How to Become an Electrician in the UK

There are NO shortcuts to becoming an electrician in the UK. This page aims to provide information on the industry-recognised routes open to new entrants and experienced workers, including what options are available to you after you become a qualified electrician.

*Routes differ in Scotland and NI. More info is available on this page.


How to Become an Electrician

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Apprenticeship Route

An electrical apprenticeship allows you to earn while you learn. It is also funded, which means you will not be expected to pay anything towards your training. You will gain skills via a combination of on-the-job learning in your workplace and other learning supported by a college or training provider.
Key Information

Key Information

To become an electrical apprentice, you will need to be employed in the electrical industry and be carrying out a suitable range of work to complete your portfolio of evidence. There are no upper-age limits to becoming an apprentice; it is never too late to learn!

Apprenticeship Key Facts:

  • You must be employed before you can enrol on an apprenticeship.
  • The apprenticeship training programme typically takes around 4 years to complete.
  • You do not pay for your training and will earn while you learn.

What We Offer?

We offer two apprenticeships:

Did You Know?

If you have already started your electrical training, you can swap to one of our apprenticeships at any point. For example, if you have completed a Level 3 Diploma and just need to complete NVQ Level 3, you can complete it as a funded apprentice.

Speak with our Apprenticeship Team to find out more


Not everyone can find suitable employment for an apprenticeship to start their electrical training. The self-funded route allows you to front-load your technical training. If you gain employment you can transfer to an apprenticeship or continue to self-fund your journey to become an electrician.

This route is particularly popular with adult learners who have the time and the finances to invest in themselves to gain skills and qualifications upfront.

You will need to gain employment to fully complete your training.


Introducing our 4-Steps to Electrician Programme

Our 4 Steps to Qualified Electrician Programme has been designed to allow you to self-fund your electrical training. It contains the City and Guilds 2365 Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas and the City and Guilds 2357 NVQ Level 3. The route is very flexible, meaning you can train at your own pace. If you find employment at any stage, you can swap to our funded apprenticeship and continue your training.
Our Students Start Here
  • Fundamental  Installation Skills
    Workshop (Domestic Wiring)
  • Fundamental Technical Installation  Theory
  • Building Regulations
  • Fundamental Inspection & Testing Workshop
  • Wiring Regulations
Domestic Installation Skills
  • Advanced Domestic Installation Workshop
  • Commercial Installation Skills Workshop
  • Technical Installation Theory
  • Health and Safety
  • Principles of Electrical Science
  • Communicating With Others Within Building Services Engineering
  • Safe Isolation (Single and Three-Phase)
Diploma Level 2
  • Electrical Systems Design
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Technologies
  • Principles of Electrical Science (Advanced)
  • Career Awareness in Building Services Engineering
  • Inspection & Testing Workshop (Advanced)
  • Fault Finding Workshop
  • Three-Phase Inspection & Testing
Diploma Level 3
  • NVQ Level 3 Portfolio
  • AM2 Assessment (Not Included)

NVQ Level 3 E-Portfolio


Complete our 4 Steps and AM2 to become a fully qualified electrician eligible for an ECS Gold Card.

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Solar PV, EV Charging, Inspection & Testing Level 3 and Electrical Design Level 4

Experienced Worker Assessment

For those who have been working in the industry for some time, but not gained an apprenticeship or equivalent Level 3 qualification, the experienced worker assessment can help.
Our Experienced Worker Assessment

Our Experienced Worker Assessment

This assessment recognises occupational competence for people who have been working as an electrician for over five years but havent been able to complete an apprenticeship or achieve an equivalent Level 3 vocational qualification. 

Full-Time Education 

If you are under the age of 19 and don’t have suitable employment for an apprenticeship, this classroom-based route will provide you with technical knowledge and some practical skills that you can gain at a college or training centre, with the potential for work experience or contact with employers. You’ll still need to get practical experience in the workplace before you can become qualified. 

Generally, students aged 14-19 can receive funding for this route. If you are under 19 and are interested in this full-time route, you can contact your local college for more information. 

Key Organisations

More Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Diploma Programme or Apprenticeship?

Firstly, let us point out, the knowledge and skills learned in both programmes are fundamentally the same. The differences between the two programmes are how they are delivered; the big difference is employment. To do an apprenticeship, you need a job before you can begin. However, you can start our 4 steps (Self-Funded) programme without a job. The 4 Steps Programme is flexible, as it allows you to complete your training at your own pace. You will need to be working to complete the final Step 4, which is the NVQ and AM2.

The 4 Steps programme front-loads the technical training and you will complete your on-site assessments (portfolio) during Step 4 when you are working and gaining experience, whereas an apprenticeship combines work experience with technical training and you will complete your on-site assessments as you progress.


Let’s get one thing straight. There are NO fast-track routes to becoming an electrician. There are ‘domestic installer’ schemes available from competent person schemes such as NICEIC and NAPIT, however, these are options for qualified electricians.

Many electricians chose to specialise in domestic only, if this is your preferred option you may wish to consider our Domestic Electrician Apprenticeship or our 4 Steps to Qualified Electrician Programme.

This depends on the route you take. We offer:

Installation/Maintenance Electrician Apprenticeship

  • City and Guilds 5357 Installation/Maintenance Electrician

Domestic Electrician Apprenticeship 

  • City and Guilds 5393 Domestic Electrician

Self-funded route (4 Steps)

  • City and Guilds 2365 Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations
  • City and Guilds 2357 NVQ in Electro-Technical Technology

Experienced Worker Assessment

  • City and Guilds 2346 Level 3 Electrotechnical Experienced Worker

Domestic Experienced Worker Assessment (Coming soon)

  • TBA

Generally speaking, an apprenticeship is run over 3-4 years. If you go down the Diploma & NVQ route, the timescales can vary, but most people complete it in 2-3 years.

Electricians are the highest earners of all the trades. On average, a salaried electrician earns £32,540 per year. However, self-employed electricians and contractors tend to earn much more. Find out more here.

There are many excellent reasons to become an electrician and join this ever-growing industry. Once you have your core skills and qualifications, there are so many areas to move into. It is an exciting and financially rewarding industry.

Our 4 Steps to Qualified Electrician Programme is the perfect example of how you can do this.

There are many areas you may wish to diversify into once you become an electrician including domestic, commercial and industrial. You may consider working with green technologies such as EV charging, solar PV, battery storage, smart homes, wind or heat pumps. You could also consider Periodic Inspection & Testing, electrical design or HVAC. The possibilities are endless!

You can start self-funding your training on Steps 1-3. You will need suitable employment in the electrical industry to complete your Step 4 NVQ and AM2.

If you find suitable employment at any point, you may wish to transfer to one of our funded apprenticeships to complete your training. For more information visit our apprenticeship page.

It’s best to reach out to reputable electrical contractors and employers, such as housing associations or builders.

When you enrol on one of our courses, you will have access to a job board, where you can find job notifications from the many employers we work with.

An NVQ is not a training programme, it is an assessment framework that assesses your skills in the workplace. When you have completed your portfolio, there is one last assessment known as an AM2 assessment, which is your final assessment of competency. The time taken to complete an NVQ can vary, but it can be completed much quicker if you have a lot of variety in your job.

Great news! You can now consider one of our bolt-on courses including:

To name just a few. Please browse our website for more information, or get in touch.

No.  🙂