If your current job is leaving you feeling burnt out and unappreciated, it may be time for a change. Switching career paths can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you’ve worked in your current sector for an extended period. However, it is never too late for a fresh start. While it may take time, effort and a great deal of upheaval, there is no reason for you not to work on professional development at a mature age.
Becoming an electrician or electrical engineer is no easy task. However, if you have an exceptional ability to use your initiative and a keen eye for detail, it may be your ideal career path.
A Passion For Learning
To become a licensed electrician, you must undergo a combination of educational training, work experience and official assessments. The entry specifications for most courses are usually a General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once obtained, you can apply for an electrical apprenticeship or a college course to acquire a level 2 diploma in Electrical Installation or a level 3 diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. There are many routes you could take from this point, including earning the title of Master Electrician, the highest level of electrical certification, which requires seven years and 4000 hours of work experience as a journeyman.
You could also enrol on a domestic electrical installer course, although following completion, you will only be qualified to do minor jobs and supervised domestic electrical work. Either way, any aspiring electrician needs a passion for learning and professional growth to stay engaged and motivated.
High Demand For Electricians
There will always be a high demand for qualified, experienced electricians. Considering the UK’s ever-increasing population, many citizens are being advised to learn a trade to meet demand. Studies show that there is a current shortage of skilled tradespeople due to a mismatch between supply and demand and large numbers of retirements. Furthermore, as a result of the UK’s increase in new build housing development, there is a high demand for electricians in the construction industry, particularly in southern districts like Central London, Hertfordshire and Surrey.
The prospect of being your own boss is attractive to many. Many self-employed individuals enjoy a flexible lifestyle, a higher earning potential and the freedom to control their own professional development. While self-employment and starting your own can be hard work, with enough dedication and effective marketing strategies, you could make an exceptionally lucrative living. Most self-employed electricians charge between £20 and £50 per hour, amounting to roughly £35-40K a year.
Challenging Yet Rewarding
Part of being a skilled electrician is learning to be an expert problem-solver. Electricians should have a comprehensive understanding of everything from the fundamentals of home wiring to power distribution systems. Although electrical work requires specialist knowledge, patience and practical skills, for individuals who enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, the rewards are worth the effort.
Being an electrician can be profoundly challenging, both mentally and physically. Due to long working hours and a potentially rocky work-life balance when demand is high, you will require a lot of stamina. Furthermore, working with electricity can be risky; therefore, you must be competent, remain alert and take the initiative to ensure health and safety guidelines are followed at all times.
Vital Life Skills
Becoming an electrician can provide you with vital skills you can implement into your daily life. The ability to fix your own household electrical problem can be tremendously beneficial since, as previously discussed, skilled electricians don’t come cheap! Not only that, but experience in a demanding, customer-centric trade can teach you the importance of perseverance and significantly improve your communication skills.
Excellent Career Opportunities
There are seemingly endless possibilities for your career development once qualified and with a few years of experience under your belt. With the possibility of travelling for work, your job may take you all over the country - even abroad.
Some of the various routes your career could take include:
- Construction work for small businesses and large corporations.
- Electrical engineer for the army or air force.
- Renewable energy technician working on the production of wind, solar and hydro or marine power.
- Electrical trainer and assessor to help other intrepid electricians gain skills and experience.