Working on electrical systems is an exciting and rewarding career that is expected to increase in demand and compensation in the decades to come. A career as an electrician has a broad horizon of options that can lead everywhere from the construction site to the refinery or factory, with a variety of installations, inspections, testing and other types of electrical work at all levels of your career.
Phil from utility training company Gastec Training said, “Becoming a fully qualified and certified electrician is a process that will take you through all sorts of learning and work environments, enabling you to learn the skills and techniques necessary to work with electricity safely and effectively.” What qualifications do you need to become an electrician?
Pathways to Becoming an Electrician
Not all roads to becoming a fully qualified electrician look the same. You can choose to take a more academic, course-based approach or a hands-on, work-experience approach to become an industry-recognized electrician. What do these paths look like?
Apprenticeships are a learn-as-you-earn approach to becoming an electrician. They involve working under a qualified electrician as a trainee and learning from more experienced and competent tradesmen. This path involves a few months of schooling every year, mixed in with work experience, until the proper level of accreditation is achieved.
Domestic Installer Course
A domestic electric installer course allows you to become a domestic electrician who can install fixtures or rewire a house but is not yet considered a certified electrician. This course is only a month long and can allow you to get your foot in the door of the electrical trade. It even allows you to self-certify your work through a Competent Persons Scheme with organizations like NICEIC and ELECSA.
Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations
This is a course-based approach to becoming an electrician and is available at many training providers and colleges. You will be taught the basics of electrical inspections, testing, installation and how to diagnose faults over the course of two years.
NVQ Level 3 Electrical
This is for those who have experience working in the electrical field. The NVQ qualification tests your knowledge of electrical installation, maintenance of electrical systems and your general understanding of how to repair and work on those systems. Apprentices work toward this qualification through their training programmes, where they must learn about wiring regulations, installation procedures and much more.
City and Guilds Level 3
The City and Guilds Level 3 course is a one-year, course-based way for would-be electricians to learn the necessary technical skills to become involved in the trade. This course covers the technical aspects of the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and is considered a technical qualification.
Experienced Worker Assessment
If you have been working in the electrical field for years but have never received your NVQ or completed an apprenticeship, you can now gain certification through experienced worker assessments. EWA’s allow you to showcase your skills and knowledge formally, providing you with proper accreditation.
This is the test all electricians must take to become fully qualified, certified electricians. The AM2 Assessment dives deep into an individual’s practical and theoretical knowledge of how to install, commission and test electrical systems and how to do so within the proper framework of national regulations and accepted safety standards.
Becoming a Certified Electrician
There are many avenues and types of electrical work, which make it an exciting and challenging career path. Not every electrician starts in the same place or takes the same path, but to become a certified and recognized electrician, some standardized qualifications must be met. Thankfully, in the UK, those qualifications are accessible and easy to pursue for the general public.
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