How do you become an Electrician?

Have you ever wondered how to become an electrician? What college courses to take, or should I apply for an apprenticeship or go to university? If you keep reading, you can find out exactly what skills and qualifications you need to have a successful career as an electrician. Also, you’ll find out how much you can make as an electrician and the minimum age you need to start.

What do Electricians do?

Your job as an electrician is to manage and handle electrical systems within the health and safety protocols. Some of your more technical roles are to build and install electrical control panels and repair machines' electrical parts.

To be specific, there would be installing safety components such as switches and circuit breaker panels. Great attention to detail is the best way to ensure your safety when in contact with different electrical systems. Goals as an electrician are to maintain and repair electrical connections to lower the chance of accidents and make sure the facilities are usable for all who need them.

Other jobs you may have been installing and repairing street and public lights whilst managing traffic systems. You may be tasked with entering people's homes to fit wires, sockets and switches, where you need great customer service. Or there may be more commercial or larger jobs which need business properties rewired and repaired.

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Qualifications to become an Electrician


Fully qualified electricians need college courses are a great way to achieve their diplomas in electrical engineering. This type of learning requires you to participate in practical courses whilst learning vital knowledge on health and safety. Some courses which are available at college include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Access to Building Services Engineering (Electrical)
  • Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction

For most level 2 courses, you need 2 or more GCSEs between a 9 and 3. Level 3 courses need 4 or 5 GCSEs between 9 and 4 to apply, whilst T-level courses need your Maths and English plus two other GCSEs at a passing grade.


Most electricians enrol in an apprenticeship program, which trains them in the installation and maintenance of electrical systems. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to earn whilst you learn, you learn for free, unlike university courses, and your learning is spread over a longer period of time, which does not overwhelm your studies and work. There are plenty of apprenticeships for electricians available in the UK; these include:

  • Advanced Level 3 Installation Electrician
  • Advanced Level 3 Maintenance Electrician
  • Level 4 Building Services
  • Level 4 Electrical Engineer

Skills needed to become an Electrician

Technical Electrician Skills

Your knowledge helps you do your job safely, having the ability to install cables, switching devices and tubing are all a must. Electrical skills are necessary to use power tools appropriately and in line with health and safety protocols. Some of your skills may be understanding and reading blueprints for properties.

Physical Skills

Being physically fit is a necessity for an electrician. Your job requires you to lift heavy equipment, climb ladders and scaffolding, and stand for extended periods of time. Your motor skills boost your ability to do your job, as tasks can be difficult and strenuous for people less able than others.

Customer Service Skills

For any job which requires you to interact with customers, your customer service skills are vital. Positively interacting with customers requires a friendly, professional and patient attitude. This foundation aids in your job to honestly give customers solutions and prices for the work that is needed.

Electrician Salary in the UK

An average qualified electrician's salary is £32,100 per year, which is 8% higher than the national average salary. If you are interested in being an electrician, you will earn a good wage. An electrician's salary is £19,000; if you are experienced, you can earn upwards of £45,000 per year. The average electrician's hourly rate can range from £35 to £45, or if you get paid daily £320.

Electrcian Salary UK

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Overview of an Electrician

Profession Group Construction
Minimum Age 16 as an Apprentice
Education Requirements Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) card
Salary Indication £32,100
Related Jobs Engineering, Manufacturing and Technical

FAQs about Electricians

  • What jobs are similar to being an electrician?

  • Similar jobs include:

    • Automobile Mechanics
    • Aircraft Mechanics
    • Maintenance Technicians

  • How long does it take to become an electrician?

  • The average time can take four to five years, with training through an apprenticeship program.

  • Can a qualified electrician in the UK work abroad?

  • There are approved countries by the JIB that recognise qualified UK electricians; these are:

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • the Republic of Ireland
    • South Africa
    • the United States of America

See more of our professions guide