How to Become an Electrician in the UK

If you enjoy getting “hands-on” with practical work and are logical in your thought processes then becoming an electrician may be an ideal career path for you. Training to become an electrician in the UK also allows you the opportunity to become your own boss and work hours that suit you.

This article details some of the steps that you will need to take along the way towards becoming an electrician and things that you will need to know beforehand.


  1. Image titled Become an Electrician in the UK Step 1
    Assess your suitability for the role.
    • Being an electrician is a promising career but suits a certain type of person. As you will often find yourself dealing with customers directly, it’s important to have an approachable stance and personable attitude.
    • While being an electrician isn’t all about “working with people”, it is inherent to the job. Becoming an electrician also requires concentration to learn the necessary skills, so you must be dedicated and willing to work hard. People are putting the safety of their homes and businesses in your hands, so it is imperative that you completely commit to the task at hand.
  2. Image titled Become an Electrician in the UK Step 2
    Get qualified.
    • To trade as an electrician in the UK you need to acquire an industry-recognised “level 3” diploma in a relevant area. Accepted qualifications include:
      • Level 3 Diploma in Electro-technical Services (Electrical Maintenance)
      • Level 3 Diploma in Installing Electro-technical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment)
      • Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations" (Buildings and Structures) if part of an Apprenticeship.
    • These qualifications can be gained through several official bodies, the main endorser being City & Guilds. A popular way to gain these qualifications is through an apprenticeship scheme, which allows you to practice on-the-job training and earn as you learn.
    • Alternatively you can choose to train via a college course which you can choose to study on a part or full-time basis. This will allow you to study introductory/foundation courses than can either act as a stepping stone into an apprenticeship or onto further higher level education.
    • Some training bodies also offer intensive courses for those who want to pick up skills quickly.
  3. Image titled Become an Electrician in the UK Step 3
    Accredit yourself with an official body.
    • Once you are a qualified electrician, you will want to consider gaining accreditation with an official competent person’s scheme. The main recognised bodies in the UK are:
      • ELECSA
      • NAPIT
      • NICEIC
    • These bodies examine, assess and certify contractors, and the awarded certification therefore proves that the tradesperson is competent in their trade. This can be of great benefit to you when looking for work, as it shows your customers that you are suitably skilled.


  • Market your services:
    • When you are qualified and fully equipped you will then be able to start looking for work. As in almost any sector, you are bound to be faced with competition so you need to carve out a niche for yourself to establish a reputation and gradually build a customer base.
    • Using advertising platforms such as your own website, business cards and flyers not only allow you an opportunity to promote yourself, but also give customers a point of reference that they can pass on to others. Word-of-mouth remains a massive influence in hiring tradespeople, so it is important to maximise the chances of previous customers recommending you to a friend, whether it’s due to the friendliness or efficiency of your service.
  • Invest in tools:
    • To work independently as an electrician you will need to equip yourself with the necessary tools to be able to address any job appropriately. It is advised that each new electrician invests in a standard tool kit and appropriate holding case, as well as a testing kit to assist with matters such as the safe isolation of electricity.
    • Having a form of transport available is important to ensure that you can access all of your customers and have something to carry your equipment around in.


  • Know your hours:
    • As you set out on your new career path as an electrician in the UK, you may wonder how many hours you are expected to work. In general tradespeople often work longer hours than those in other sectors; on average they work 40-51 hours a week rather than the standard full-time schedule of around 37.5 hours per week.
    • These extra hours can come from taking on extra DIY tasks in your spare time and completing admin and necessary paperwork that comes alongside the practical part of the job.
  • Insure yourself:
    • Obtaining appropriate insurance is imperative for electricians, as you cannot legally trade without public liability and personal indemnity insurance. This protects electricians themselves and members of the public who may be put at risk as a result of the work.
    • Insurance can be obtained from independent bodies, but also from accreditation organisations that you can register with such as ELECESA, NAPIT and NICEIC.
  • Be aware of what you should be earning:
    • When you start receiving jobs you should explore current rates of pay across different areas and levels so that you are not only not overcharging, but also making sure that you are getting your worth. **Those starting their career as an electrician through an apprenticeship can typically expect to make around £8,000 per annum whilst they train. Once fully-qualified, starting salaries for electricians usually begin at £17,000 a year, with salaries increasing up to £30,000 a year for those with more experience in the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Multifunction tester
  • Safety glasses
  • Leather work boots
  • An electrician’s tool kit

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Categories: Education and Communications