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.
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 (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 :
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.
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 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.
Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as an electrician include :
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 :
What is it like to be an electrician?
How much could you earn as an electrician?
The expected salary for an electrical engineer varies as you become more experienced.
Salaries depend on location, employer, level of responsibility, and any overtime you may do. Self-employed electricians set their own pay rates.