Not sure what qualifications you need to work as an electrician? Read our simple guide!

Electrician qualifications

So you want to become an electrician, and you can't wait to enrol on a training course and start learning your new trade.

But there's a problem: you've been looking at the various training courses that are available for budding electricians, and each one seems to result in a different qualification. Now you're wondering which of those certificates and diplomas you actually need - which one will mark you out as a qualified electrician and enable you to turn professional?

Thing is, the world of electrical work is a rich tapestry, comprising lots of different tasks in lots of different places. There are lots of different electrician qualifications because there are lots of different electricians - some specialise in domestic installations, while others work exclusively in commercial/industrial environments. Some make a living from portable appliance testing (PAT), while others spend their days designing and installing complex electrical systems.

Still, there's no need to be baffled by the wide variety of available electrical qualifications. Here's a rough guide to some of the best-known electrician qualifications and what each one actually licenses you to do:

 

Basic Electrician Qualifications

Let's start with the qualifications that are included on our Essential Electrician Course. This a great course for beginners, consisting of three crucial electrical qualifications that just about all electrical engineers are expected to hold:

  • Part P Domestic Installer - The Part P qualification allows you to install, inspect, test and certify a broad range of domestic electrical systems. Along with the 17th Edition certificate (see below), Part P is widely recognised as the essential qualification for new electricians.

  • 17th Edition Wiring Regulations - The phrase '17th Edition' refers to the current Wiring Regulations to which British electricians must adhere. Gaining your 17th Edition certificate demonstrates that you have a good understanding of the Regulations and how to comply with them.

  • Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings - The Building Regulations are another important piece of legislation for electricians. Obtaining this qualification demonstrates that you understand the Building Regulations as applicable to electrical installations in homes and dwellings.

 

Going Further: Advanced Electrician Qualifications

Once you have earned the above qualifications, you may wish to work towards obtaining additional qualifications so as to set yourself apart from the competition and broaden the range of jobs you're capable of undertaking. Here are some of the more advanced qualifications that Access Training can help you to achieve:

  • Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) - PAT testing can be a great source of income for professional electricians. This qualification (equivalent to the City & Guilds 2377 certificate) will equip you with the necessary skills to do it.

  • Fundamental Inspection & Testing - This qualification is equivalent to the City & Guilds 2392 certificate and serves as a great introduction to electrical inspection and testing.

  • Periodic Inspection & Testing - Following on from the above, this is a more advanced inspection and testing qualification that (as per City & Guilds 2395) focuses on developing these skills and equipping you with the knowledge you'll need to carry out professional periodic work.
  • Design & Verification - Equivalent to the City & Guilds 2396 qualification, this is among the very highest electrician qualifications in the industry. It covers the design of electrical systems and enables you to design/specify systems for other electricians to install.

 

Click here to browse our full range of electrical courses, or feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the assorted electrician qualifications Access Training can help you to obtain.

Judge's gavel

It's widely known that gas engineers in the UK are legally required to join the Gas Safe Register before working on gas appliances. But do you know what the punishment is for carrying out gas work when you're not Gas Safe registered?

A Mr Stevens of Milton Keynes recently found out. The director of Master Plumbing Contractors Limited recently appeared before Aylesbury Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

This sentence was handed down because Mr Stevens was working illegally when he installed a gas boiler (later found to have defects) at a property in Milton Keynes. The court heard that Mr Stevens had...

  • Professed to be Gas Safe registered
  • Worn a T-shirt bearing the Gas Safe logo
  • Displayed the Gas Safe logo on his company van

...but an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that, despite all appearances, Mr Stevens actually was not on the Gas Safe Register at the time the work was carried out.

Following the outcome of this hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGill issued a statement warning "rogue gas fitters" that gas work is "difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous", and that it should only be undertaken by "trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe".

How do you get on the Gas Safe Register?

In order to join the Gas Safe Register and avoid the penalties for illegal gas work, you will first need to pass your ACS assessment - and you won't be able to do that until you've learned the essential skills, theory and safety procedures that every professional gas engineer must know.

If you're thinking of joining the trade and making a living from gas work, we offer a selection of comprehensive gas courses here at Access Training Academies. You'll learn in a fully-equipped training centre under the supervision of an experienced gas engineer, and we'll help you to progress smoothly and quickly from learning the basics to preparing for your ACS assessment. We can also help with the reassessments that you'll have to complete every few years in order to stay on the Gas Safe Register.

Our Gas Courses >   Speak to a Course Advisor >

READ MORE: How to Become Gas Safe Registered

Become an electrician

If you're looking for a rewarding new career, then you may want to think about becoming an electrician. Gaining your electrical qualifications and starting down this path can be challenging, but the rewards are well worth it.

Why become an electrician?

  • Electricians commonly make upwards of £30,000 per year (according to totaljobs.com)
  • You'll have the opportunity to be your own boss and choose your hours
  • Qualified electricians are in very high demand right now - more than a quarter of firms have reported difficulties recruiting electricians

In addition to the above perks, electricians also enjoy a more active working day, making their way from one job to the next and engaging in practical, hands-on labour instead of sitting at a desk all week.

All of these are great reasons to become an electrician - but how exactly do you do it? Well, as with any trade, there are a number of industry-recognised qualifications associated with electrical work, and you'll obviously need to get qualified before you can start work; after all, electricity is very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and it's illegal for untrained personnel to operate on live electrical installations.

What qualifications do you need?

In order to start your electrician career, you will first need to earn an industry-recognised Level 3 electrical qualification, such as:

  • Level 3 Award in the In-Service Inspections and Testing of Electrical Equipment (PAT)
  • Level 3 Award in the Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings
  • Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installations

These qualifications each cover different skills/aspects of being an electrician, so you may find it worthwhile to complete a package course (e.g. our own Professional Electrical Course, which includes a number of Level 3 electrical qualifications) in order to give the best possible foundation for a varied, lucrative career. Simply click below to learn more!

Professional Electrical Course >

 

How to be an electrician

How long does it take to get qualified?

A lot of budding electricians get qualified over a number of years via an apprenticeship or NVQ diploma course, with a Level 3 qualification awarded upon completion. Other people obtain Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualifications before seeking trainee positions.

These aren't the only options, however. Fast-track electrical courses - which allow candidates to achieve Level 3 qualifications within a very short time frame - have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is an option you may wish to consider if you're looking to start your new career as an electrician ASAP.

Fast-track courses vary in duration, but dedicated students can complete their training and become qualified electricians in a matter of months.

What happens once you're qualified?

Once you have completed your electrical training and earned the necessary qualification(s), you can seek employment with a firm, or you can start your own business and be your own boss.

Many newly-qualified electricians choose the latter option, and it's not hard to see why: self-employed electricians can work as few or as many hours as they please, and their earnings aren't limited to their contracted salary. However, if you would prefer to be employed by someone else, that's a great choice too, and with electricians extremely in-demand at the moment, you should have no trouble finding a job.

If you'd like to become an electrician and train with Access Training, simply click below to browse our range of Electrical Courses and apply today to start your new career and life!

View our Electrical Courses >

 

Wondering what it's like to train with us? Here's a review from one of our electricians in training:

If you need advice on any of our electrical training courses, or would just like to speak to one of our expert advisors about any of the courses we offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 345 7492 or email info@accesstraininguk.co.uk

Train for a new career

Leaving your comfort zone behind and training for a new career can a very intimidating prospect, but if you've grown weary of your current role, it may be the best decision you ever make.

Here at Access Training, we specialise in career change courses for people who wish to learn a trade (such as plumbing or plastering) and make a living out of it. Our courses are designed for individuals with absolutely no experience or knowledge of their chosen trade, so even if you've never so much as changed a fuse or unblocked a sink, you can become a fully-qualified electrician or plumber within a surprisingly short period of time.

Here's a quick overview of what to expect when you train for a new career with Access Training Academies:

 

Industry-recognised qualifications

The key to starting a successful new career in any trade is gaining the qualifications that will mark you out as a qualified member of that particular field. Gas engineers, for instance, must undergo an ACS assessment and join the Gas Safe Register before they can start earning money.

The new career courses we deliver here at Access Training are specifically structured to get you the qualifications you'll need to succeed in your new role. Instead of researching which certificates and accreditations you need to seek out, you can simply pick a course package - like, for instance, our Professional Gas Engineer Course - and begin your training, secure in the knowledge that we've covered all the essentials.

 

Help from experienced tutors

All of our course leaders are qualified tradespeople with years of commercial experience in their respective fields. This means that they are perfectly placed to provide all the assistance and instruction you could possibly require.

Furthermore, we aim to keep our class sizes as small as possible, so you can rest assured that you'll have plenty of opportunities to talk things out with your tutor as you progress through your chosen training course.

 

Intensive training programmes

Our career change courses are designed to get you qualified as quickly as possible. Instead of signing up for an apprenticeship and waiting several years to become a fully-fledged tradesperson, you can get trained up in a matter of months and start your exciting new career right away. This is a great choice if you can't afford to take a loss of income as you transition from one career path to another.

 

Learn from the ground up

As mentioned above, our courses cover everything a professional tradesperson needs to know. Don't worry if you don't know the first thing about electricity - we'll start from the absolute basics and work up from there, ensuring that you get plenty of support as you learn.

Our new career courses comprise a finely-tuned combination of theory and practical work. We'll make sure you know everything you need to know about your new trade, but we'll also ensure that you leave with plenty of hands-on experience so that you're completely confident when you show up for that first paid job.

Ready to train for a new career? To find out more about our career change courses, contact Access Training today or choose from the options listed below.

 

New Career Training Courses:

Gas courses

Gas engineers are among the most in-demand tradespeople of all, and if you're willing to put in the work necessary to get certified and join the Gas Safe Register, you'll be able to do all sorts of jobs that less-qualified workers are unable to tackle.

With that in mind, it's easy to see why gas courses are such a popular choice amongst people who are looking to change careers. But is a gas course the right choice for you? And are gas training programmes really worth the price tag?

Benefits of training to be a gas engineer

  1. Take advantage of the skills shortage. The UK is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled tradespeople, and our forthcoming departure from the European Union is expected to exacerbate the situation still further. However, this is actually very good news for you if you're considering quitting your current job and learning a trade instead - as a newly-qualified gas engineer, you should have no shortage of lucrative jobs to take on.

  2. Work on a wide range of appliances. Gas engineers don't just fix boilers. Once you're on the Gas Safe Register, you'll potentially be called upon to fix everything from ovens to hobs to fireplaces. If you're also qualified as a plumber (gas and plumbing qualifications often go hand-in-hand), you can also add sinks, showers, toilets and bathtubs to that list. This should mean that your days are both busy and enjoyably varied.

  3. Make lots of money! According to totaljobs.com, the average salary for a gas engineer in the UK is in excess of £32,000. That's a very appealing pay packet indeed, especially when the work itself is so rewarding and enjoyable.

Of course, it does cost money (usually several thousand pounds, also this can vary) to train as a gas engineer, but as we think you'll agree, the pros above are well worth that initial expense.

Gas courses from Access Training

If you're ready to begin your new career path, you'll be pleased to learn that we offer a comprehensive range of gas engineer training courses here at Access Training Academies. Our training packages are affordable and great value for money; furthermore, we offer flexible payment plans and finance options across all of our courses.

Click the links below to find out more about each training course: 

No matter what trade you'd like to learn, please contact Access Training today to find out how we can help you to achieve your career ambitions!

Quick Career Change

So you're sick of your current job and you want to make a change as soon as possible. You could simply apply for a role elsewhere, of course, but what if it's not your present employer or workplace that you have a problem with? What if you're looking to switch to a different line of work entirely?

If that's the case, you'll often have to retrain and you can have the opportunity to do so by looking into our intensive trade courses. As we explained in our last blog post, What Are the Best Careers to Retrain For?, learning a new skill and becoming a professional tradesperson is a great career change option, but is it the right choice when you're specifically looking to make a QUICK career change? In other words...

Is it possible to become a qualified tradesperson in a short space of time?

The 'traditional' training route for plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople is unfortunately rather time-consuming. An apprenticeship takes several years to complete, meaning that you'll be stuck at the training stage for quite a while before starting your new career proper.

Fortunately, there are faster ways to get qualified. A good intensive / fast-track training course will cover everything you need to know (including all relevant theory knowledge as well as the practical skills you'll be using on the job) in a matter of months rather than years, making this a far better option when time is of the essence.

Of course, successfully completing a fast-track trade course requires a lot of hard work, but your effort will pay off in a number of different ways:

  • You'll be able to start your new career sooner

  • You'll be learning your new trade instead of making tea for your boss (as can unfortunately be the case for apprentices)

  • You'll have the opportunity to grow your skill set rapidly by taking on additional training courses if you wish

Intensive training courses from Access Training

If you're looking to get trained up and change careers ASAP, Access Training's fast-track courses are ideal for you. Contact us now to discuss your options, or click one of the following links to find out more:

Photo courtesy of pexels.com

Retraining for a new career

If your current job has become frustrating, uninspiring, or just plain dull, then it may be time to consider retraining for a new career. You can retrain at 20, 30, 40 and beyond - regardless of your age, it's never too late to change your path!

While lucrative careers that require no qualifications or prior training do exist, such opportunities are relatively few and far between, so it's generally a better bet to undergo some form of retraining before embarking upon your new career path. The best careers to retrain for can take many forms: some people choose to go back to university, or even to a sixth form college to retake their A-levels. Others enrol on apprenticeships or vocational courses.

Of course, the best retraining route for you depends very heavily on what kind of career you're looking to pursue. So the questions you should be asking, first of all, are as follows:

What career should I retrain for?

Typing 'best careers to retrain for' into Google produces all sorts of different answers to this question. One website tells you to become a chef; another recommends logistics, firefighting and air traffic control. There doesn't seem to be any real consensus as to what the best career path is, and while that's perfectly understandable - everybody is different, and one person's dream job is another person's nightmare - we'd like to make the case today for learning a trade and re-training as a tradesperson.

There are countless opportunities for qualified tradespeople in the UK right now. The government made house building a key focus of their latest budget, and if their targets are to be met, the country will need a lot more workers who are capable of building new properties and providing them with water and electricity. And that need is set to become even greater over the coming years - according to The Telegraph, the UK's construction industry workforce will decrease by 20-25% in the next decade. New, skilled workers are needed to fill that gap, so if you're weighing up prospective career options, getting into the trade could well be a very good training choice indeed.

Training options for budding tradespeople

The government's stated goal is to build 300,000 homes a year. Lots of different skills are required to construct a habitable modern home; bricklayers and carpenters will be in very high-demand, of course, but so will the following people:

Electricians

Homes need electricity, and only a qualified electrical engineer can legally perform electrical installations. Why not retrain as an electrician with the help of Access Training?

Electrical training courses >

Plumbers

Homes also need water, and there many jobs for a plumber to do within a house building project. Sinks, taps, baths, toilets, showers, dishwashers...the list goes on. We offer a variety of plumbing courses if you'd like to retrain as a plumber.

Plumbing courses >

Gas Engineers

Many plumbers choose to also train as gas engineers and join the Gas Safe Register, as this enables them to carry out a wider variety of tasks (e.g. boiler installation). This is a rewarding and challenging profession for people looking to retrain.

Gas training courses >

Kitchen Fitters

Professional kitchen fitters are required to have a strong grasp of numerous specialist skills, from measuring and marking up to cutting worktops and installing cooker circuits. Retraining as a kitchen fitter will provide you with a lucrative career, and might even come in handy at home!

Kitchen fitting courses >

To find out more about the best retraining options here at Access Training, and to start retraining for your dream career please contact us today.

how long to become a gas engineer

The UK's plumbing and heating industry have been struggling with a serious skills shortage for some time now. Plumbers and gas engineers are in exceedingly high demand; many have found themselves forced to turn down jobs because there's simply no room in their tightly-packed schedules.

So the country needs more gas engineers, and it needs them now. The problem is that nobody becomes a qualified engineer overnight - completing college courses takes several years, and the same goes for apprenticeships. However, our fast track courses allow you to become qualified in a matter of months

There are plenty of opportunities for Gas Safe engineers in Britain right now, but it takes a long time to properly prepare a person for those jobs via these 'traditional' training routes. Becoming a gas engineer this way can a minimum of six months! 

Is there a faster way to become a gas engineer?

Fortunately for budding gas engineers and British homeowners alike, apprenticeships are no longer the only way to become a qualified heating engineer. Over the last few years, intensive gas training courses have soared in popularity throughout the UK, with an increasing number of career changers opting for the fast-track route and attaining Gas Safe status in a matter of a few months.

Some programmes even allow students the flexibility to learn part-time so as to accommodate other commitments - great news for would-be tradespeople who need to stay in work and/or support a family during the training period.

Become a gas engineer through an intensive training course

As an example, let's look at the Professional Gas Engineer Course that we offer here at Access Training. This is a flexible course that's open to everyone - no prior gas or plumbing experience is required to enrol.

This intensive course is specifically designed to give you gas engineer qualifications and ready for work within the shortest possible timeframe. All the basics are covered (including gas safety legislation and standards), and the hands-on training programme ensures that students are able to do everything that's expected of a gas engineer, e.g. pipework, tightness tests, and repairing a variety of gas appliances.

The course culminates in the ACS gas assessment, which tests students on everything they've learned. Those who pass this assessment receive the ACS Certificate, which enables them to join the Gas Safe Register and conduct gas work legally.

We also offer a Premier Gas Engineer Course, which includes two electrical qualifications. Completion of this course allows you to conduct electrical as well as gas work, opening up a wider range of jobs to you.

 Browse Our Gas Engineer Courses >

 

For more information on how to become a gas engineer, our fast-track gas safe courses, the gas engineer qualifications that you'll receive or how long it will take to complete our course and become a gas safe engineer, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Access Training team today.

Thinking of changing careers? Wondering if you'd enjoy life as a professional electrician? Read on to find out just what this job has to offer.

Electrician Career

Becoming an electrician can be a very tempting prospect, especially if your current job keeps you cooped up in an office all week. Electricians spend their working days out and about, travelling from one job to the next, fixing people's electrical problems and helping them to get their appliances up and running again.

If this sounds like a pretty rewarding way to make a living, well, it is! Here's a closer look at why electrical work may be a good career for you to pursue:

How much do electricians make?

According to the Office of National Statistics, the median salary for a UK electrician in 2016 was £30,765 per year. This was slightly higher than the figure for the previous year (which means that electricians' salaries are going up over time).

The same ONS survey found that electricians are the best-paid tradespeople of all, earning more on average than other professionals such as plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers and plasterers.

What hours do electricians work?

So how hard does an electrician have to work to earn upwards of £30k a year? Obviously, there's no set working week when you're a self-employed electrician - you can take on as many or as few jobs as you choose - but it goes without saying that the more work you do, the more money you'll make.

Depending on how much work you find (and how much of it you choose to take on at once), you may well find yourself doing 50-60hrs per week. However, it is more than possible to live comfortably as an electrician working significantly fewer hours than that.

How difficult is it to find work?

The UK is still suffering from something of a trade skills shortage, meaning that there simply aren't enough tradespeople available to do all the jobs that need doing around the country.

This means that electricians (as well as plumbers, bricklayers, etc.) are in very high demand right now, with many tradespeople finding that they're able to command a much higher price for their services than in the past. Interestingly, the result of last year's EU referendum seem to have exacerbated the skills shortage further, and UK electricians are sorely needed to replace the EU workers upon the trade industry relied until recently.

How do you become a qualified electrician?

If the perks of professional electrical work sounds too good to pass up, the next question you'll ask is probably 'what's the next step?'

View accredited electrician courses >

Electricity, of course, can be very dangerous, and so would-be electricians are required to hold a number of qualifications before carrying out any work. Here are the qualifications you MUST have:

  • Part P Domestic Installer
  • 17th Edition Electrical Regulations

These two certifications are included in our Essential Electrical Course. If you wish to learn more advanced skills and expand the range of jobs that you'll be able to undertake, you may wish to investigate our Professional Electrical Course and our Premier Electrical Course.

All of these training programmes are open to all, with no prior electrical knowledge or experience required. If you would like to train to become an electrician, please contact Access Training today!

How much do plumbers make?

If you're considering a change of career, plumbing can be a very lucrative choice. Plumbers are always in demand - every home needs water, after all - and whether you start your own business or get a steady job with a contracting firm, there's a lot of money to be made in this evergreen trade.

So how much do plumbers make?

Once you have completed a professional plumbing course with Access Training Academies, it would be reasonable for you to expect a yearly salary of around £18,000 – £20,000 if you begin your plumbing career in a medium-sized firm. As with nearly every profession, plumbers working in the London area can expect a higher salary then those elsewhere in the UK.

Once you have become more experienced, your wage will increase, and you can probably expect a healthy yearly salary of roughly £21,000 – £30,000 (if working within an established medium-sized plumbing firm). To earn this wage, you will need to possess additional qualifications as well as holding a more supervisory / managerial position within your company.

Alternatively, you can enrol on our Premier Plumbing Course and gain multiple gas and electrical qualifications that will allow you to join the Gas Safe Register and complete a wider range of work, including installing and wiring boilers. If you have completed your Gas Safe training as well as your standard plumbing training, you may be able to earn as much as £35,000 per year.

Many of our learners choose to become self-employed once they've got their plumbing qualifications under their belt. Being your own boss gives you a lot of flexibility, allowing you to choose:

  • The hours that you work
  • The kind of jobs you do
  • The amount you charge per job

Not surprisingly, self-employed plumbers tend to earn more than plumbers who choose to work for a firm. Some self-employed plumbers make up to £60,000 a year.

Self-employed plumbers can charge up to £90 an hour, and could potentially make £1,000 per week. This obviously depends on how in-demand your services are in your area. But with the current skills shortage only set to intensify over the coming years, a skilled tradesperson can dictate their own prices. It is not unheard of for an experienced plumber to earn in the region of £100,000 per year. If you are prepared to put the hours in and offer a 24-hour emergency plumbing service as well as your day-to-day service offering, you can do very well for yourself indeed!

Access Training Academies can help you to achieve your career goals and earn the qualifications necessary to succeed as a plumber.

View Plumbing Courses >   Speak to a Course Advisor >