You’ve decided you want to become an electrician and that is a great career choice. Electricians work on a wide variety of jobs. You would be responsible for installing and maintaining electrical equipment, testing and inspecting equipment, and diagnosing and fixing problems with electrical equipment. You could work in homes and businesses, sports stadiums, television and radio stations, or working on traffic management systems. You could even find yourself working with renewable technology such as solar panels or wind turbines.
To qualify as an electrician, you need at least one of three diplomas, the requirements of which are established by the government and the Sector Skills Council, Summit Skills. The three diplomas are:
- Level 3 Diploma in Electrotechnical Services
- Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations as part of an apprenticeship
- Level 3 Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment
You can get a job as an apprentice electrician and then sign up at a college or training centre for the City and Guilds 2357 program or you can sign up for the City and Guilds 2365 Level 2 and 3 Diploma and get a job after training or going through the course. Most people going the 2365 route will be able to find a job and apprenticeship before they have even finished the course. The course work can be completed in one of two ways. The first is a day release program in which you work all week but one day is set aside for the classroom. The second is a block release program, in which you attend classes for a few months at a time and then work for a few months at a time. The type of program you attend may depend on which your employer prefers.
Electrician apprenticeships will also include assessments that you need to complete to count towards the National Vocational Qualification. When you have received your NVQ, you will then be paired with an expert electrician who will teach you any specialized skills you may require. To get your NVQ, you will have to complete the set course work and exams for your diploma and while working on your practical experience, keep a log or journal of your work. This journal will be examined by an experienced assessor; along with documentation form your employer demonstrating that you have completed the necessary skills. This documentation will include job sheets with the jobs you worked and were paid for, photographic evidence, and eyewitness accounts from other employees. You will also be visited on job sites to ensure you are working and meeting your practical requirements.
When you are ready, you will then be given the Achievement Measurement 2, a practical skills assessment test in which you are given specific tasks to complete while being watched by an examiner over the course of a few days to determine your level of skill. When you pass this test, you are granted a diploma and are now a fully qualified electrician.
There are a number of steps involved to start your career as an electrician, but it’s all worth it when you get your diploma and begin your new career.
For more information on electrician careers take a look at: