How to become an electrician
You want to become an electrician?
What electrician qualifications are you going to need to work in the UK?
There are several different categories of qualification, each with their own requirements and assessments including:
- Level 2 and 3 diplomas in electrical installations
- Achievement Measurement No 2
- Domestic installer course
Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in electrical installations.
These are the most common routes into the industry for anyone that doesn’t have a work placement.
You can complete your diplomas (also know as Tech Certs) and go on to complete your NVQs at a later stage when you are working.
Level 2 & 3:
Levels 2 & 3 train you from the ground up.
They are for anyone who wants to become an electrician in the domestic, commercial or industrial sector and who doesn’t already have an electrical apprenticeship or a job in the electrical industry.
These diplomas cover the following areas:
- Health and safety
- Principles of Electrical science
- Electrical Installations technology
- Installation of wiring systems and enclosures
- Understand how to communicate with others within building services engineering.
If you are under the age of 25 and in a work placement with an electrician, you can complete the combined level 3 course and NVQ for apprentices if you are able to study as part of the placement.
You will work alongside experienced an electrician while studying theory at a local college. An apprenticeship will usually take anywhere from 2 to 4 years, and at the end of this time you will have gained an NVQ level 3.
This National Vocational Qualification is not a training course but an assessment qualification.
Level 3 NVQ Electrical Qualification:
You work alongside a more experienced electrician who guides you through certain tasks detailed in the NVQ document. This course is normally broken down into around 9 practical and theory units.
As you complete the assessment the trainee electrician takes photos and writes a few lines down – known as evidence.
Assessors are sent to workplace to check you are gaining the necessary skills and experience and to look at your work.
When you have completed and been assessed on all the tasks in the NVQ document, you then move onto:
Achievement Measurement No. 2 (AM2)
This is a practical exam with an assessor watching you complete given tasks at an assessment centre, under exam conditions.
It takes a couple of days and on successful completion, that’s it, all done, congratulations, you’re a fully qualified electrician, with a Diploma no less!
Domestic Installer Course
This third route is equally valid and open to anyone wanting to become an electrician.
People are able to train as a Domestic Electrical Installer and register as such with one of the Domestic Installer Schemes like NICEIC or ELECSA.
This means an electrician is able to get out and get earning in a much shorter space of time compared with the "fully qualified" route.
It does mean an electricians work is limited to residential installations such as flats, houses, and bungalows.
They are able to work on anything from and including the consumer unit coming into a property. Despite being fully qualified, many electricians often find the most lucrative jobs are in this sector.