What better way to start our blog off with a post about how to start as an electrician (and how to apply for a job over here at Merton Electrician!)
Will being an electrician suit you?
Before you jump in, you should have a think about what your strengths are as a person. Being an electrician requires you to have a practical mind, as well as good analytical and problem-solving skills, work on a wide variety of different projects and very well organised! You will also need to have good manual dexterity, be approachable and friendly and have great communication skills.
You should also understand the importance of safety in the workplace, have an ability to understand technical drawings and a willingness to work at heights and in awkward and outside spaces. It would also be useful to have a driving licence.
If this sounds like you, then great, being an electrician may well suit you! Working as an electrician is a job filled with variety, different challenges, meeting new people everyday and working in new spaces in new ways, it’s definitely not your typical, 9-5 office job! It also repays hard work, if you put the time in the money can be great.
How do you become a qualified electrician?
In order to get qualified, first you will have to take level 1 & 2 diplomas in electrical installation. Once these are done you have a number of options; you may take part in an apprenticeship scheme with an electrical company to gain on-the-job skills and learning, you can gain a level 3 diploma in either electrotechnical services, installing electrotechnical systems & equipment or Electrical Installations, or you may look for work in the industry as a trainee (you can also gain these level 3 diplomas while working as a trainee). Once you have gained your level 3 Diploma, you will be fully qualified to work as an electrician!
The most common route taken to becoming an electrician is taking part in an apprenticeship scheme, this is due to the fact you can ‘earn while you learn’ by getting paid to learn on the job, while also completing your qualifications (and in some cases getting those paid for by a company).
There are a few general specialisations within the industry of electricians:
Of course what you choose to do will depend on what you enjoy and how you prefer to work! Some of these specialisations will require specialist qualifications in that area, for example, if you want to perform Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing), you will need to have an award that meets the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) standards. These can be obtained from City & Guilds and EAL. It is best to check whether the specialisation you’d like to get into requires you to have a specific qualification, especially so if it is work in a public capacity.
Electrician working conditions, hours and income
Generally you will work 38 hours a week and there are a number of different shift patterns you can work as an electrician: You can work in an office building, 8-6 while people are working there, you can be an on-call 24 hour emergency electrician, you can work a rota system in a residential block or any other number of patterns! Generally you will need to work overtime and travel to jobs
Bear in mind, if you apply to join us at Merton Electricians, you will be required to travel to different jobs, be willing to work unsociable hours and sometimes work overtime, you will also be required to hold a driver’s license with no points on it!
Income normally ranges from £19,000 to £30,000, with the lower end being those who have just qualified, as you gain more experience in the industry, you will be able to charge companies bigger rates to work with them. You will be paid for overtime and you may also be eligible for bonuses. If you work for a company that requires you to travel long distances, then you may also be paid for travel time, travel costs and accommodation.
Can you be self-employed as an electrician?
You absolutely can, in fact back in 2014 it was found that a tenth of all electricians are self-employed. As long as your qualifications and skills meet the IET standards and you provide yourself with enough clients to make more money than working for a company, there’s no reason you shouldn’t look into becoming a self-employed electrician! The only thing we would say against it is that you then have to take care of the job of marketing yourself, which can be a very tough thing to do with the amount of competition out there now!
Wondering how to join us here at Merton Electrician?
Simply give us a call on 020 8050 1397, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you'd like to work for us, and we'll keep you on file for when we'd like to expand and hire!