The decision to become an electrician is a big step and a very exciting one. It’s a fantastic industry to be involved with and is perfect for those who enjoy carrying out practical tasks.
Hopefully we will help you to learn more about what you need to do next in order to get your new career started, we will explain to you in detail about the best routes into this industry and what courses will best suit your requirements. So let’s waste no time, read on to get your career on the move.
The apprentice route
There are many routes into the electrical industry with one way being especially beneficial and very rewarding and that’s through getting on an apprenticeship scheme. An apprenticeship is the best route into the industry if you’re just out of school, although anyone can try and get onto a scheme.
If you’re lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship then go for it as not many people get offered such a fantastic opportunity. You’ll be learning and being trained up when on the job while being watched over and guided by an expert in their field, who will be able to offer you all their knowledge and skills. Training really doesn’t get better than this.
You will be combining learning on the job with your studies at your local college or training centre, so all your studying can be put into practise when you’re out and about working as an apprentice.
Your training this way will usually be completed in two to four years then you will be a fully qualified electrician. The local jobs market will determine the range of apprenticeships that are available in your location.
The best way to try and get an apprenticeship is to ask your local college or training centre if they can help you find an electrician who is taking on or you could also ring up electricians and ask them if they would consider you as an apprentice. You never know it’s always worth a go and who knows you may be one of the lucky ones.
What if you can’t get on an apprenticeship scheme?
Don’t worry though if you cannot get an electrician apprenticeship there are many other ways to enter the industry.
Part time or full time college courses are another great option, you can decide on the course timescale depending on the hours you have available to put into your studies. If you choose the full time course then you could be qualified in months or take the part time course and spread it out over months to years, that’s the best thing, you have the option of going at your own pace.
These courses will cover the basic knowledge and health and safety that you will be required to understand when working in this industry. You will gain some of the practical skills that you need to be able to master when on the job.
The courses will include:
- Level 1 Certificate in Electrical Installation
- Level 2/3 Diploma in Electrical Installations
These courses act like a springboard that takes you higher up the qualifications scale, they will also greatly improve your chances of getting on an apprenticeship scheme or if you’re looking to work as a trainee in the industry.
Of course your experience in the industry will determine what level you can start off at. To become a fully qualified electrician you must have a Level 3 qualification.
At the end of these courses you would have gained your City and Guilds certificate and would have mastered all the hands on skills and knowledge that will be required.
Electrician industry organisations all agree that you should try and get a work placement or become employed by an already qualified electrician as soon as possible once you start training. This is a great way of putting your practical skills into practice, which will help greatly with the practical units in your diploma.
Your college or training centre will be able to help you try and find a work placement. You could also ring up electricians yourself and ask if they are taking on.
Fast track courses
You may have read about long distance or short intensive courses, they are a great option for anyone who has to combine their other commitments with their studies by giving them the option of studying at their own pace but aren’t really likely to be in depth enough regarding the practical skills and knowledge that will be required in the industry and to become fully qualified.
If you do make the decision to enrol on these types of courses then always check how much time is given over to work placements, also check out whether or not they are industry recognised.
How much will a course cost?
Electrician courses do vary in price but they are usually cost anywhere between £4,000 and £6,000, this is a lot of money but you have to remember that you are investing on your future and once you become a fully qualified electrician these figures will become insignificant.
Well that just about it really, all that’s left to say is good luck with your studies in becoming a fully qualified electrician, it really is a fantastic career choice and an exciting industry to be involved with. So let us wish you very good luck with your new career as an electrician.