How To Become An Electrician
In The UK

We’re answering all the common questions about how to become an electrician in the UK and why it’s a career you should pursue. There are several routes into the industry and many specialisations, so let us break it all down for you!

What Is An Electrician?

An electrician is a skilled tradesperson who specialises in electrical wiring and the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems. They work in a variety of settings, including homes, businesses, and industrial facilities.

No two days are the same when you work in the electrical industry. And, as the industry evolves, we move towards net zero, and technologies change, you’ll find there’s always something new to learn to enhance your skills and knowledge.

How To Become An Electrician.

To become an electrician in the UK, you are required to have a combination of education, training, and on-the-job experience. And there are multiple routes available to achieve this. From apprenticeships to training courses, you should look for a path that leads to industry-recognised qualifications.

To begin working as a trainee, you must first obtain your ECS trainee card. So, if you’re undertaking our NVQ Electrical Course, you will receive this after stage one of training.

Once you’ve successfully completed all of your training and exams, you will be eligible to apply for your ECS Gold card with Approved Electrician status.


Train To Become An Electrician Without An Apprenticeship.

To start a career as an electrician without an apprenticeship, you can undertake an industry-recognised training course like our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Course. With this option, you will pay for your course and receive support from the provider throughout training, qualification, and finding employment.

Choosing a training course like the NVQ Level 3 Electrical Course offers a viable alternative to apprenticeships, allowing you to gain the necessary qualifications and practical experience required to excel as an electrician. With the dedicated support and guidance from the training provider, you can embark on your career journey with confidence, knowing that you have received comprehensive training, achieved a recognised qualification, and have the assistance to find suitable employment opportunities.

Train to become a fully qualified electrician

(Stage 1)
Centre-Led Training

Stage one covers basic electrics, domestic installations, practical exercises, installation and testing of a complete domestic setup, NVQ Knowledge units, health and safety training, ECS Trainee Card applications, and hands-on practice in conduit bending, trunking preparation, and cable termination.

(Stage 2)
Portfolio Building

During stage two of NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training, you will start paid employment with the help of our in-house recruitment team.Whilst portfolio-building, you will collect evidence for NVQ Performance Units on-site, and receive assistance from assessors to complete tasks through an online platform.

(Stage 3)
ACS Initial Assessment

Once your portfolio is complete, you can begin stage three and undertake the AM2 assessment, an independent evaluation of your skills.Upon successful completion, you can apply for the ECS Gold Card from JIB, attaining installation electrician status.

Why Become A Fully Qualified Electrician?

The demand for qualified electricians is on the rise, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In addition, as more and more buildings are constructed, renovated, or retrofitted with electrical systems, there is a growing need for qualified electricians to install and maintain these systems.

This demand is also driven by the growth of renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power, which require skilled tradespeople to install and maintain their electrical components.

This means that overall, joining the electrical industry as a sparky can be a rewarding and financially lucrative career choice, especially for those who enjoy working with their hands and solving complex problems.


How Much Do Electricians Make?

As a fully qualified electrician in the UK, you can expect to make around £35,000 per annum. This goes up to around £42,000 PA for electricians in London.

And with experience, you can expect the amount you earn to increase to around £45,000 per annum. 

Also, trainees will usually earn £10 – £12 per hour during stage two (portfolio building) of their course.

[Related] How Much Can I Earn As An Electrician?


What Qualifications Do I Need To Train As An Electrician?

In order to train as an electrician, you must first combine training and experience with a final assessment. There are several different qualifications which will certify that you have completed the necessary training and gained the skills and knowledge you need to become a recognised electrician.

The following are examples of industry-recognised Level 3 qualifications:

  • Electrotechnical Qualification (Level 3) in either Installation or Maintenance, gained as part of an apprenticeship, is required.
  • NVQ Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Level 3) – Electrical Maintenance.
  • NVQ Diploma (Level 3) in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structure and the Environment).
  • Diploma (Level 3) in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) if part of an apprenticeship.
  • Level 3 qualifications are available via EAL and City & Guilds, while end-point assessment is available from NET.

[Related] Electrical Qualifications Explained.


How Long Does It Take To Become An Electrician?

The shortest duration option is an electrical training course which can take around 2 years to complete. But, how long it takes to become an electrician depends on how you choose to train.

If you choose to take an electrical course, you’ll begin your training with practical and theory learning for six weeks before going to work on-site as an ECS Electrical trainee. once at this stage, we aim to find employment where you’ll earn £10+ per hour. This means that the duration of training will vary depending on often you’re on-site and how soon you can build up your portfolio. Once this is complete, the final stage is your assessment which will only take a few days to complete.

As an electrician’s mate, you’ll work on-site for an unspecified period. You’ll learn about the trade and gain new skills and knowledge during your time on-site. With no qualification, as it is not an official route into the industry, many will go on to undertake an apprenticeship or training course. 

As an apprentice, you’ll train in college, on-site and online, with a minimum of 20% of your working hours being hands-on. Typically, apprenticeships take one year to five years and are aimed at those aged 16 and over.

The shortest duration option is an electrical training course. You’ll begin your training with practical and theory learning for six weeks before going to work on-site as an ECS Electrical trainee. At this stage, we aim to find employment where you’ll earn £10+ per hour. The duration of training varies depending on often you’re on-site and how soon you can build up your portfolio. 

Here at Options Skills, we deliver our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training Course to people all around the country. Made up of three easy-to-follow steps, it won’t be long before you’re fully qualified.

With existing experience in the electrical industry and some qualifications, you may be eligible to undertake the Experience Worker Route to earn your NVQ Level 3. 

First, you must be able to demonstrate your previous experience and undergo a skill scan to ensure you’re suitable. Then, a training plan will be devised to ensure you gain the expertise and knowledge required.

After completing the assessment, you will earn your wiring regulations and Initial Verification. With this, you’ll gain your Level 3 qualification, allowing you to apply for the ECS Gold Card.

[Related] Experienced Worker Route.

As an experienced operative with a minimum of five years in the industry and older qualifications, you can undertake an initial suitability assessment. If successful, you’ll be enrolled on the course, where you’ll complete an on-site portfolio of eight performance units and one knowledge unit.

As a part-qualified electrician (e.g. you hold electrotechnical Level 2), you can benefit from accelerated training to gain your NVQ Level 3 – allowing you to apply for your ECS Gold Card.

How Much Does It Cost To Train As An Electrician?

Training as an electrician can be a large expense, but by opting for vocational training courses, students can avoid the high costs associated with university education while still gaining the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career.

Unlike university degrees, electrician training courses are affordable, and many allow you to earn as you learn, leaving you to enter the trade without debt. Consequently, this makes it a more lucrative career choice as you’ll not be left paying back debt from your paychecks.

Overall, choosing vocational training as an electrician not only offers a more cost-effective path to a successful career but also eliminates the long-term financial pressures associated with student debt. It empowers individuals to enter the trade with a stronger financial foundation, enabling them to focus on professional development and reap the rewards of their hard work from the outset.


Career Paths & Progression For Electricians.

For many people in the trades industry, working self-employed and owning their own business is their goal. As the owner, you will be responsible for the overall running of the business, which includes the admin and marketing side of things and being on the tools. You’ll have complete control in choosing your working hours and pay rate and enjoy plenty of flexibility.

But this isn’t the only option. You could also choose to become an; approved, installation, or domestic/industrial/commercial electrical engineer, a manager, or a specialist.

And once you’ve gained your qualifications, you’re in a great position to focus on a specialism. That may be EV Charging points or solar panels, security or fire alarms. Whatever it may be, being a specialist in your chosen field means you may become the go-to person for that job type, resulting in high earning potential.

Career Progression Courses For Electricians

18th Edition
Wiring Regulations

The 18th Edition course ensures new entrants and existing tradespeople are up-to-date with the latest regulations.

18th Edition Wiring Regulations is included as part of our full NVQ Level 3 Electrician Course or is available separately as a 1-day course.

Period & Initial
Testing & Inspection

Develop the knowledge and skills to professionally carry out inspection and testing on electrical installations.

Testing & Inspection training has a 5-day duration and is currently free for new entrants who undertake our full NVQ Level 3 Electrician Course.

EV (Electric Vehicle)
Charge Point Installation

Learn the key skills required to install, fault find, inspect and test electric vehicle charging points.

Our EV Charge Point Installation training course has a 2-day duration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Electricians are skilled tradespeople who work with electrical systems and equipment. Their duties include installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in a wide range of settings, including homes, businesses, and industrial facilities.

As a domestic electrician, you can expect to do all manner of jobs to provide energy and light to homes. From installing wiring, lighting and appliances to repairing fuse boxes and charging points, the day-to-day of a domestic sparky varies greatly.

Specialising in commercial, your scope of work increases. Obviously, your responsibilities will depend on the role you take on, but you could work anywhere from in shopping centres to restaurants, taking on work similar to that of a domestic electrical engineer but on a larger scale.

As a domestic electrician, you’ll work in residential settings and carry out a range of domestic installations, maintenance and inspection. On a typical day, you could do anything from installing new wiring and lighting to repairing and replacing a fuse box.

To become a domestic electrician, you must first obtain an industry-recognised qualification. This is achievable through either an apprenticeship or a domestic electrical installer course at an approved training centre. After receiving the necessary qualifications, you will be eligible to apply for your ECS Gold Card and begin working.

(Related) NVQ Level 3 Training Course

Yes, a commercial electrician can do domestic work. While there are some differences between commercial and domestic electrical work, many of the skills and knowledge required are similar.

With this in mind, there are some differences between commercial and domestic electrical work that you need to be aware of. Generally, commercial electrical work typically involves higher voltage systems and larger, more complex buildings, while domestic electrical work usually involves lower voltage systems and smaller, simpler buildings.

To begin training as an electrician, you’ll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent. However, if you’re completing a training course like ours, you will not need any qualifications. You will only need to complete our maths and English aptitude test to enrol on the course and start training.

Becoming an electrician requires a significant amount of time, effort, and dedication. However, for those who are passionate about electrical work and willing to put in the work, it can be a fulfilling and lucrative career path, offering a good salary and excellent job stability.

Being an approved electrician means that you have demonstrated a certain level of knowledge, skill, and competency in electrical installation and maintenance work. It also means that you have met certain requirements for safety and compliance with electrical regulations.

You will be expected to design, install and verify electrical installations in domestic and commercial settings.

In order to become approved, you will not only have earned the required qualifications but also sufficient work. Usually, to earn approved electrician status, you will have worked in a team leader role for a significant time.

An industrial electrician is a skilled tradesperson who installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems in industrial settings, such as factories, power plants, and manufacturing facilities. They are responsible for ensuring that electrical equipment and systems are operating safely, efficiently, and reliably.

Yes, becoming an electrician can be a great career choice for those who enjoy hands-on work, problem-solving, and the satisfaction of seeing their work make a difference in the world. Sparkys also benefit from job stability and a good salary, making it a very desirable job.

In your day-to-day, you’ll ensure homes and commercial properties have power, heat and light, making the day-to-day lives of the nation more comfortable. As well as this, the flexibility of the career offers the chance to travel regularly and meet new people.

You’ll need to be qualified to NVQ Level 3 standard or equivalent to become a registered electrician and claim your ECS Gold Card. This is to prove that you can safely and competently work with electrics in a domestic and commercial setting. 

[Related] How To Apply For An ECS Gold Card

Further Information.

For more information on training to become an electrician, feel free to get in touch and speak to an advisor by calling on 0800 802 1306. or visiting our NVQ Level 3 Electrician Training Course page and filling out a callback form.

You can also learn more about becoming an electrician with these helpful resources:

See what our students have to say about their electrical training

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