Facebook Pixel

Electrician

Electrical installer, electrical technician

Electricians provide buildings with energy to light rooms, heat water and power devices. They install, inspect and test electrical equipment, making sure it is working properly and safely. As an electrician, you could be maintaining traditional systems in homes, shops and offices. Some electricians work with renewable technology or fibre-optics. Others service motors, transformers, street lighting or traffic systems, or work on engineering projects.

Average salary*

£22000

-

£0

Typical hours per week

30-40

How to become an electrician

There are several routes to becoming an electrician. You can gain the qualifications you need by completing a college course or an apprenticeship. If you already have relevant experience, you could apply directly to an employer for a job.

Importantly, those who achieve competency through industry-recognised training routes, such as courses from City & Guilds or EAL and apprenticeships, tend to have better job and earnings prospects.

You should explore the options to find out which is the right one for you.

To become a fully qualified electrician, you will need to complete the AM2 assessment. This is an industry-recognised competence which is usually the final unit of your electrical qualification. 

You need normal colour vision to work with electrical wiring and will have to pass a colour vision assessment test.

You may need an Electrotechnical Certification Scheme  (ECS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

You can take a college course which may help you to find an trainee apprentice position with a company.

You could enrol on:

  • City & Guilds Level 2 in Building Services (Electrical Installation route) or EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • City & Guilds Level 3 in Building Services (Electrical Installation route) or EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction.

You’ll need:

  • At least 2 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) (level 2 course)
  • 4 - 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (level 3 course and T Levels).

However, to progress and train any further you will need to be working in the industry to become a fully qualified electrician. There are two routes to do this:

  • Secure employment and transfer onto an apprenticeship programme - your knowledge and experience will be taken into account to reduce your time spent training
  • Secure employment or become self-employed and complete the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structures & the Environment) - from City & Guilds or EAL. 

Finally, you will complete the end point assessment (AM2) to become a fully qualified electrician.

You can find out more from Electrical Careers.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with an electrical installation company is a good way into the industry.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

You can do an installation and maintenance electrician advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

You can also train to become an electrician through an apprenticeship in the armed forces.

You’ll generally need 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Work

If you have some GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths, along with good practical skills, you might be able to get a job as an electrician’s mate, trainee or assistant. Your employer may then help you train to become fully qualified.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works in electrical installation. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Candidates with relevant work experience can complete a Level 3 Electrotechnical Experienced Worker Qualification from the EAL.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as an electrician include:

  • Knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • Maths knowledge
  • Design skills and knowledge
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.

What does an electrician do?

As an electrician you will be responsible for ensuring the safety of electrical equipment. This could involve fixing problems that are reported, or installing new systems such as lighting and heating within new structures.

The job role of an electrician involves the following duties:

  • Inspecting electrical systems, wiring and equipment to ensure they are safe and functioning properly
  • Fixing electrical faults or replacing parts
  • Connecting sockets, switches, light fittings and appliances
  • Laying cables to connect equipment to power and computer networks
  • Installing security or data network systems
  • Working with street lights and traffic management systems
  • Fitting fibre-optic cables
  • Maintaining electrical motors, transformers and machinery
  • Making and installing electrical control panels
  • Programming computer-controlled ‘intelligent’ buildings
  • Following technical plans
  • Adhering to strict safety regulations
  • Learning about new electrical legislation
  • Responding to emergency call-outs such as power cuts
  • Working on a construction site, in domestic or commercial settings, offshore, locally or abroad, often in cramped conditions or at height.


How much could you earn as an electrician?

The expected salary for an electrician varies as you become more experienced.

  • Apprentice electricians can earn from £10,316 in their first year to £22,425 in their final year
  • Trained electricians earn an average salary of £33,495
  • Qualified electricians with experience can earn £42,500 or more.

Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, any overtime you may do, and whether you have completed an industry recognised training route. Self-employed electricians set their own pay rates.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Jobs

Check out the latest Electrician vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

With some experience, you could become a building services engineer. You could also move into electrical design.

Some electricians set up their own business and work as subcontractors to other companies. Others become tutors and pass on their knowledge.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Electrician How to become an electrician. Our guide shows you what electricians do, the skil...
    Read more
  • Current role Self employed contractor As a contractor or subcontractor, you'll be working directly with your clients t...
    Read more
  • Current role Further Education (FE) tutor Work with pupils over 16 to help them acquire the skills that shape them for a c...
    Read more
  • Current role Building services engineer Working with construction & client teams building service engineers ensure build...
    Read more
Web design by S8080