Electricians provide energy to buildings to light up rooms, heat water, and power devices. They install, inspect, and test electrical equipment to verify its functionality and safety. As an electrician, you may maintain traditional systems in homes, shops, and buildings. Renewable energy and fibre optics are two areas in which some electricians specialise. Others work on engineering projects or provide servicing to motors, transformers, street lights, and traffic systems.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- check electrical systems to make sure they’re safe
- build and install electric control panels
- repair electric parts in machines
- install street lights and traffic management systems
- fit wires, sockets and switches in homes
- rewire homes and business properties.
- Apprentice electricians can earn from £10,316 in their first year to £22,425 in their final year
- Trained electricians earn an average salary of £33,495
- Qualified electricians with experience can earn £42,500 or more.
You will typically work 30 to 40 hours per week and sometimes be on call when customers need you.
You could work on a construction site, at a client’s business, at a client’s home or on the streets.
Your working environment may be cramped and at height.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice electrician include:
- Level 3 Installation and Maintenance Electrician – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification will take 42 months to complete.
- Level 3 Domestic Electrician – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification will take 36 months to complete.
Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.
On an electrician apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- knowledge of building and construction
- maths knowledge for understanding technical plans
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with your hands and use equipment safely
- customer service skills for working with colleagues and clients
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.
Career path and progression
With some experience, you could become a building services engineer. You could also move into electrical design or become a site or project manager.
Some electricians set up their own business and work as subcontractors to other companies. Others become tutors and pass on their knowledge.