The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
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So you’ve made the decision to become an electrician. In today’s society – in which most nearly everything is powered by electricity, from trains to ships to hospitals and homes -well-skilled electricians are well sought after.
But before you can become a part of this lucrative and in-demand trade, there are a number of steps that you have to go through first.
In this article you will learn what you need to know about getting into this trade. By the end, you will be well on the road to becoming an electrician.
In order to work as an electrician you have to be the age of 18 or over and you must have finished compulsory education. For many potential employers your grades are important, especially your GCSE maths, English, and sciences. For many having at A-C grades is vital. Good grades will also help you later on when looking for colleges to study at to gain the necessary qualifications.
It’s important that you know exactly what you are going to get yourself into. It’s easy to say you want to be an electrician, but make sure you know what this would entail.
The best way to understand what an electrician does is to shadow one. See if it’s possible get some work experience with a professional. This will give you some first-hand experience in the trade and help you confirm whether or not this job is for you. You can ask them what route they took to get them to where they are now and ask them about what routes you can take.
Many people choose to enrol in an apprenticeship as soon as they have left secondary school or college. They allow you to learn both on site and in a classroom and teach you a number of trade skills and give up vital knowledge of the job. Normally it would take you two to four years to complete an apprenticeship and gain the essential credentials.
There are a number of qualifications that you must earn in order to a qualified electrician. You must complete your City and Guilds 2357. You’ll also need a level 3 of a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), as well as in an industry-recognised level 3 qualification like Electro-technology. Normally you will complete these qualifications while you are working in order to be assessed carrying out real work.
If you want to specialise as a specific type of electrician – for example, installation of environmental technology such as solar panels – then you will need to complete some extra training. Specialising can help enhance your career so make sure to research what qualifications you’ll need for different specialisations and how to gain them.
Like getting into many professions there are many different routes you can take. Above are only some of the ways, make sure you contact professional electricians to gain their advice and look up local colleges or trade schools to see if you can learn there.
And no matter which route you takes make sure you come prepared with the correct equipment. Check out Alert Electrical’s tool guide to for all the tools you’ll need for your career in Electrical work.
Can you think of any other important factors to consider to get into the electrical trade? Share your experience and comments below.
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Chioma Ndujiuba is a writer and blogger. She writes about anything that interests her and is always on the look-out for the next big thing in her life.