Becoming an electrician is a great career move, not only is it very rewarding with job satisfaction but also if you love completing practical tasks, you’ll be in your element. Here we will tell you what qualifications you will need, and how to go even further with your new career.
Well let us now tell you a little bit more about how to get your new and exciting career as an electrician started. Hopefully we will answer a few of your questions and maybe a little more, let’s get started, ready? Let’s go.
What about training at a college or training course?
Yes that is a great option that would prepare you for the industry, there are part time and full time electrician courses available, depending on how much time you have to put into studying.
These courses will cover all the basic theory and health and safety. You will also gain some of the practical skills that will be required when you’re out on the job.
These courses include:
- Level 1 Certificate in Electrical Installation
- Level 2/3 Diploma in Electrical Installations
You use these as a springboard if you like to get you further up the qualifications scale and becoming a fully qualified electrician. They will also help you get an apprenticeship and will also help greatly if you’re looking to work in the industry as a trainee electrician. Your experience in the industry will determine what level you can start off from. If you have no prior experience then obviously you’ll have to start at the beginning.
Industry recognised organisations all agree with each other that you should try and get a work placement as soon as you can once you start your training. This gives you the perfect opportunity to carry out your theory at your local college or training centre and then being able to put that theory into practice at your workplace and this way will also greatly benefit your practical units in your Diploma.
How do you gain an NVQ?
You gain your NVQ qualification by being assessed by an assessor in your place of work and this qualification is accredited by industry awarding bodies including City and Guilds and EAL.
What happens is an assessor visits you at your place of work and watches and takes notes while you’re working carrying out your tasks, your assessor will be marking your work as you go about your work and if he/she is happy then you will be awarded an NVQ qualification. If you don’t succeed on this occasion then don’t worry you can always arrange another appointment and give it another go at another date.
What qualifications do I need to be a fully qualified electrician?
Well the answer to this question is fairly straightforward, once you gain your Levels 1 and 2 you require an industry recognised Level 3 qualification such as:
- Level 3 Diploma in Electro technical Services (Electrical Maintenance)
- Level 3 Diploma in installing Electro technical Systems and Equipment (buildings, the environment and structures)
- Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (structures and buildings)
EAL and City and Guilds (2357) accredit the first two in the list and the third one is accredited by City and Guilds (2365)
The usual way of gaining these qualifications is through work and you may also require more training if you aim to complete specialist work such as installing environmental technology systems for example solar panels.
What potential jobs will I carry out once I qualify?
Once you become a fully qualified electrician you will work on a wide variety of projects, including powering homes and taking part in engineering projects, you’ll be carrying out tasks such as transporting data along fibre optic cables as well as programming computer controlled intelligent factories and other premises.
Electricians also work with renewable technology including wind turbines and also photo voltaic systems. As an electrician you’ll inspect, install and test equipment, making sure that electrochemical systems are working properly and fixing any faults that are discovered.
So to sum up electrochemical careers can be divided up into different areas these include:
- Maintenance electrician, where you check systems are working properly and safely.
- Installation electrician, where you install power systems, fire protection, lighting and security.
- Machine repair and rewind electrician, where you maintain and repair electrical motors and other types of machinery.
- Electro technical panel builders, where you build and also install control panels that will go on to operate the electrical systems located inside buildings.
- Highway systems electrician, where you install and maintain traffic management systems and street lighting.
As an electrician you’ll be working in all types of homes, buildings, shops, offices and sports stadiums. You can also supervise others in your team.
Further training and development
You may already be working as an electrician but currently don’t have any qualifications, if this is you then you always have the opportunity to have your work assessed against industry recognised qualifications. The qualification you will receive will all depend on your results the assessor will tell you your results and will inform you on where to go from there.
If you’re working for an electrician your boss may ask you to try and complete further qualifications such as:
- Periodic Inspection and Testing
- 17th Edition (IET) Wiring Regulations
To carry out Portable Appliance Testing also known as (PAT testing) you will need to be classed as a competent person, your qualifications and relevant experience will determine this.
Part P of the Building Regulations states that certain household work that is due to be completed must be approved by a certified building inspector or certified contractor. You can certify your work by completing a Part P training scheme. Gaining this certificate will prove to potential customers or employers that you are more than able to work with electrics.
If you carry out further training you’ll be able to work with environmental technologies for example photo voltaic systems also known as solar panels and wind turbines on a small scale.
Of course there are also options for professional development which include taking higher level qualifications these may include, a foundation degree, HND or degrees in building services engineering, renewable energy technologies and electrical engineering.
Well hopefully your questions have been answered and you have gained a little more knowledge about where you are going from here, becoming an electrician is very exciting and you could be a part of that with new technologies being designed that you can help put into practice, so let us now wish you the very best of luck with your studies and hopefully one day you will be a fully qualified electrician.