wire strippers and rids.
For those working in industrial or highway system roles, your employer will provide you with the equipment necessary to carry out your job.
Can I set up my own business?
As an electrician, you may look to set up your own business. If you are based in the UK, you may find that you have access to a government loan to help start your business and get it up and running. Currently, the government-backed Start Up Loan offers up to £25,000 to grow or start your own business which can then be repaid over a period of 1 to 5 years. This loan also comes with free support and guidance to help create your business plan which can be very beneficial to the smooth running of your business.