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Career Change | From Plasterer To Electrician

Electrician working on-site using a drill

After 14 years as a plasterer and business owner, Johnathan wanted a career change and looked to Options Skills to make his dream a reality.

People opt for a career change for many different reasons. From seeking out better pay or work-life balance to wanting more job satisfaction. And with so much time spent working, it’s crucial to be happy in what you’re doing.

Johnathan was originally a plasterer, working in the industry for more than 14 years, and, in that time, he launched and ran his own successful business. However, two years ago, he decided he wanted something different.

There is no denying that plastering is a challenging job. While the work indoors is hard enough, you’re up against the elements outdoors. Sudden rain is a spanner in the works, and rendering is nearly impossible during winter.

“I just got fed up of being covered in muck every day while plastering and rendering as it’s a really messy job. In the winter when it rained or froze when I had rendering booked in, I would be without work on those days which also annoyed me.”

Changing your career is a big step to take. It is even more so when it means stepping away from a business you’ve built for yourself. It eventually took Johnathan 18 months of contemplating and planning before he put down his trowel and hawk for good.

But it’ll be no surprise that he chose to stay in the trades industry.

Initial Research

Johnathan knew that if he was investing time and money into a career change, he had to ensure he was going into the right field and getting the best training possible.

After researching the available options, he set his sights on a new career as an electrician and began looking into the courses available.

As well as ensuring a course met his requirements and could get him where he wanted to be, he focused on reading reviews from past students.

Feedback from people who have done the course themselves will tell you more than a page on a company website ever could. And it’s for that reason we ask all our students to leave us feedback. It lets us know what we’re doing right and where we can improve, and it’s beneficial to those looking for training providers and courses.

Career change electrician working on-site

Training To Be An Electrician

Having done his research, Johnathan began our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training Course in March 2019.

The course allows a new entrant to the industry to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to become an electrician. However, we can also tailor the course to suit those with experience in the trade.

Stage One – Centre-Led Training

Completing the first stage of training in our Birmingham centre, Johnathan learnt essential theoretical knowledge and practical skills. From health and safety to commercial installation, the course covers a lot in a short time. And it’s through plenty of 1-1 teaching, exams and assessments that we ensure students are on track.

“The standard of training was good; this was evidenced in me passing every exam and practical first time. You do have to put the time and effort in yourself though as it is a tough course. Big thanks to Mark Keenan and Tom for all their help…

I expected the course to be quite tough, and to be honest I’m glad all the studying is over as it’s really intense, but I’m so pleased I’ve done it as I couldn’t imagine going back to plastering now. I really enjoyed learning about all the renewable energy, and I see myself going in that direction over the next few years.”

Stage Two – On-Site Experience

After completing the initial stage of training with us, Johnathan went out on-site as a trainee electrician. He could undertake paid employment with his ECS trainee card as he built his portfolio.

Students are welcome to find work for themselves at this point. However, we have our in-house recruitment team on-hand to help if necessary.

“The portfolio part was tough. I was doing the write ups after work for a few hours a night, so it was tiring. I completed the portfolio part in about 7-8 months.”

The second stage of training can take anywhere from 8 months to a few years. It generally depends on where you’re employed, the work you’re able to undertake and how often you’re working. It also requires plenty of dedication. 

Career change electrician working on-site

Stage Three- AM2/ECS

After completing his portfolio, Johnathan passed his AM2 assessment at an independent centre as required by the course guidelines.

He then applied for his ECS Gold Card and earned Installation Electrician status.

“Now I’m fully qualified I just want to gain more experience in the industrial sector. I’m self-employed now, but get contracted out by the person who I’ve been with since I started training. He’s a top man and I’m happy with the work we do.”

The Future As An Electrician

Leaving behind a successful plastering career to learn a new trade is no easy feat, but Johnathan proves that taking a risk can pay off.

“It’s a tough course to pass but if you really want to be a qualified electrician, you’ll definitely pass it with hard work and dedication. I’m so glad a made the step to become one.

I would recommend Options Skills to friends and family without a doubt. It’s been a challenging two years or so, but I’m glad I’ve done it and I look forward to many more years.”

We couldn’t be happier for Johnathan and applaud him for his hard work and dedication.

If you’re interested in a career change, look at our electrical courses. Alternatively, get in touch on 0800 802 1306.

Whether you’re looking to change your career or upskill and add another string to your bow, Options Skills can help.

All data correct at time of publication.