The 3 main ways to becoming an electrician
- Privately funded NVQ and Diploma
- Company apprentiship
- Qualify as a domestic installer
The first way – Privately funded NVQ and Diploma
The first way is pretty much for adult learners, firstly you complete levels 2 and 3 in electrical installation with city and guilds. Some other places can help but the city and guilds is certainly the main one. Once this is completed, want to be domestic electricians will then study towards there NVQ. To achieve the NVQ status an electrician will generally start on site as an improver, this is more well known as a electricians mate. On completion of this you can apply for your gold card status which will show you are fully qualified and a reputable emergency electrician. The reason we find this is mainly done by adult learners, is because, they get experience within the electrical industry and never really quite get the NVQ and finish there qualifications. Although they do go on to have a sturdy job with in the electrical industry. The overall stats are quite high in achieving getting a job and at the end of the course, in some cases over 85% of people have achieved employment at the end.
If you manage to achieve the city and guilds diploma and the NVQ you can then look to take your final exam which is the AM2. If you complete your final assessment then you would have covered the same amount of qualifications whilst earning decent money as an electricians mate.
The Second way – The Apprentice route
The apprentice route is the route that most school leavers take, this said it is very difficult to get an electricians training job as an apprentice these days. When doing a apprenticeship, you will undertake the diploma and the NVQ at the same time. The apprentice will usually do electrical classroom work 1 day a week and work the other 4 days. It will usually take 3-4 years to complete an apprenticeship. You will only gain your full qualification once you complete your full portfolio for the NVQ. An apprenticeships wages will usually be below the minimum wage but you won’t have to pay course fees. The difficult side of wanting to become an electrician through the apprenticeship route is it takes longer to complete and you will have to be matched with an electrical company. This is not always easy and there is not many spaces available as there are usually many applicants.
The third and final way is Become a domestic installer
The third option is open to anyone and the age range varies, you can train to become a domestic installer and register with NAPIT, ELECSA or the NICEIC. Taking this route will get you qualified to do domestic electrical installations as an electrician much quicker. You will not be classed as a fully qualified electrician but you can still be earning money. In this scenario though, your work will be limited to properties like flats, houses, bungalows and apartments. You will be able to work on everything in these properties including the consumer unit and the mains coming into the property. For many electricians, domestic work can be the most lucrative at times and the most consistent.
Again, you can front load your training and cover the key skills in around 4 weeks, after this you should be able to start working. It is recommended that after this time you take on smaller jobs and build yourself up to the larger scale stuff such as the rewires and larger projects.
If you are looking at training to become an electrician, a good place to look is on the internet. There are many companies out there looking to support people in different ways. There is also many companies who can help place you on apprenticeships.