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Trade Skills 4U Employment Survey

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 5th January 2017

With a skill shortage in the electrical industry, there is always the need for more sparks to train and learn the trade. This is why Trade Skills 4U is dedicated to training electricians to the best of their ability so they are knowledgeable, able and ready to enter the workplace.

We recently conducted a survey on past students who took our C&G 2365 Diploma course, dating back to 2014 to find out if they had managed to find employment within the electrical field and what area they have chosen to work in.

The results showed an astounding 87.8% of our students have indeed found employment in the electrical field. 



Whilst speaking with the students we found the majority were working as electrician’s mates or had now worked their way up to working as an electrician for contracting companies on both employed and self-employed basis. We also discovered some were working in some more niche fields such as:

Smart Meter Installation

Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installer

Army Electrician

Maintanence Manager / Electrician

Theatre / Stage Electrician

Engineer at Network Rail

Domestic Installer

Kitchen / Bathroom Installer

Media Broadcast Electrician

Many have gone onto complete their NVQ and their AM2. 

Who are our students?

We have and still continue to see a mixture of students coming through the doors at both our Gatwick and Warrington centres, with ages ranging from 18 – 65 both male and female. Some have entered the field from school knowing this is the career path they wanted to take, whilst others have decided to choose a completely different career path and retrain as an electrician later in life. Others have also taken their qualifications across the pond to Australia to start a new life and career overseas.

Aimee Dalton is 25 and currently completing her 2365 while working for an electrical company. She is coming to the end of her Level 3 and said: “I’ve found the course really interesting and the things I’ve learnt in the centre I’ve then put into practice at work. I’ve been here since September and I would definitely encourage more women to come and train as an electrician. There’s a world of opportunity out there for electricians"

How can I get qualified and will I find employment?

If you wish to work on larger commercial projects, you can study the 2365 Level 2 &3. Most people will generally find employment with an electrical company alongside completing the course. Other avenues to explore once you have completed level 3 is to register to complete an electrical apprenticeship then the AM2.

There are a variety of electrical courses available for people to consider, for example the 18 day Bronze course will enable you to work in domestic properties. Your qualification will allow you to legally install, test and inspect electrical work in existing properties or new builds. With the government’s plan to build 1 million homes by 2020 across the UK you shouldn’t struggle to find work.

Categories: employment, 2365, survey, electrician

2016 Trades Salary Survey: Electricians Still Earn The Most

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 5th January 2016

We have since posted our 2017 Salary Survey with the most up to date data.

Every year we study the data from the Office of National Statistics to let you know what is happening in terms of salaries for electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, tilers and a few other trades.  

Average Electrician Salary (£30,444)

So the data is in and following the last 2 surveys it is no surprise that Electricians still earn the most on average of all the trades. Despite increased growth in salaries in a number of different trades electricians still earn around £1300 more than plumbers who are ranked second in this survey. Check out the interactive chart below where you can see the average salary for each trade and also see the percentage change over the last 12 months:


When we last ran this survey interestingly plumbers has seen one of the smallest increases in pay whilst electricians had seen one of the largest. Those roles are now reversed and it looks as if the plumbing industry has been playing catch up over the past year. The really big surprise has been a 10% increase in the average salary for tilers.

How do electricians charge for their time?

When looking at the money each trade earns it is important to note that a "salary" is only really part of the picture. Most of the electricians that work in peoples homes will usually charge a day rate or a fixed rate for particular jobs. Electricians who actually earn a salary are in the minority which the majority working on contract or as a self employed tradesperson. As such it is quite hard to gauge how much an electrician does earn as there are no national statistics for this.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£50 Per Hour / £140-£350 Per Day)

Hourly and day rates vary drastically from location to location and electrician to electrician. An experienced electrician in London will most likely charge around £45 per hour or £300 per day, whereas a junior electrician in Newcastle is likely to earn far less in comparison. Most tradesmen tend to charge for a specific job and will include the costs of materials in any quote. As such it can be very hard to gauge how much an electrician is making. A good guide is always how much you are being charged for a new consumer unit. I am based in Brighton and was recently quoted £500 for a new consumer unit. Bearing in mind the units cost around £130 this electrician is likely to take home around £370 for a days work.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £21K)

Many people start out as apprentices who often earn below the minimum wage. However most Trade Skills 4U customers front load their training and complete their technical certificates first (2365 Level 2&3). This then enables them to command a higher starting salary when they start working as an electricians mate.  Most should be able to start out on a trainee wage of around £21k per annum. A quick search online reveals that most jobs for electrician mates start off at around £11 per hour although we have just seen one locally offering £107 per day which comes in at over £25K which is great for a starting salary.

JIB Wage Grades

The JIB publish wage grades on their website here. Whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are guidelines only and not every employer sticks to these.

As of the 4th January 2016 the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

Trainee Electrician - £11.56 - £13.68

Electrician - £14.39

Approved Electrician - £15.61

Site Technician - £17.57

And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:

Trainee Electrician - £12.94 - £15.33

Electrician - £16.13

Approved Electrician - £17.48

Site Technician - £19.68

In order to qualify for the higher pay grades most people will need to fulfil the following:

1. Trainee Electrician - Apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas

2. Electrician - Relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)

3. Approved Electrician - As per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395

4. Site Technician - As per number 3 plus over 5 years experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as a HNC

With such a variety of ways to be employed and earn it is very hard to say specifically how much an electrician should earn. We have had students walk out of here straight into jobs installing smart meters earning £150 per day plus a company van and others who end up working on site at £11 per hour. As with any career if you work hard, deliver good quality work and build a solid reputation you should be able to earn a decent salary and have great job satisfaction.





Categories: salary, survey

10 Second Survey – Which card do you hold?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 22nd April 2015

ecs card


We’re interested to find out which card most of the electricians who visit our blog hold? Please take a few seconds to let us know which cards you hold: 


Many employers have been asking for ECS cards however more and more they’re asking for CSCS cards. Which card do you hold when working in the industry? We’re very interested to hear from you. 



Categories: survey

10 Second Survey: Which subject is the hardest?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 17th March 2015

happy electrician

This week we are asking our customers to take a ten second survey on which subject they liked the least or found the hardest. We know everyone has different areas of strength or weeknesses and wanted to see if there is a general trend?



Please take a few second to choose the subject you found the hardest below:

We think we know which subject most students find the hardest but don’t want to say anything until the results are in so as not to skew the figures.

As always we will post the results from our survey in a month’s time.

For more information on courses, please visit our course finder.


Categories: survey

Survey: Domestic or Commercial? What Type of Work Do Sparkies Prefer?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 30th May 2014

If you read our previous blog post “Domestic or Commercial Which Way Should I Go?” you will know that for a long time trainees have had to decide before they train if they should invest more time and money to ensure they can work on both Commercial and Domestic Projects or take the quicker route on just focusing on Domestic Installation otherwise affectionately referred to as "house bashing".

If you are looking to re-train as a sparky it is important to understand the difference between the two areas as you will find the costs of training and time it takes vastly different. With Trade Skills 4U you can train to be a domestic installer in 18 Days and at a cost of £2245 whereas the commercial route will take 16 weeks at £6990 plus your NVQ on the job too. However there is also now a third route which covers both options with the EAL 7695 qualification. So you should ask yourself before you start out realistically which type of work do you prefer?

What type of work do existing electricians prefer?

Obviously if you go the “fully qualified route” you can in fact cover both commercial and domestic work meaning your scope of work is much greater, however we wanted to find out which of these two areas seems to be preferred by those currently out there working on the tools. You can find the results below:




































Our info-graphic shows commercial work as the winner – but only on this occasion! Whilst it would be great if you can pick and choose every job you take the reality is that you once you start out as either a domestic or commercial electrician you will be doing a wide range of jobs, some more preferable than others. One thing most respondents agree on is they are glad not to be plumbers as they really can end up with some crappy work (Boom Boom!)

We asked our respondents why they preferred certain types of work and the most common differences between each area:

ConditionsOccupied homes in general.  Homely environment, usually warm and more personal. The only down side is often having to shift furniture and the odd pet too!Usually working on first and second fix means no furniture to shift and it can be nice and easy to run your cables. However depending on the build you may be outside or in an unheated environment.
Types of JobsLocal work, variable and flexible. Shorter projects mainly with a wider variety of locations to attend.Longer projects which require team work and more advanced skills. Often commuting to the same place for long periods of time.
Employment TypeMuch more likely to be working self employed or as part of a small team from time to time.Much more likely to be employed full time or on a long terms contract working as part of a much larger team.
PayGreat earning potential especially if you are self employed or employ others. If employed full time average pay is usually less than that of a commercial sparky. Average earnings if you are employed are higher. Again great earning potential if you are self employed. Longer contracts pay less per day than domestic but its guaranteed income for a longer period of time.
Getting workMore customers and jobs are needed to sustain a steady income. This means you will need to be better at marketing and quoting yourself.Longer jobs means often once you have established yourself word of mouth could be enough to sustain you. Less quotes and less marketing will be required.


Domestic or commercial?

We had over 20 written comments to our survey this month, which contained some really interesting responses.

Commercial – no floorboards or lofts

16 electricians surveyed preferred commercial work due to the fact that commercial work contains more actual electrical work and less of the 'wall bashing' and lifting of floorboards that domestic work typically entails.  Commercial work however, can become repetitive and domestic work can present some rewarding challenges.

Domestic work – essential for business success

Electricians comment that commercial work is harder to obtain – in terms of getting a foot in the door and most of the electricians who responded to our survey said that domestic work was still very useful to fill in gaps or as one electrician stated “Domestic work although sometimes challenging is your bread and butter for a small company like mine.”

Commercial – bigger earning potential

The larger projects and therefore bigger earning potential exists in commercial work.  However, larger commercial companies can take longer to pay and there are other hazards to take into account for such as asbestos.  Self employed electricians often team up to take on larger commercial contracts which can offer longer term work.

Domestic Work – Chance to work on more unusual properties

Some electricians prefer to concentrate on the Part P domestic market and this gives scope to working on a wide variety of electrical projects from old properties to new builds and more specialist areas such as underground heat pumps, underfloor heating systems and swimming pools.

So generally speaking it pays to keep your options open. Electrical installation work is rewarding, varied and interesting whatever sector you happen to work in. With the introduction of the new EAL 7695 Domestic Electrician course you can keep your career options open and future proof your qualifications.



Categories: survey

SURVEY RESULTS: Which DIY Jobs Do Sparkies Get Called Out To Fix The Most?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 11th February 2014

Back on the 20th October 2013 we launched a survey to find out which jobs sparkies get called out to the most as a result of poor handy work by unskilled DIY enthusiasts. This has been one of most successful surveys and the results are now in.

The top two responses come as little surprise and they are by far the most common reason for DIY electrical call outs.  However, the rest of the responses we had to our survey clearly indicate that DIY electrical is still very much live and kicking.

The Top 2 DIY Electrical Botches

Coming out in top place for DIY fixes is light fittings at over 41%.  This was also the top response to the ESC survey.   The temptation to fit the latest light fittings can have devastating effects for householders. Typical problems encountered with light fittings include brass fittings becoming live, nails being used to mount light fittings and causing the lighting in the home to stop working altogether.

With many householders attempting to fit light fittings themselves, this response was bound to be somewhere near the top.  Over 29% of electricians regularly get called to repair botched lighting circuits.  This is normally seen when householders attempt to replace their lighting and they have more cables than they know what to do with.  The consequences of incorrect wiring can cause expensive damage and risk of fire.

The Impact of DIY Electrical Work

With one person killed every week, thousands injured as a result of an electrical related accident and electrical fires being the main cause of accidental house fires, it is clear to see that electrical safety messages are not getting through fully to the people who would most benefit.

DIY blunders account for over half of serious electrical shocks according to the Electrical Safety Council.  Typical mistakes include drilling through wiring in walls, repairing an electrical appliance while it is still switched on and cutting through power leads.  However it doesn't stop there.  One fifth of people with no electrical training say they will confidently attempt to install lighting in their home and one tenth would happily install new wiring.

DIY electrical is actually keeping electricians busier than ever! Householders attempting to cut corners and hiring unskilled individuals to carry out electrical work or attempting their own repairs are the main cause of electricians being called to repair electrical DIY work that has gone wrong.

A third of electricians recently surveyed by the ESC say they are now spending a quarter of their time fixing DIY jobs and this amount of time has increased over the last 5 years.  Many of these jobs are a simple job for an electrician to carry out and as a result has cost the householder far more than it would have done to call an electrician in to do the job in the first place.

DIY electrical work has the potential to cause fire, serious electrical shock or high financial costs to rectify. Just because it works doesn't mean it is safe!

What Can We Conclude From This?

Despite advice given by the ESC and by electricians themselves to always call an electrician to carry out electrical work, it seems that many householders still ignore the advice and continue to risk their life and pocket by carrying out work which they are not trained to do.

Work carried out by a qualified and registered electrician will be expertly installed and tested for safety.  The household will also receive a Part P certificate which confirms the work was carried out to governmental standards and will be needed in the event of the house being sold or rented out.



Categories: survey