Gas engineer in training

Gas-fuelled appliances can be very dangerous if they're not installed correctly. Because of this, gas appliances should ONLY be installed and serviced by competent, qualified gas engineers.

Here in the UK, gas fitters are legally required to join the Gas Safe Register before carrying out any gas work. The Gas Safe Register website makes it easy to...

  • Check whether your gas engineer is registered
  • Report illegal gas work

Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI in 2009, and since then, it has been the sole official gas registration body for the United Kingdom (as well as the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey).

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Apprentice electrician

An electrical apprenticeship is kind of like a cross between a university course and a full-time job. Apprentices carry out real-life electrical work (under the supervision of an experienced electrician, of course) and get paid for it; but they also spend part of their time in the classroom, studying their new trade and the theory that underpins it. Apprentice electricians typically spend at least 20% of their working hours studying.

Some see the time-honoured apprenticeship route as a rite of passage for budding tradespeople. But an electrical apprenticeship is rarely the most efficient way to get qualified and start your career.

 

The drawbacks of an electrical apprenticeship

An apprenticeship might sound like the best of both worlds, combining the perks of being a student (i.e. self-betterment and opportunities to make new friends) with the benefits of working (i.e. getting paid).

However, apprenticeships have two major downsides:

  • They take years to complete. According to apprenticeships.gov.uk, an apprenticeship can take anywhere from 1 to 6 years. On average, electrical apprenticeships tend to take 3 or 4 years - so if you become an apprentice at the age of 18, there's a good chance you'll turn 21 before you turn professional!

  • Apprentice electricians don't make much money. As an apprentice, you won't be paid anywhere near as much as a fully-fledged pro. According to Indeed, the average salary for an electrician in the UK is £32,415 per year - but an apprentice electrician in the UK makes just £17,467 per year. And as mentioned above, you'll have to wait a few years before you can strike out on your own and start making big money.

 

Why wait years to become a professional electrician?

If you're eager to get qualified and start your electrical career ASAP, there is a speedy alternative to the traditional apprenticeship route.

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a selection of fast-track electrical courses that are specifically designed to turn novices into fully-qualified electricians as quickly as possible. If you're not thrilled by the prospect of spending the next few years as an apprentice - not making all that much money and working with someone else looking over your shoulder - then our training courses are the perfect alternative.

With our help, you can earn industry-recognised qualifications and achieve 'professional electrician' status in a matter of months. Contact us now to check upcoming course dates, or click the button below to explore your options.

Browse Electrician Courses >

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Working as a carpenter

Am I too old to retrain as a carpenter?

This is a question commonly asked by people in their forties who are considering a change of career.

If you're around 40 years of age and wondering whether it's too late for you to become a carpenter, allow us to reassure you that it most certainly is not!

In this blog post, we'll take a look at the options available to you as an adult learner and how you can become a carpenter at 40+ with the help of Access Training.

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Thinking of becoming a plumber? Here's a preview of what an average working day might look like once you're qualified...

Plumber doing a job

Plumbers tend to rise early in the morning, often completing the first job of the day before the nation's office workers have even switched on their computers. But while those office workers will be chained to their desks for the next eight hours, a professional plumber gets to spend the day travelling around, tackling a variety of tasks in all sorts of different workplaces.

 

What jobs do plumbers do?

The jobs that make up a plumber's average working day depend (to an extent) on whether that plumber is self employed or employed by someone else.

 

Self-employed plumbers

If you've decided to set up your own business and be your own boss, you're free to pick and choose what jobs you take on. In all likelihood, domestic plumbing repairs and installations will form the majority of the work you do.

Common jobs include:

  • Stopping leaks and drips
  • Unclogging drains
  • Improving water pressure
  • Installing new pipework
  • Fitting bathrooms
  • Repairing boilers*

*Note that plumbers must be Gas Safe registered in order to work on gas boilers.

 

Plumbers employed by somebody else

If you are employed by a commercial plumbing company, your typical working day will probably look a little different from that of a self-employed domestic plumber.

Yes, there will still be plenty of leaks to fix and drains to unblock, but you may also find yourself...

  • Installing plumbing systems in new buildings
  • Maintaining large-scale water supply / waste removal systems
  • Carrying out work on public water mains

If you're not keen on the idea of spending lots of time in the van, zipping from one job to the next, then you might prefer a 'static' job that allows you to do all your work in one place. Many large businesses employ resident plumbers to carry out regular inspections and maintenance on the company's premises.

 

What hours do plumbers work?

Some plumbers work a standard nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday week like everyone else. But there's a lot of extra money to be made if you're happy to work evenings and weekends. If your average customer is at work during the day, they'll probably want a plumber who is willing to pop by later on, when they're at home...or maybe on Saturday, when they've got the day off. And of course, some plumbing emergencies can't wait until the next weekday!

Self-employed plumbers have the freedom and the flexibility to choose their own timetable and work as many (or as few) hours as they wish. Plumbers in traditional employment usually - though not always - operate on a more rigid schedule. Both career paths have their benefits; once you've completed your training and got some professional plumbing qualifications under your belt, it will be up to you to decide which lifestyle suits you best.

Browse Our Plumbing Courses >

Further reading:

Man training for a career in electrical engineering

An electrical engineer is someone who designs electrical systems. This can mean anything from assisting with the construction of new homes to planning nationwide energy networks.

As you can probably imagine, this line of work demands a lot of expertise, but if you've got the right qualifications, a career in electrical engineering can be very lucrative indeed. According to payscale.com, the average salary for an electrical engineer in the UK is just over £32,000 per year - and some earn significantly more than that.

Electrical engineers are employed by all sorts of different industries, including:

  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing
  • Defence

 

What's the Difference Between an Electrician and an Electrical Engineer?

While 'electrician' and 'electrical engineer' are often used interchangeably, they are - strictly speaking - two different professions. You wouldn't hire an electrical engineer to come and fix your oven, and most jobbing electricians aren't qualified to design large-scale electrical systems.

So what exactly is the difference? Well, this is something of an oversimplification (and there is a certain amount of overlap between the two roles) but broadly speaking, electrical engineers DESIGN the jobs that electricians then CARRY OUT. Think of the electrical engineer as a composer, and the electrician as a concert pianist; one writes the music, the other performs it.

 

How to Become an Electrical Engineer

If you simply want to work as a domestic electrician, you will need the following qualifications (which make up our Essential Electrical Course):

  • Part P Domestic Installer
  • 18th Edition Wiring Regulations
  • Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings

If you want to pursue a career in electrical engineering, you will need to know how to design electrical systems. Our Electrical Design Course (which includes a Level 4 design and verification qualification) is recommended for candidates who already have some professional electrical experience under their belts.

Beginners who wish to forge a career in electrical engineering may be interested in our Premier Electrical Course - this comprehensive training package consists of eight different qualifications, covering everything from basic electrical theory all the way through to the design and verification of new installations. No prior knowledge or experience is required to enrol on this course.

View All Electrical Courses >

If you want to become an electrical engineer but you're not sure where to start, please contact Access Training Academies today - our course advisors will start you down the path to your new career.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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