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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*

£17000

-

£36000

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 doing a college course or an apprenticeship. If you already have relevant experience, you could apply directly to an employer for a job.

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

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

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

Your local college/training provider may offer courses which will start you on your career path to being an electrician.

You could enrol on a City & Guilds Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation.

You’ll need:

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.

An intermediate electrical installation apprenticeship takes around two years to complete. If your employer can provide you with the right experiences you can progress onto a Level 3 (advanced) qualification.

You’ll generally need 4 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths to become an apprentice electrician.

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.


What does an electrician do?

As an electrician, you could be:

  • 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?

  • Newly trained electricians can earn in the region of £17,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience electricians can earn in the region of £19,000 - £30,000
  • Senior or master electricians can earn in the region of £30,000 - £36,000

Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, and any overtime you may do. Self-employed electricians set their own pay rates.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


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 Highly skilled, join our electricians as the inspect the different electrical sy...
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  • Current role Estimator Work involves calculating the cost of supplying products or services for clients...
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  • Current role Building services engineer Working with construction & client teams building service engineers ensure build...
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  • Current role Instructor / assessor / tutor Further Education (FE) instructors, assessors and tutors teach construction skil...
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  • Current role Self-employed contractor/sub-contractor As a contractor or subcontractor, you'll be working directly with your clients t...
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  • Current role Senior manager Working on different construction projects, you'll be responsible for managing y...
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