Job change can get very frustrating, as there's so much to think about.
...and straight-forward information can be tough to locate. With thousands of career hopeful's under our belts, we realised we should put together a starting guide for those that are still searching to find their ideal path.
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We wouldn't be able to function in today's world without electricity. Everybody relies on a safe and continuous output of supply, and on skilled workers to manage it. Typically electricians work from technical plans when putting in electrical installations. They also maintain appliances and fix faulty equipment. A report compiled by the Summit Skills showed that in 2009 there were a total of 613,000 people employed in the electrical industry in the United Kingdom. So if you're looking to retrain for a new career, an electrical course could be just the thing for you.
What kind of abilities do electricians need? The work is very practical and hands-on, so you must be good with your hands, and be able to use tools competently.
You should have a logical, orderly way of thinking, and be safety conscious at all times. You must be happy working alone if you're considering self-employment. You'll also need to have perfect colour vision and to be physically fit, as some of the work is quite strenuous. Essentially, you'll need commitment and enterprise if you plan to start out on your own.
To start generating an income you need the most appropriate training to get you into the industry fast. Take a look at our regularly up-dated e-book to get to grips with the best training route for you.
This is free to download, and tells you all you need to know about the different training paths into industry. It will shed light on all the different training programmes you read about and help to clarify what you need.
Why not download the book first and take time to read through its contents. When you understand what you're after, get back onto this webpage and check out some of the course options offered by companies featured here. If you enter Ctrl D, this page will save in your 'Favourites' file automatically.
A lot of people choose to train for an electrical career so that they can set up in business for themselves. Most newly qualified adult electrical workers choose to either work for themselves, or on a contract basis. With continued high demand (especially in the domestic market) this makes a lot of sense. Then again, there are those who want the skills as a safety net, to do small jobs alongside their full-time work. And the last group of trainees are those who are into doing their own home installations and need to work within the law.
Happy clients will sing your praises to all and sundry when you've carried your work out well. Your training will get you up to speed technically, but you'll also need good people skills when dealing with the public.
Electricians working for commercial companies generally do a regular forty hour week. Salaries generally come in around the 26,000 mark, though it's higher than that in some areas. Self-employed electricians should be prepared to extend their hours where necessary, but usually their higher pay will reflect that. They will need to take their overheads into account as well though.
The two relevant trade certification boards in Great Britain are EAL and City & Guilds. Students training in their teens usually add work experience and NVQs to their C&G exams. They're looking at a number of years before qualifying on this track. So older career changers tend to go for less lengthy courses that they can fit in around their current work.
These courses don't include NVQ assessments, because the trainees are mostly focused on household work. Various training routes are offered by commercial colleges that will quickly lead to industry recognised qualifications. Of course it means fewer certifications, but nevertheless students gain sufficient knowledge and skill (and the relevant certificates) for the field they'll be working in.
Although course contents will vary slightly, every level 2 EAL Domestic Installer Course will follow a proven track. You'll be taught a basic understanding of electrical wiring in the home and standard safety procedures. You'll be primed to pass Part P, so that all the work you do will conform to legal requirements. Every practising electrician must also attain the C&G 2382 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations Certificate, so training will be included for this too.
You could also be taught and assessed to carry out various other tasks that together will allow you to complete and self-certify domestic electrical work.
Domestic training such as that just described will probably take you several hundred hours, spread over whatever time period you choose. Qualified electricians are needed all over the country. The opportunities are there - now it's up to you.