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2015 Trades Salary Survey: Do Electricians Still Earn The Most?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 28th January 2015

construction line up

We have since posted a 2017 Salary survey with the most up to date data.

When we last posted a blog on this topic the average UK salary for an electrician was £28,846, however since then wages in construction have risen far quicker than the national average due to a shortage of skilled labour and improving confidence in the UK economy and housing market. So what does your average electrician earn?

Average Electrician Salary (£30,172)

According to the Office of National Statistics the average salary for an electrician has risen to  £30,172 over the two year period which is a 4.6% increase. Not too bad for a period in which we are told most other salaries remained static. But how does this compare with the other trades?

Average Salaries by Trade

If you use the interactive chart above you will see that some of the trades have seen bigger increases in salaries than others. All except painters saw an increase in average salary which is not surprising as this is the trade which requires the least amount of training and has the least amount of regulation. The big surprise above is that Tilers and Carpenters have seen the biggest increases in salary whilst plumbers and roofers have seen the smallest. However due to the fact that they already earned the most and have still seen a decent increase, electricians now earn on average £1,919 more than plumbers which is up by nearly £1000 compared to 2013 when they earned £980 more than plumbers.

However this data above is only for salaried electricians and tradesmen. What about those who are self employed or working on an hourly wage?

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£25-£50 Per Hour / £185-£350 Per Day)

This is much harder to gage, however most experienced electricians will charge between £25 to £50 per hour. Many won’t even charge by the hour but may end up charging by the day or a fixed price for a complete job. The disparity in the industry is that those who go it alone and are self employed earn much more than those who work on an employed basis. However what you must remember is that if you are self employed you have other costs to consider such as you registration on a competent persons scheme, tools, van, costs of quoting and business insurance. However it is still realistic for an electrician or domestic installer to earn between 200-300 per day carrying out house re-wires and domestic work especially in the South East.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £20K)

If you start out as an apprentice then you will be earning below the minimum wage. However if you front load your training and complete your technical certificates first (2365 Level 2&3) then you should be able to start out on a trainee wage of around £20k per annum. This is not set in stone and will vary from location to location, job to job and company to company. At the end of the day the better you are at your job the more you can earn, however how do you get to increase your wage or earnings once you are an established electrician?

How to earn more?

There are a number of ways to earn more as an electrician and it all depends on you and what you are willing to do. We have listed the key ones below:

1. Go self employed – As stated above you can earn much more if you invest in setting up on your own. If you find yourself being offered work left right and centre but are employed full time then maybe it’s time to take the leap.

2. Overtime – Overtime is a great way to earn more and you will find if you are employed and working to deadlines that there will often be plenty on offer. Not only will you earn more but you get paid a higher hourly rate.

3. Become an Approved Electrician – If you already have your JIB gold card but want to increase your wages you should invest in gaining advanced inspection and testing skills. The City & Guilds 2394 /2395 courses are the nationally recognised as the key to making this step. Once you have achieved them you can step up a pay grade from

4. Become an Technician – This is the next step up from Approved electrician and can be achieved by demonstrating advanced technical skills and organisational ability. In terms of qualifications electricians wishing to achieve this grade should take the Level 4 qualification C&G 2396 Electrical Design course. This is the most advanced course that we offer.

5. Move into management – There are numerous possibilities in management and project management including but limited to roles such as Project Manager, Commercial Manager, Contracts Manager and also electrical design engineer. Most of these roles will take you away from the hands on side of the role and focus much more on your technical and people management skills.

What is clear is that becoming an electrician remains a great career choice. With the currents demands from the growing housing sector we can only see this continuing in the coming years. We know there is also an upcoming issue with numerous older electricians looking to retire leading to further shortfalls in labour to meet demand.


Categories: wages, pay

Launch of the Cannon Street Training Facility

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 26th January 2015

open sign

We’re delighted to announce the opening of the Cannon Street training facility in Central London. As the demand for our courses is growing and especially in the central London area we've decided to expand the business and most importantly offer these customers the opportunity to train with us, so after popular demand we've decided to bring Trade Skills 4U to the city of London!

What do we need in a training centre?

When we decided to set up a new training centre we asked ourselves this:

• What do our students expect from a training facility?
• And where should it be located?
• We knew that our training facility based near Gatwick airport is extremely popular with our students, why is that?


After conducting some research with students studying an electrical training course at our Trade Skills 4U centre in Crawley (Mitre Court) we found out the reason why they chose us over another supplier – this was due to the facilities we have here!

We also received a number of telephone calls from customers based in The City who would prefer to stay in London rather than to travel down to our Gatwick training centres.

Although this was helpful information we had our work cut out to find a similar venue in the city of London to host these classes. No-one wants to learn in a freezing cold building with the plaster falling off the walls now do they? Especially when you work in the trade we understand all of our students expect high standards with their surroundings and so do we!

So the Search began…

We set the wheels in motion to find the most suitable facility to host these classes. We sent out our Trade Skills 4U experts from HQ to find the best space with the most interactive learning centre of the highest quality. You’ll never guess what? But we found it!! Thanks Sabarah Cursons.

Which means you can relax and get on with the most important task of all, LEARNING!

lodon cannon street

About the Cannon Street Branch 

The space we have found is superb for learning with luxurious facilities including comfortable break areas with sofas and newspapers plus a lounge with a pool table where you can relax in-between classes. The classrooms are state of the art with interactive white boards for full audio and visual learning which is fully air conditioned. The building is stone-fronted in the famous Square Mile area of London with neighbours including investment banks, an international communications company and an investment services giant known globally.


training room

Central London is the place to be!

What better place to learn than in central London, with an abundance of shops, bars or restaurants in walking distance from our Cannon Street training centre, you can access this from all over London, Bank underground station, which is at The City of London's core. Historic Cannon Street is well connected for commuters, with the railway station of Cannon Street on your doorstep. Mansion House tube station is nearby, but it's also easy to get to from several underground stations including Monument linking you to all the major tubes for example; Circle & District, Central, Northern, Waterloo & City, and the DLR. So it’s easy to get to from all over London or further afield if needs be.

tower of london

Things to do in the City!
Why not check out the local area after your day of intensive training? You have ‘St Paul’s Cathedral’, ‘The Gherkin’ and the ‘Tower of London’ just metres away. You really will feel like you’ve “made it” wandering about the central streets of EC2, where all of the top bankers, lawyers and insurance brokers work! You might even feel more comfortable wearing a suit and tie…. But this isn’t essential not for a trade course anyway!

view from the gherkin

Popular Courses

Since we opened this centre just under a month ago we’re delighted to have already sold out our 17th Edition 2382-12 City & Guilds course for February which is fantastic news. We’ve added more course dates today which are likely to sell out very quickly because we’ve been inundated with enquiries already. Book your space today.

Look out London we’re expanding the electrician work force!!
Opening Hours:

9am – 4pm Mon – Fri


60 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6NP

Travel Information:

Local tube stations to cannon street training facility for Tradeskills4u:

• Cannon Street (Circle / District Line)

• Mansion House (Underground)

• Bank (Docklands Light Railway)

• Monument (Underground)






Trade Skills 4U Announce Free 17th Edition 3rd Amendment Seminar

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 23rd January 2015

  • training room
  • classroom
  • trade skills sign

Here at Trade Skills 4U we’re delighted to announce we’re opening our doors to existing customers to attend a free seminar about the amendments on the 17th Edition wiring regulations book. After launching this seminar we had an overwhelming demand selling out in just two hours, which is a phenomenal response, we’ve had customers calling our sales team non-stop with enquiries about the next seminar.

The host for the seminar will be Andy Hay-Ellis (Director of Education) and this will take place at Trade Skills 4U head office at Mitre Court near Gatwick Airport. He will cover all the changes including a list of the important amendments.

I expect your wondering why we’ve decided to put on a free seminar when lots of other suppliers are charging for this, well simply because our company ethos is to keep our students (new and old) updated with the industry changes.

On the day you’ll be able to take home a brand new book which we’re selling cheaper than other national retailers, so if you’re going to buy the new book, please get this from us! You can also buy one here.

We would like to stress the importance of these changes which all electricians must be compliant with by 1st July 2015 at the very latest therefore getting a free seminar in at this early stage is a fantastic opportunity.

Unfortunately this isn’t a formal qualification and we won’t be issuing certificates for attending this seminar however after selling out spaces within just two hours we have realised there is a huge demand within the industry to go over these changes we will be adding more dates to the diary soon regarding further seminars before the regulation change on the 1st July.

Although the seminar is sold out any customers who have previously taken a 17th edition course and have access to our online learning portal will automatically receive details about the latest changes.

If you would like to be added onto the waiting list for the seminar please contact.


Keep your eyes out for new dates to be released for the next seminar.



Product review CK Tools - 'Mighty Rod'

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 21st January 2015

mighty rod image

As an electrician, cable running is a routine part of the job, however pushing through cable and hoping it will appear at the other end can be a frustrating headache at times!  If you've so far 'managed' to escape a full house rewire then you may have got around the problem by taking your time or finding a hooked object to assist.

Once you get your first house rewire then the job of running cables under floorboards begins – in other words 'this stuff just got serious!' You won't have the time on your hands to fiddle about getting cable underneath the floor and pulling up all the floorboards will just take up valuable time.

Handy Tip!

Before you start, plan cable runs before you start the work.  Now in the past electricians would have to depend on tape and perhaps some lids off from a couple of lengths of MT1 or 2 to run cables.  Luckily professional help is now on hand thanks to an ingenious invention from the guys at CK Tools.

The Mighty Rod is designed to make light work of cable routing – sounds like an attractive proposition – so let's see what the real deal is.


  • electrician
  • electrician
  • electrician

The Mighty Rod

Upon appearance, it is clear to see that the Mighty Rod means business and will be capable of routing cables in some awkward spots – crawling around in lofts is fun – said no electrician ever!

Featuring 10 metre long fibreglass composite rods, the Mighty Rod is resistant to splintering and snagging ensuring a neat finish each and every time.  The Mighty Rod is suitable in practically every cable routing scenario – behind walls, under floors, over ceilings or through conduits.  Never lose another cable end between floors again!

Need to cable route round corners? No problem!

As the saying goes, any fool can drive in a straight line.  Cable routing is no different, most of us can coax a cable along in a straight line fairly successfully, but once a corner comes along then the fun begins.  The CK Mighty Rod is perfectly suitable for going round bends thanks to the rigidity and flexibility of the 5mm diameter rods.

Gripping the cable is effortless too.  A triple bonding process has been used to attach the connectors to each rod.  Each connector is threaded, glued and crimped to ensure it remains securely on the rod itself.  The connectors themselves will provide years of reliable service thanks to the steel construction with nickel plating finish with is also corrosion resistant.   The connectors are slimline in design making access through small entry holes no problem.

Who knows, you could even practice your weekend dance moves with the Mighty Rod to put it to the ultimate test :)

So what's in the box?

Dubbed by CK tools themselves as Mighty Strong, premium quality cable rods, the CK Mighty Rod is not set up to disappoint.  Coming as an 'all in' set, everything you need for effective cable routing is contained in the box:

10 one metre rods

Cable hook

190mm coiled steel flexi lead

Mini eye and ring

5mm adapter which allows interchangeability with Super Rod accessories and cable rods.

So if you're after a quality cable routing solution at a sensible price then the Super Rod is up there with the best. Extreme torsion and tensile strength comes as standard along with an optimal level of rigidity and flexibility.  The high sheen resin composite rods look the part and should feature as a priority in your toolbox very soon!




Trade Skills 4U Electricians Diary for 2015

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 13th January 2015

2015 calender

Keeping track of the key events and dates for your diary can be hard. So make life easy and simply bookmark, like or share this blog post and all the key events for this year will be in here. We will updating this post on a resgular basis as and when more key dates or events unfold so don't forget to check back from time to time to make sure you don't miss anything!


Nothing as yet!



trade skills 4u logo

Trade Skills 4U 17th Edition 3rd Amendment Seminar

Date: 4th February 2015

About: As a thank you to all of our customers we are offering a free seminar to keep our customers up to date on the latest amendment. The seminar will take place between 1pm and 4pm at our Gatwick head office. Currently SOLD OUT. 





eco build


Date: 3rd – 5th March 2015

Location: Excel London

About:  This event is for sustainable design, construction and energy for new build properties, commercial and domestic buildings. It is an essential industry event for anyone working with solar PV and renewable energy installtion. There is a huge range of exibitors and numrous conferences and talks you can attend over the 3 days.

elex show

The Elex Show (Yorkshire)

Date:  5 – 6 March 2015

Location: Yorkshire Event Centre

About: Sponsored by the IET The Elex Show gives more than 15,000 electrical professionals access to the latest technology as well as various seminars from industry experts about the following areas; ‘Dispelling Industry Myths’, The IET Industry Reform’, ‘NAPIT Inspection and Testing Qualification Explained’ to name but a few. 

NAW 2015

National Apprenticeship Week 2015
Date: 9 - 13 March 2015

About: This week is to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals and businesses across the UK, over this week the Skills Funding Agency will coordinate hundreds of events and activities nationwide.  


Electrical Safety Management Seminar

Date: 16 April 2015

Location:  Strand Palace Hotel, London

About: An educational seminar about the risks found in the workplace featuring four industry experts from the technical committee. If you want to avoid accidents at work then this is the conference for you.

Renewable Energy Market Place

Date: 21 April 2015

Location: Westpoint Arena, Exeter

About: A conference about renewable energy, energy efficiency measures and generation including an exhibition, demonstrations from manufacturers,  talks from various renewable energy experts, clinics for professional advice, and a conference from high level renewable expert.




all energy glasgow

All – Energy 2015

Date: 6 – 7 May 2015

Location: Glasgow, SECC

About: Glasgow is hosting one of the largest renewable energy events with the opportunity to meet key players from the renewable energy industry, if you’re interested in renewable energy then this event is for you.




Date: 14th May 2015

Location: Epsom Race Course

About: Famous for its free bacon butties and much much more NICEIC ELECSA Live is now a permanent fixture in the electrical calendar in the South East. As well as loads of essential tech talks you will also find some great deals and freebies on offers from a variety if industry specialists.




Not much going on in June at present!




Fairwell Green 17th Edition Book!

Date: 1st July 2015

About: From the 1st July 2015 all installations must comply with the latest 17th edition wiring regulations including the 3rd Amendment. This means you must ensure you hold a copy of the new yellow book and know what the key changes are to ensure your installtions are compliant and legal. 


The Electric Event

Date: 3 – 4 July 2015

Location: London

About: The ideal event for electrical professionals contractors, engineers, consultants, designers and specifiers from the UK electrical manafactoring industry. Register now for seminars and conferences. 






All quiet in August at present.




The Energy Event

Date: 15 – 16 September 2015

Location: NEC Birmingham

About: The UKs energy exhibition and conference which informs energy professionals about the developing technology. If you want to stay up to date with industry experts then look no further.




All clear for now.





Date: 27th November 2015

Location: Epsom Race Course

About: Very similar to its southern sister the event at Aintree also features a number of key tech talks plus numerous freebies including the all important bacon butties!




Merry Xmas!


Dont forget to check back as we update this list with important dates and events throughout the year. Also if you know of an important date we have missed please contact us and let us know and we can add it to the calendar.


If you would like an event to appear in our calender please email: kirsten.beckwith@tradeskills4u.co.uk


Categories: events

Sparkies Vs the DNO – Should the DNO Respond Quicker?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 6th January 2015

There is the territory of a sparkie and then there is the territory of the DNO or Distribution Network Operator if you like.  Experienced electricians may well be rolling their eyes at this point as electrical jobs can become seriously delayed for the sake of a relatively quick job that cannot be legally carried out by anyone other than the DNO.

The DNO own and operate the distribution of towers and cables that bring electricity from the national transmission network into individual homes and businesses.  All homes that are connected to the National Grid will be fitted with a distributor fuse.  The distributor fuse is the property of the DNO and should be fitted with a seal to prevent unauthorised tampering.

Disconnecting a distributor fuse

There are several jobs that will require the distributor fuse to be disconnected, one of the common scenarios that sparkies encounter this is when changing a consumer unit.

To legally disconnect the distributor fuse, (referred to amongst electricians as the main fuse,) a technician from the DNO has to disconnect the main fuse then return to reconnect and fit a new seal.  What is a straightforward job can lead to inconvenience and additional cost.

What is even more frustrating is that a qualified and registered electrician would be able to carry out the work, however to prevent what a DNO would class an 'unauthorised tampering' main fuses are fitted with a seal fitted with a crimped seal bearing a unique identification number.  Cutting through the seal is a criminal offence, which leaves electricians with little choice but to follow the rules.

Now, many electricians would respond to this by saying just cut the seal.  However at Trade skills 4 U we believe in safe working practices and highly recommend that the rules and guidance of the DNO are followed.  Ultimately it is illegal to interfere with any DNO equipment and puts you in a difficult position should anything go wrong.

What if there is no seal or it is already broken

There are many households in the UK that do not have an intact seal on the main fuse.  However this is not a gateway to break the law and the DNO should still be contacted to disconnect the fuse.

How long does it take for a DNO to come to disconnect the main fuse?

This is very much a question of how long is a piece of string.  Some DNOs are very helpful and will respond straight away, but normally it does involve a wait and a charge.  In some cases, the DNO may allow the electrician to disconnect the main fuse, and the DNO would return afterwards to re-seal it.  However this should never be assumed.  The correct guidance is to contact the DNO before any work is carried out.

If the DNO does authorise an electrician to disconnect the main fuse there are very strict guidelines that must be followed.  Failure to follow them can lead to action being taken against you by your registration body or in the worst case the exclusion of a registration body from accessing the DNO network.

Does the main fuse have to be disconnected?

If the customer has an isolator fitted then your job becomes so much easier as there is no need to then apply to the DNO to disconnect the main fuse.  You will be able to carry out electrical work legally without worrying about the seal.

Can the DNO respond quicker to main fuse disconnection requests?

Unfortunately there is little that can be done to get a DNO to respond quicker, however the customer could opt to have an isolator fitted, which again would need to be carried out by the DNO at a cost of around £44 which would enable the job to proceed without any further delays.  The fitting of an isolator is normally carried out by the DNO within a few days but the customer would need to give the go ahead to have the isolator fitted themselves.

The only other way of asking a DNO to respond quicker is if there is an emergency such as a consumer unit overheating where the power would need to disconnected quickly.

Always follow the guidance

There is a lot of debate between electricians on how to address the issue of disconnecting the main fuse.  Our advice is never be tempted to disconnect it yourself even if you find that the seal has already been broken in the past.  Ultimately there is no way of knowing of the condition of the main fuse and if something goes wrong, you'll need to explain to the DNO why you were removing the main fuse in the first place, as well as having to pay a hefty penalty.

Here's a helpful map if you wish to find your local DNO: