If you are interested in becoming an electrician, there are lots of opportunities as there are many different types of electrician.  

You could specialise in working in residential settings or on commercial installations. You could design entire electrical systems or test appliances to see if they are safe to use.  

Find out more about the different types of electrician there are, and the levels they work at, with our guide below. 


Types of electricians by level 

Level Description
Electrician's mate As the first rung on the electrical career ladder, an electrician’s mate works with supervision from a qualified electrician. They are not studying for formal qualifications like an apprentice, but have gained sufficient job experience to conduct practical installation tasks. They will generally hold the Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation.  
Apprentice An apprenticeship is learning how to do a particular kind of job or trade by working and studying at the same time. Apprentice electricians will be expected to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and spend the rest of their time at college or a training provider. Apprentices will be working towards a Level 3 qualification. Electrical apprenticeships usually take 3-4 years to complete.  
Electrician  You can call yourself an electrician after completing an apprenticeship or after passing the Level 3 Electrical Installations Diploma. An electrician will have worked in the electrical industry for several years before achieving these vocational qualifications, and they will have the experience to work in domestic, commercial and industrial environments unsupervised.  
Approved electrician To become an ‘approved electrician’, you will have the Level 3 qualification in inspection, testing and initial verification. You will also have the ability to design, install and verify a wide range of electrical installations efficiently and economically. Approved electricians will have a very good understanding of the 18th Edition wiring regulations, also known as BS 7671.  

Specialist electrician roles

Specialism Description
Commercial electrician Commercial electricians are trained to work in commercial rather than domestic buildings. They are licensed to install, repair and maintain electrical systems in large commercial buildings, such as shopping centres and entertainment venues. They are trained to work with higher voltage generators and appliances.  
Maintenance electrician  The electrical systems of large commercial or residential buildings are monitored by maintenance electricians. They inspect the premises regularly, repairing any faults and conducting routine maintenance. A maintenance electrician might work at several different sites.  
Electrical engineer Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical systems for buildings, transport systems and power distribution networks. Electrical engineers do not just work in construction, but transport, energy (including renewables), building services and manufacturing.  
Electrical tester Electrical testers survey, test and inspect electrical installations in homes and businesses, identifying faults and completing test reports. Amongst their roles, electrical testers undertake portable appliance testing (PAT) and quality checks on new buildings, confirming that electrical equipment is safe to use.   
Domestic electrical installers  Domestic electrical installers work in domestic properties, installing wiring or new electrical circuits and repairing faulty electrical systems. On construction sites electrical installers will work alongside other tradespeople.  
Electrical designer  Electrical designers use their skills and experience to design electrical systems, circuits and switchboards to fit the specification of a building or project. Electrical designers work closely with architects, homeowners and construction companies to find solutions that fit the particular requirements and characteristics of a building.  
Installation electrician  Installation electricians have responsibility for installing complete electrical systems into buildings, such as lighting, power, security, fire protection and structure cabling. They might work on larger projects or commercial properties.  

Find an apprentice electrician role

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Read our guide on becoming an electrician

Discover more about electrical roles in construction