Becoming an electrician is a varied job where no two days will be the same. Depending upon the type of electrician you become, you may be dealing with a variety of tasks from repairing electrical parts in large industrial machines to fitting wires, sockets and switches in peoples homes and everything in between. The role is extremely varied because anywhere there is electricity, electricians will be required. Construction sites, hospitals, street lights and washing machines just to name a few! All these and plenty more require electricians to ensure the safe and smooth running of day to day life.
There are several pathways to becoming an electrician. Enrolling at college can teach you essential knowledge and allow you to experience practical skills in different workplaces to help you become competent and there are a range of different courses available. These include qualifications such as Level 2 and 3 in Electrical Installation. You will usually need at least two GCSE’s for the less advanced courses and a minimum of five GCSE’s including maths and English for others but this is not always necessary and depends on the individual requirements of each course and provider.
You can also become an electrician through an apprenticeship, earning a wage wage while learning the skills.. Many companies take on apprentices and you will learn on the job usually with qualified and experienced mentors who will guide you through the training. An apprenticeship within the armed forces is another route that prospective electricians may take.
The skills that electricians need include good customer service skills and the ability to use your initiative and make decisions. You will need to have excellent attention to detail and the ability to be adept with your hands. You will have sound knowledge of machinery, technical plans and drawings and have a good grasp of mathematics which comes in very useful in this job. Due to the technical aspect of the job you will need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time and solve intricate problems.
Once qualified and having gained suitable experience, there are many opportunities in which you can progress in so many different avenues such as becoming an electrical design engineer, having your own business, specialising in the wiring of new homes or rewiring older properties or even working for large companies and maintaining their equipment.
The role of an electrician is high in demand in both the UK and the rest of the world. Technology continues to advance and more and more electrical systems are being integrated into homes, businesses and industries thus the need for electricians is very strong.
Factors contributing to the demand for electricians include the growth of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines which require a high level of expertise. The rise of smart homes and businesses necessitates professionals who can install and repair advanced electrical systems as well as upgrading ageing infrastructures and the specialised electrical work involved in emerging technologies.
It is also important to consider various factors such as physical and mental demands of the job. However, if you have an interest in electrical systems, enjoy problem solving and are willing to undergo the necessary training and education, you will have a very rewarding and often financially fulfilling career.