Electricians are part of the construction industry, it is they who are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical systems in all kinds of developments be it domestic homes, commercial buildings, or industrial buildings.
Their work is highly skilled, and therefore electricians are in high demand so as you can imagine becoming an electrician could be a great career choice.
And one of the best ways to become an electrician is through an electrician and apprenticeship scheme, and in this article we shall examine the most common questions you may have about starting an electrical apprenticeship.
How do I find a placement?
Finding an apprenticeship placement can sometimes be tough, as they are limited amounts of placements with lots of people wanting to apply. Your first port of call in searching for an apprenticeship should be your local college, as they will have established relationships with employers already.
The next best place would be the national apprenticeships website, the government run website where you can register and search for available apprenticeships.
Failing that, it’s always worth phoning around your local electricians to see if they would be willing to take you on as an apprentice.
How long does an apprenticeship take?
It’s normal for an apprenticeship to last from between 2 to 3 years, sometimes going to 4 years if you are studying to level 4 diploma standards.
What qualifications do I get at the end?
At the end of the apprenticeship you will have gained many electrical qualifications enabling you to do all kinds of electrical installations and jobs, whether it be domestic, commercial or industrial work.
There are several qualification awarding bodies such as the City and Guilds or the EAL, but whichever one you are with it will be up to the level III diploma standard. And you would be regarded as a fully qualified electrician.
Do I earn any money whilst on an apprenticeship?
Yes indeed you will, as the old saying goes you will earn as you learn. As of 2013 all apprentices will learn an hourly rate of at least the national minimum wage. Which at the time of writing for people in their first your of an apprenticeship is £2.73, this is a special rate for apprentices not the usual National Minimum Wage. After your first year this will rise to the usual National Minimum Wage for your age group.
In practice an apprentice in their first year could expect to earn around £8000 per year.
Are there alternatives to an electrical apprenticeship?
Yes, if for one reason or another you are unable to get on an electrical apprenticeship scheme, then there are specialist training courses that you can take. These will teach you everything you need to start work as an electrician but in a shorter space of time. For example if you wish to become a domestic installer electrician working in people’s homes, a full-time training course can last from between 6 to 12 weeks.
So for many people these are better option and a three-year apprenticeship scheme. As it enables them to get trained quicker, and therefore be able to start work and start earning some money.
I hope this article gives you a clear understanding on the steps you must take to successfully enrol on an electrical apprenticeship scheme. As we explained it is a great way to start on a new career, but there are other options available to you if you are unable to find a space or have not got the time to take a long apprenticeship scheme.
So whichever path you take, I wish you all the best in training for your new career.