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What does an electrician do?
Electricians are trained in installing, operating, repairing and maintaining electrical systems.
Team work versus self-employment
Electricians may work on a self-employed freelance basis or they may be employed as part of a team.
Self-employed electricians have the freedom of working their own hours and setting their own rates of pay.
An electrician may start his or her own business, employing other electricians to perform electrical jobs.
What training is required?
To become an electrician, you will need to possess GCSEs in English, Maths and Science.
This will help you to enroll on a suitable trade training course. Electrician training courses can often be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.
Vocational training and opportunities
NVQ courses are the most common electrical course studied by prospective electricians. Depending upon your previous qualifications, you may start your training at level 2 or level 3. If you wish to work as an installation electrician, you will need to achieve an NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Installation. The majority of electrical engineering courses offered by reputable colleges provide you with the chance to earn NVQ, City and Guilds and Key Skills qualifications.
Once you have achieved your qualifications in electrical installation, you will be able to work in private homes, businesses, offices or building sites. You may wish to become a maintenance electrician. In this case, you will work in factories where you will service machinery. If you wish to become a production electrician, you will be able to work in workshops and factories.
Some prospective electricians are able to gain electrical apprenticeships within the electrical industry. These are offered by electrical employers. However, competition for places is fierce.
If you obtain a place on an electrical apprenticeship course, you will be required to gain qualifications at college while putting your skills into practice during supervised work placements. You are likely to gain a salary while you train. Electrical apprenticeships may take up to four years to complete.