The United Kingdom is facing a shortage of skilled electricians, due to a decline in the number of young workers entering into this profession. The country has seen a decline of more than 2,500 registered electricians over the past few years, according to an analysis of the latest JIB Labor Report. Many older electricians are delaying retirement, but that may not be enough to plug the potential skills shortage in the coming years. By and large, more than 400,000 construction workers, including electricians, will retire over the next 10 years, estimates the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Despite the demand, there are few takers for this profession in the UK. If you have interests in electrical work, this could be a rewarding career option for you. However, success in this field requires years of training and hands-on experience. If you are keen to build a career as an electrician, read on to know a few things about the specific of this profession.
Job DescriptionAn electrician could be responsible for installing, maintaining, servicing and repairing electrical equipment and/or building new electrical systems in domestic or commercial settings. In this profession, you have the flexibility to work in different roles, covering a wide range of areas. For instance, installation electricians specialize in installing wiring systems, lighting fixtures, power systems, while maintenance electricians conduct maintenance checks and services on electrical equipment and systems in domestic or commercial buildings. You can also work as a production electrician and be mainly responsible for building electrical devices or control panels for electrical systems, following wiring diagrams. Your duties as a highway system electrician would be to install and maintain traffic management systems and street lights, while as a servicing and repair expert, you could focus mainly on repairing complex electrical tools and machinery, such as transformers.
Entry RequirementsEven though formal qualification is not necessary for entering into this profession, candidates with general certificates of secondary education (GCSEs) in physics, mathematics, and related subjects get an added advantage. It is also advisable to complete some training courses accredited by City & Guilds and EAL, such as Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations, Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electro-technical Systems and Equipment, Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Electro-technical Services. These programs aim to prepare candidates through a combination of theory-based classes and hands-on training on the job. It usually takes two to four years to complete an apprenticeship.
Skills RequiredIn addition to interests in practical work, you need a diverse range of skills, qualities, and the right attitude to become successful in this profession. To excel in this career, you need;
Excellent practical skillsGood problem solving skillsThe ability to work independently and/or as part of a teamPatience and determinationGood maths skillsCommitmentAttention to small detailsSincerity and carefulnessA flexible attitudeWillingness to continue learningThe ability to follow instructions
Career Opportunity and SalaryElectrician jobs are available in almost all industries, including construction, engineering, IT and manufacturing. You can start working as a junior electrician and gradually move up the career ladder to become a senior electrician. In large enterprises, an electrician can even be promoted to managerial positions. Once you gain experience and skills, you can even get job offers from overseas companies. Your annual salary as a junior electrician could be anywhere between £20,000 and £25,000 while senior electricians can earn a salary of around £27,000 to £32,000 per year. In addition to the fixed salary, you can earn bonuses and overtime payments.
If you are a fast learner with a keen interest in electrician works and have the patience to work for hours in a confined place, you are perhaps a good candidate for this profession.