How To Become An Electrician In 2018
Well, it is not a short or easy process. There are many different paths to your qualifications. It can be very confusing since you might easily receive contradictory answers from different colleges or course providers. The qualifications framework has changed in 2012 and the way to become an electrician is more complicated than ever.
Depending on your age and circumstances you could sign up for an apprenticeship and become fully qualified, or if you are an adult learner (or without a placement for an apprenticeship) you could complete different Level 2 and 3 qualifications to be able to gain better chances for future placements.
Alternatively, you could complete one of the many Domestic Electrician courses. However these short courses will only give you limited knowledge and experience, far below the requirements for a fully qualified electrician.
You will have to gain the following qualifications:
- C&G 2357-13 NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings and Structures) is the best qualification to get in order to become an electrician in the UK.
You could also complete the C&G 2357-23 NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Maintenance) with focus on maintenance of electrical systems.
You can gain these qualification through apprenticeship or, at the later stage, by completing it at your workplace.
This means that if you are able to sign up for an apprenticeship which is the best route to take
- If you are having difficulty signing up for an apprenticeship you will need to gain the C&G 2365 Level 2 and C&G 2365 Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures).
It is the ideal qualification for candidates new to the electrical industry regardless of age or experience. This new QCF is now the best way for adult learners to gain entry to the electrical industry.
This is a classroom based qualification after which you will able to progress and complete an NVQ and AM2 at a later stage, once you have found employment.
In order to become a fully qualified electrician you will also need:
- 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2008 (Requirements of Electrical Installations - City & Guilds 2382-18 Level 3).
The IEE Wiring Regulations are the British standard to which all commercial, domestic and industrial electrical installation works must comply. You can gain this qualification through your local college or any other course provider. Usually it is a short, four-five day course with an online assessment at the end.
Feel free to read through our Guide for the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations.
- C&G 2391-52 Level 3 Award in Initial and Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations
To make things a bit more confusing, there are three options learners can take depending on their individual industry requirements, level of experience or prior knowledge.
These three are:
C&G 2391-50 Level 3 Award in Initial Verification of Electrical Installations. This qualification will allow you to sign of your work (new installation work only) and as such, this is the minimum you will need in order to work as an electrician on your own.
C&G 2391-51 Level 3 Award in Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations. In order to be able to Inspect and Test existing electrical installations (Periodic Inspection), you will need this qualification under your belt.
C&G 2391-52 Level 3 Award in Initial and Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations. This combined qualification is the one you should really go for, as this is the one that will allow you to do both types of inspection testing expected from a fully qualified electrician. Also, if you are going to undertake a lengthy training course and pass accompanying exams, you might as well do it once, right?
Feel free to read through our Guide to the Inspection and Testing qualifications.
Just to make the list complete, there is also C&G 2392 Level 2 Fundamental Inspection and Testing qualification. This qualification will teach you basic theoretical knowledge about inspection testing in general, but other than that it is worthless.
Complicated? Yes, it is.
Becoming an electrician has never been more simple?
You might not agree with that... (Neither do we)
Additional qualifications you can gain:
- The City & Guilds In-service Inspection and testing of Electrical Equipment (2377) is a course which will allow you to do portable appliance testing (also known as PAT testing). This is a short, two-day course with an online assessment at the end. You can do this through your local college or any other provider offering this course.
- Emergency Lighting Course. This two-day course covering the design, installation, commissioning, testing and certification of emergency lighting systems could be essential for you if you are required to install emergency lighting systems.
- CompEx Full EX01-04. The electricians CompEx course is aimed at persons wishing to work in potentially hazardous or explosive atmospheres. This course is a high level course aimed at fully qualified and experienced electricians and is essential if you want to work in the oil and gas industry. Feel free to read through our Guide for the CompEx course.
Now you know how to become an electrician. Remember this next time you read ads saying that by finishing a four-week course you can become a qualified electrician. That is simply not true. Becoming an electrician takes years of studying and many years of practice. As simple as that!
One more thing! If you wish to work as an electrician on a construction site, you must hold an ECS/CSCS card which proves your identity, competence and qualified status. In this guide you will found out how to get one.