We use cookies to deliver the best experience possible as described in our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy. Close this box to accept cookies whilst browsing our site.

Courses For Adults, Contractors & Companies

Call 0800 856 4448 or 03330 123 123

Course FinderNew EntrantsDomesticCommercialRenewablesContractor
Back

Search

BackAll Electrical Courses

If you want a career in the electrical industry then you're going to need to access high quality training - delivered by professionals in an intensive, structured and focused way.                                                   Unsure where to start? Use our course advisor to help point you in the right direction.  

Course finder
Pay now

Electricians – Better Working Conditions And Better Pay?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 23rd August 2013

Please note that we have published our updated salary survey here where you can find the latest data for average electrician salary compared to other trades.

There is a perception in the construction industry that sparkies may have it pretty good when it comes to where they work, how they work and how much they get paid. The don’t need to get their hands dirty to the same extent as a plumber and don’t work outdoors as much as a roofer or brickie. So we thought we would investigate and see if this were true.

The job....

Electricians work is variable.  One day an electrician may find themselves outside installing shed lighting and another day fault finding in a kitchen.  It’s a job full of variety and suits people who don't like doing the same thing day in and day out.  You can find yourself working locally or at a job which requires you to work away from home for a while. Electricians work in a whole range of differing environments, from second fixing in residential homes to working at height installing wiring on half finished building sites. So although they will generally work on a water tight property there are still situations when they could be battling the elements along with everyone else.

Sounds good?

You may have heard good things (and of course not so good) about becoming an electrician, are you still a little undecided about whether to enter this exciting trade?  We have decided to expel, and confirm some of the myths and hearsay that surrounds the job of an electrician.  Do electricians get to swan in when everything is water tight and do their bit; and what is the extent of the dirty work.

An electrician gets all the clean work

This is definitely the case with the second fix.  Watch as all the other trades look at you in envy as you go into the job with your toolbox and accessories.  Without doubt this is the nice side of the job and is definitely the favourite amongst both electricians and their customers.  It's nice and clean and you only need a handful of tools – at this point all the hard work has been done, and you are close to getting paid for the work.  The second fix is known as being the cream of the work throughout all trades.  Whilst the brickies will have moved onto the next dirty job, the electrician is doing his job in a nice clean environment.

No two days are the same

Electricians are attracted to the job because they do not know what they will be doing from one week to the next.  If you like the element of surprise then you will thrive in this environment. Where a roofer only does roofing and a brickie only does brick laying, an electrician, by contrast gets involved in all areas and structures of a building.  All aspects of a property have to be taken into account as part of the work of an electrician including timbers, flooring, joists, floors, walls and ceilings.  This is what makes the job so interesting.  There are so many different aspects that an electrician gets involved in – and that is what makes the job of an electrician more than a job – it makes an exciting and varied career.

What about pay?

Looking at the official JIB rates which are known as the official wage reference for electricians at all stages of their career, even a salary for a trainee electrician looks pretty attractive.

A trainee electrician can earn up to £26,769.60 per year.  This is based on a 36 hour working week according to the JIB wage rate.

Once qualified an approved electrician can earn £30,532.32 according to the JIB wage rates.  Again this is based on a 36 hour working week.

If you continue to upgrade your qualifications and reach site technician status, you will be earning £34,388.64 which we think is a pretty impressive wage.

All these figures are based on a 36 hour week Monday to Friday.  Of course, the opportunity to earn more clearly exists and these figures do not take into account overtime, weekend work and being on call to name but a few.

What can I earn?

We have listed below the avrage houly rates for an elecrician nationally and in London where average wages are much higher:

Trainee Electrician - £12.76

Approved Electrician - £14.57

Site Technician - £16.40

Trainee Electrician - £14.30

Approved Electrician - £16.31

Site Technician - £18.37

Source: JIB Rates from and including 7th January 2013 http://www.jib.org.uk/handbook.aspx?cid=13

How does this compare to building and allied trades?

We did a bit of digging and found a 2012 survey published by the Guardian. What we can see is that electricians actually top the trades when it comes to average salary. They are closely followed by plumbers but once you move away from these two heavily regulated industries the average salary drops by a significant amount. On average an electrician earns £28,846 PA with Plumbers earning roughley £1000 less at £27,866 PA. This is purely based on salaries and doesnt take into account income if you are self employed where we know average earning are much higher.

Conclusion

Genrally an electrician appears to be better off in both working conditions and pay.  As we said earlier in the article, when other trades such as roofers and brickies move onto the next dirty job, the electrician proceeds to move onto the most favoured aspect of their job.  Not only that, but they also enjoy a higher rate of pay for the cleaner work.

 

Categories: pay

Trade Skills 4U Awarded IET Centre of Excellence Status

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 15th August 2013

Trade Skills 4U are very proud today. Why? Because yesterday we received our certificate confirming we have been accepted into the IET Centre of Excellence Scheme. The IET has a reputation for electrical excellence and the ‘IET Centre of Excellence’ programme is a natural extension of this work.

The IET Centre of Excellence is a brand new scheme designed to ensure high quality provision is recognised and provide a clear way for those seeking training easily identify the few  providers who had invested in processes, facilities, staff and quality teaching to ensure they were able to meet these standards.

The scheme was developed when the IET identified that there numerous training companies delivering electrical courses but only small numbers of them actually delivered high quality training.  This was backed by research papers published by SEMTA the SSC covering electrical installation and contracting professionals.

As a member of the Centre of Excellence we have been rigorously vetted on a wide range of criteria including but not limited to organisational procedures, facilities, awarding body reports, achievement rates, health and safety, training staff, technology, equipment as well as existing customer recommendations.

The majority of City & Guilds electrical courses offered by Trade Skills 4U are accredited by the IET and accepted into their Centre of Excellence. This will include a full range of inspection and testing courses from the 2392 right up to the more difficult 2395. It will also include the very popular City & Guilds 2382-12 17th edition course, City & Guilds 2393 Part P course as well as a number of accredited Solar PV Courses.

We are also very happy that there has been further recognition of our foundation courses the City & Guilds 4141-01 Electrical Installation Work within a Domestic Dwelling and the City & Guilds 4141-02 Fundamental Electrical Science Technology for Installation Work Courses which are an excellent way for those new to the industry to get a grasp of the basics and take their first steps into the industry.

If you want to find out more please see our dedicated IET Centre of Excellence section which lists all the courses covered.

We have grown to be the UK’s leading C&G electrical trainer based on the fact that we deliver more C&G electrical qualifications than any other provider in the UK. We have achieved this by focussing on the quality of our training provision and as such it means a great deal for us to be the first members of this scheme with such a prestigious organisation.

 

Categories: iet centre of excellence

Top 10 things learnt on the job and not in the training centre

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 9th August 2013

If you have recently qualified as an electrician and are thinking about setting up your own business as many of the guys do who carry out their training with us, it can be really handy to have a few pointers along the way. Running your own business can be very rewarding, however it is a learning curve in some cases and there are lessons that sometimes have to be learnt the hard way.  Some electricians work for someone else to begin with so they can concentrate on gaining experience before taking on the added consideration of running their own business.

However you decide to proceed after training, we are about to give you guys the best start we possibly can.  We have been speaking to the experienced electricians to find out what they have learnt on the job and not in the training centre.  They have given us this information so you have a better idea of what to expect and what might happen out in the 'real world' of working.

Top tips that cannot be learnt in a training centre

1. Payment: It takes a lot longer to get paid when you work for yourself than for someone else.

When you work for yourself, you are responsible for chasing your customers for payment.  When you work for a firm, you will get paid no matter what. If you are setting up your own business, do not assume that everyone will pay.  Be business like and treat all customers the same way.  Get some terms and conditions in place at the start so your customer is clear about payment.

2. Expectations: Never lie to a customer.

If you say you are going to do a job, you should make sure you have the time to do it.  Never be afraid of telling your customer you cannot fit their job in for a while. Failed promises of turning up, or putting customers back a week here and there is the quickest way to lose them.  Always be honest from the start.

3. Rates: Being the lowest priced company around is a bad idea.

You may have a full diary of work, but you are also likely to find yourself running around busy all day but not making any money for yourself.  Price realistically, an experienced electrician tells you how it should be done: “Get your day rate by taking your overheads for the year and how much you want to earn to that total and divide by 240 (That’s 48 weeks, taking into account holidays and time off.)  The result is the minimum day rate you can charge assuming that each day is booked.  In your first year, you may want to knock the days working down by another 40 as that will give you some contingency for the days you don't have work and those days will happen”

4. Advertising: Be aware that wherever you advertise, your phone will ring with people selling things you haven't asked for as well as for work enquiries.

It is worth looking into effective advertising rather than jumping on board with the first advertising caller.  Many electricians find that longer term advertising in a local publication such as a parish magazine is effective.  Customers are more likely to use an advertiser whom they have grown familiar in seeing for a while.

5. Training: Teaches you the general way of doing most things (conduit, tray, SWA, wiring etc.)

Gaining experience with another electrician or electrical contractor is the best way of gaining essential experience as an electrician yourself.  It is worth nothing though that the firm you are working for is normally specific in one aspect of electrical installation (domestic, commercial industrial) you won't become an expert in all of it.  So don't put yourself under pressure to learn about other areas you are not familiar with.  Our tip is to gain experience with the area in which you want to work (i.e. domestic.)

6. Regulations: Keeping up with the Regulations can be tough.  There are always 'reg rumours' on site.

You will find that some electricians do things differently than others and you may find yourself being challenged about the way you do something.  If you work in accordance to the regulation guidelines you won't go far wrong.  However the guidelines are open to interpretation so it is expected that electricians will interpret the regulations differently.  However, never be tempted to cut corners, if you are told a quicker way of doing something and you know it is wrong, always steer clear.

7. Registration: Get registered with a governing body.

It will be immensely difficult finding work if you are not registered with one of the main governing bodies such as NICEIC, NAPIT or ELECSA. Most customers nowadays will only consider qualified and registered electricians to carry out electrical work in their home.  If you hold the correct qualifications, it will be a straight forward process to become registered.

8. Quotations: Be cautious when discussing possible costs with a customer.

It is better to wait and work out a final price rather than give an initial 'guess'.  Once you mention a cost, the figure tends to stick like glue! It is almost impossible to price accurately on the spot and you could easily find yourself out of pocket or loosing a customer by making a simple error.

9. Networking Groups: Ensure it has a strong representation from other trades.

If you join a networking group (such as the BNI) ensure it has a strong representation from other trades such as kitchen fitters, builders, plumbers etc.  These are the people who are in a position to be talking to your potential customers.  In addition, ensure you join a group that meets at least once a fortnight so you can get to know and trust the other trades that you are recommending.

10. Work wear: Look after yourself in the workplace.

If you are crawling around in lofts all day or on your knees fitting accessories, it is a wise idea to wear knee pads to avoid health problems later on in your working life.  It is also a good idea to wear a hard hat to avoid bumps to the head.

Conclusion

All the above tips have been picked up by electricians since finishing their training.  Some of them are quite well known and others are more obscure.

However you decide to proceed in your new career, the best advice that can be given from anyone is to always act professionally and politely at all times.  All electricians will have different ways of doing things, and you will meet them often throughout your career. However there is no right and wrong way, just better ways learnt through experience.

 

Checklist for Joining a Part P Scheme

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 6th August 2013

Practically every electrician out there knows of the importance and advantages of joining a Part P Scheme. However with so many different opinions about the different scheme providers and what their joining requirements might be, we decided to speak directly to the main scheme providers to find out what the joining requirements actually are.

Part P was introduced in 2005 and became a defining minimum standard for electrical safety within domestic properties.  This means that electrical works notifiable under the Part P Building Regulations must be certified either via a local authority or through self certification schemes such as the NICEIC, ELECSA and NAPIT.

However at a cost of £150 upwards for a local authority to assess electrical work, it makes far more sense for electricians to join a Part P scheme and to date there are over 25,000 contractors registered with a Part P Scheme and over 1 million jobs per year are notified.

Who are the main scheme providers?

The main scheme providers are well known throughout the electrical industry as the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA.  On the face of it, they all seem to offer the same essential services – that is to be able to certify electrical work and provide a warranty to the customer for work carried out.

Taking a look in the search engines, it is easy to see why it quickly becomes difficult to decide which scheme provider to select when taking a look at how each scheme provider describe themselves:

NICEIC – the home of contracting excellence

NAPIT – the complete solution

ELECSA – in a major partnership with the ECA and NICEIC

The ECA, NICEIC and ELECSA are operated by an organisation known as Certsure LLP.  A significant part of this partnership was the creation of the Electrical Safety Register which all electricians registered with the NICEIC, ECA and ELECSA are listed in.  Approximately 80% of Part P registrants are on this register.

NAPIT offer their members their own register known as the Electric Safe Register which was created at the same time as the Electrical Safety Register.  The Electric Safe Register is open to all 7 DCLG approved competent person scheme providers and all are encouraged to join.

How do I join a scheme provider?

Once you have achieved the relevant qualifications to join there are a number of things you will need to have in place.  To save you time, we have done the hard work for you by producing a checklist of requirements for the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA.

Joining either ELECSA or NICEIC is straightforward.  Contractors undergo an assessment process covering a representative sample of their work, their premises, documentation, equipment and competence of key supervisory staff.

The assessment is split into 2 sections – office and on site.  The office assessment is there to ensure you have sufficient systems in place to provide a good customer service and the on site assessment assesses technical competence.

Office Assessment Checklist

Warranty: All installers must provide clients with a warranty for completed work.  Prior to registering with a self certification scheme, the work can be signed off by a local authority who takes responsibility for the work.

Certification: Adequately completed certificates should be available for review.  Again, if you are registering with a Part P scheme for the first time, these should be completed by the local authority signing off your work.

Technical Library: The latest copy of BS7671 and the On site Guide are to be held along with a copy of the Memorandum of Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations and Approved Document P.

Job Notifications: On surveillance visits, all work undertaken during the past 12 months will be checked to ensure work which is notifiable has been notified.  Surveillance visits can be carried out for both new Part P scheme joiners and existing members.

Public Liability Insurance: At least £2 million must be held and the certificate produced to prove the insurance is current.

Test Equipment: All test meters require a certificate of calibration or a record of regularly taken test results against a calibrated check box.

On Site Assessment Checklist

Traditionally, this involves the checking of at least 2 previous jobs to ensure the work complies with BS7671:2008 and the Building Regulations.  The work must have been carried out within the last 12 months.

 

NAPIT has streamlined their joining system to make it easier for trades people to understand the membership requirements and what they are required to do. Once you have registered you will need to make sure you have the following things available:

 

Office Assessment Checklist

£2 million public liability insurance and £250,000 professional indemnity insurance

A calibration certificate needs to be issued to NAPIT

Technical Reference Documents: The latest copy of BS7671 and the On site Guide are to be held along with a copy of the Memorandum of Guidance to the Electricity at Work Regulations and Approved Document P.

On Site Assessment Checklist

An installation with a minimum of 2 new circuits will be assessed which can be located in a customers home, friends or family or even your own home.

Talking about the benefits of joining NAPIT, Martin Bruno NAPIT COO says “Our members chose NAPIT because they want to be able to legally self-certify their own work. They also join us to gain the esteem that comes with membership of a professional organisation and the ability to display the NAPIT logo as a mark of trust and assurance to their customers.

We offer a Complete Solution which can significantly reduce costs for those who need to notify across multiple trades, along with a host of additional benefits which include; technical support, a legal helpline, consumer publicity, an online forum, a work quality guarantee scheme for Competent Person Scheme members, a regular magazine and newsletters, discounted training, and competitively priced tools and equipment for both hire and purchase.

More importantly NAPIT are a Trade Association, giving our members a ‘voice’.  National Trade Association meetings between NAPIT Registered Installers are held throughout the year across the country to discuss the issues that effect them at a local level, these are then reported back and NAPIT assist in resolving them.  Along with industry surveys and consultations with our members, this is something we work hard at growing to support our membership.”

Conclusion

Contractors often find that they get a lot out of the assessment experience when suitably prepared.

Many electricians find it provides a useful opportunity to discuss technical issues of their own with the assessors, as although there to assess you they are always happy to act as a 'sounding board' by providing useful information to improve your electrical work and ultimately your business.

 

Categories: napit, niceic, elecsa, part p