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Construction Workers To Earn More Than University Students

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 29th March 2018

construction v uni pay

Federation of Master Builders (FMB) report the average salary for electricians is £47,265

Many people considering learning a vocational qualification are often put off because it is generally perceived that the only route to a well-paid career is via a university degree. However, recent research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which shows pay grades for manual jobs, proves that this isn’t necessarily the case.

Why it makes sense to get a trade versus going to university

The study shows the pay grades for both tradespeople and university graduates and reports that in general terms electricians and plumbers earn more than pharmacists, whilst roofers and bricklayers earn more than architects.

Research by the FMB also shows that construction apprentices will typically earn thousands of pounds more year-on-year than many of their university educated counterparts.

The research aims to prove that there are many career paths a school leaver can take without a degree and shatters the myth that apprenticeships have very little formal progression.

Money talks!

FMB’s chief executive Brian Berry said: “Money talks, and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.

"The average university graduate earns £32,000 a year whereas your average brickie or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK. Indeed, in London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year."

"Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students graduate with an average £50,800 of debt, according to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, while apprentices pass the finish line completely debt-free.

"Not only that, apprentices earn while they learn, taking home around £17,000 a year. We are therefore calling on all parents, teachers and young people, who too often favour academic education, to give a career in construction serious consideration.”

Small building firms across the UK were asked what they paid their tradespeople and the average annual salaries were as follows:

Site managers - £51,266

Plumbers - £48,675

Supervisors - £48,407

Electricians - £47,265

Civil engineering operatives - £44,253

Steel fixers - £44,174

Roofers - £42,303

Bricklayers - £42,034

Carpenters and joiners - £41,413

Plasterers - £41,045

Scaffolders - £40,942

Floorers - £39,131

Plant operatives - £38,409

Painters and decorators - £34,587

General construction operatives - £32,392

The report also shows that university graduates were found to earn the following average annual salaries:

Pharmacists - £42,252

Dental practitioners - £40,268

Architects - £38,228

Teachers - £37,805

Chartered and certified accountants - £37,748

Midwives - £36,188

Veterinarians - £36,446

Physiotherapists - £32,065

Nurses - £31,867

Mr Berry added: “The construction industry is in the midst of an acute skills crisis and we are in dire need of more young people, including women and ethnic minorities, to join us.

"Our latest research shows that more than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers and 63 per cent are having problems hiring carpenters. This is a stark reminder of how the government's housing targets could be scuppered by a lack of skilled workers.

"The FMB is committed to working to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships because the only way we will build a sustainable skills base is by training more young people, and to a high standard.”

We’re pleased to see that this report shows that the average salary for electricians is higher than that reported by the ONS which is where the data for our 2018 Trades Salary Survey came from. This is only good news for anyone thinking of entering the industry and shows that it pays to enter the construction industry.

Of course, salary ranges will depend on a number of factors including, experience, qualifications, location and job responsibility etc and the starting salary for an entry level electrician will inevitably be lower.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page or speak to one of our course advisors on 01293 529777.

Source: www.irishnews.com

Categories: salary, pay, construction, graduates, university

Case Study - Libby Rush

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 27th March 2018

 

Name: Libby Rush

Course: Bronze + PAT

Libby is studying Engineering at university and decided to come to Trade Skills 4U to gain some more hands on experience. Here, she discusses how she found the course and why more women should enter the trade.

1. What is your reason for training?

I'm training as part of my graduate engineering scheme to improve my practical skills and become more familiar with building and wiring regulations.

2. Tell us why you decided to train as an electrican?

My employer has sent me to this course because at university I had very little hands on experience, since traditional education has a very heavy focus on science and design theory. This scheme puts that theory into the context of the real world and demonstrates the additional considerations needed to successfully design a circuit.

3. How long have you been working in the electrical industry?

I graduated from a 4 year university course in 2017 and have been in my role for 6 months.

4. Tell us about your current job? 

I am a graduate control, electrical and instrumentation engineer so my day to day includes a lot of computer based design. As part of the development programme I will be moving around different departments so I can learn more about how they work.

5. Why did you decide to take the Bronze course?

My employer has sent previous employees to Trade Skills 4U and received really positive feedback about the scheme so they've to incorporated it into the graduate development programme. 

6. Tell us about your experience with TS4U?

My experience at trade skills 4u has been absolutely fantastic, the support available for people like me with little knowledge in the subject was incredible. All the staff I've found to be really approachable as well as professional.

7. What did you enjoy most about the course?

The interactive way the courses were taught which allowed for back and forth of questions was a great way to build a rapport with the instructor and create a more comfortable learning environment. Teaching theory along side the practical elements also really helped me relate what we were doing in the workrooms to something I knew about.

8. What did you find most challenging about the course?

Jumping in day one into a pure practical exercise was challenging for me whilst other students were really in their element. It was the first time I got hand cramp outside of an exam, trying to keep up with everyone else.

9. Do you have any advice for women who are thinking of entering the trade?

I recommend finding a balance between powering through on your own and knowing when to ask for help. Working together and talking through problems is one of the best ways to learn and also break the ice, but don't be afraid to say no and that you want to do it by yourself. Ultimately, if someone else is over your shoulder and offering to tweak your work it won't benefit anyone in the long run.

10. Do you think there’s plenty of opportunities for those working in the electrical industry?

I've found a lot of opportunities within my area when I was looking for training schemes. It's such a vast industry there are so many levels to jump in on.

We wish Libby the best of luck with the rest of her training and new job!

Categories: case study, qualification, electrician, trade

18th Edition Wiring Regulations - Major Shift or Update?

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 13th March 2018

The new 18th Edition is due to be launched in July this year with changes coming into effect in January 2019. We’ve taken a look to see if there are any significant modifications to the 17th or if they are more like updates to be aware of.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the regulations, there’s notable changes to the structure and layout of the book. Sparks used to have to navigate through the book by using a fragmented, sectioned based multiple contents guide, which most people didn’t find very user friendly. Now the book has a much larger contents section which has been formatted for a more holistic approach. This should now make it easier for electricians to navigate their way through the book to find the regulation they require.

We’ve taken a look through the regulations and highlighted what we think has changed in the new 18th Edition.   

Part 1

There’s only minor changes in part 1, these are slight amendments on information on electrical installation certificate.

Part 2

Chapter 41 – There are a number of significant changes taking place under this section. We’ve highlighted the two we think are most noteworthy.

• Regulation 411.3.3 has been revised and now applies to socket-outlets with a rated current not exceeding 32A. There is an exception to omit RCD protection where, other than a dwelling, a documented risk assessment determines that RCD protection is not necessary.

• A new Regulation 411.3.4 requires that, within domestic (household) premises, additional protection by an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA shall be provided for AC final circuits supplying luminaires.

Main changes include further use of RCD’s for domestic households. Including RCD protection for all lighting circuits and socket outlets rated up to 32A when previously 20A.

It’s important to note for domestic properties the regulation has been deleted that allows the use of RCD protection for a single socket outlet to be omitted as a permitted exception.

Chapter 42

Protection against thermal effects

•  A new Regulation 421.1.7 has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents.

The main changes in this section includes the use of arc fault protection. These work by detecting a fault at a very early stage, reducing the magnitude of the perspective current whilst retaining the maximum permissible disconnection time for the circuit. This reduces the risk of fire for the duration of the fault and is now recommended for fixed electrical installations.

Chapter 44

Protection against voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances

Section 443, which deals with protection against overvoltage’s of atmospheric origin or due to switching, has been redrafted.

The AQ criteria (conditions of external influence for lightning) for determining if protection against transient overvoltages is needed are no longer included in BS 7671. In its place, protection against transient overvoltages has to be provided where the consequence caused by overvoltage. In other instances, a risk assessment needs to be undertaken to decide if the protection is required.

These section mainly sees changes for the electrical design, commercial and industrial electricians. There are no major changes for general domestic installations.

Chapter 46

Devices for isolation and switching

A new chapter has been introduced which focuses on non-automatic local and remote isolation and switching measures for the prevention or removal of dangers associated with electrical installations or electrically powered equipment. Also, switching for the control of circuits or equipment. Where electrically powered equipment is within the scope of BS EN 60204, only the requirements of that standard apply.

Chapter 53

Protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring

Chapter 52 has been adjusted to concentrate on requirements for protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring dealing with requirements for selection and erection of devices provided to manage such functions.

Section 534

Devices for protection against overvoltage

This section has been revised with key changes to the selection of overvoltage protection devices.

Chapter 54

Earthing arrangements and protective conductors

This section has introduced two new regulations stating there’s a strong recommendation to install a foundation earth electrode on new buildings.

Chapter 55 

Other equipment

When installing luminaires in the ground, consideration must be given to the tables and standards highlighted in chapter 55.

• Ground-recessed luminaires, the selection and erection of which shall take account of the guidance given in Table A.1 of BS EN 60598-2-13.

Part 6

Inspection and testing

No major changes except for restructure of chapters.

Section 722 Electric vehicle charging installations

The main change in this section is to Regulation 722.411.4.1 which highlights the use of a PME supply with regards to vehicle charging installations. This means PME cannot be used unless you meet (i) (ii) (iii) of 722.411.4.1.

Part 8

Energy efficiency

The 18th Edition does see a whole new section which deals with Sustainability. This is mainly aimed at electrical design.

Overall there are some significant changes coming with the 18th Edition which will impact electricians on site. With the mains points consisting of: protecting against electric shock, protecting against electromagnetic disturbances and voltage disturbance and selection, erection of wiring systems and of course the introduction of energy efficiency.  So this is more than a small amendment or update, and as such electricians will need to update to the latest version of the 18th edition wiring regulations in the coming year. We already have lots of 18th edition course dates live to book online.

Categories: 18th edition