Basic Electrical Training - Is Being an Electrician Easy

Being an electrician sounds like an inviting job. The work is rewarding and well-paid, and you get to move around a lot, going from one job to the next instead of spending all day at a desk.

But is it easy being an electrician? You'll probably get a different answer to that question from each electrician you ask, but nevertheless, here are a few things to consider when deciding if you'd like to become an electrician

What do I need to be an electrician?

Nothing worth having comes easily, and of course that is true of a successful career. Electricians have to go through the appropriate training to learn the relevant skills and stay safe –after all, it's crucial to know what you're doing when you're working with electricity!

That is why there are certain qualifications that you MUST have before starting work as an electrician. These qualifications are included in our Essential Electrical Course which will provide you with:

  • Part P Domestic Installer
  • 17th Edition Electrical Regs
  • Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings 

Is training to be an electrician easy?

Here at Access Training, we offer a range of electrical courses (which you can browse here) that are suitable for learners of all ages and all experience levels. These courses allow you to gain industry-recognised qualifications and become a fully-certified electrician within a relatively short window of time. We wouldn't necessarily call our courses 'easy' - there's a lot of theory and technical skill involved in becoming a professional sparky - and students have to work hard in order to pass the course and earn the qualifications necessary to start work as an electrician.

However, our courses do allow you to become qualified in a quicker period of time than traditional methods. Whereas other electrician training takes years, Access Training allows you to gain qualifications within a much shorter time frame.

Is the job easy?

Once qualified, an electrician's job can vary greatly from day to day, which may mean that some days are easier than others. We find that most of our graduates enjoy this diverse selection of work and find the job fulfilling and satisfying. Of course - as with any job - the more experience you gain, the easier it will become.

When you work with electricity, there is obviously some danger that comes with the job - click here to read our blog post on this subject. The risks are very minimal once you know what you're doing, but no matter how long you've been an electrician for, it's always important to remain vigilant.

In general, with a healthy salary (more than £30,000 per annum on average) and a wide selection of work on offer, being an electrician is very worthwhile, and enjoyably challenging without being overwhelming.

If you are considering a career as an electrician, click the links below to find out what each of our electrician training courses entails:

For any advice on what being an electrician is like, or about any of our courses, feel free to get in touch with the Access Training team.

Gas safe training

If you're looking into becoming a professional gas engineer, you may well have heard the term Gas Safe training. In order to work as a gas engineer in the UK, you must be on the Gas Safe Register, and this requires specific training / qualifications. You can think of the Gas Safe Register as an official list of every certified gas engineer who is legally allowed to work on gas appliances in the UK.

Previously known as CORGI, the Gas Safe Register is a nationwide scheme that was created to protect the public from unsafe gas work. To get onto the Gas Safe Register, you must provide evidence of your competence and training by presenting the relevant qualifications, which can be one of the following:

  • A Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) qualification
  • A Scottish/National Vocational Qualification (S/NVQ), such as the 6012 City & Guilds range
  • Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) certification

The training required to become Gas Safe registered is where Access Training Gas Courses can be of use. Whether you are starting as an absolute beginner or would just like to refresh your skills, our courses are designed to get you ready to work as a professional gas engineer. Our Professional Gas Course, for instance, allows you to gain your ACS certificate and join the Gas Safe Register (no experience required to enrol on this course).

Completing a Gas Safe training programme and joining the Register is the only way to be able to work legally in the UK as a gas engineer. Without this, you will not only be working illegally, you may also be putting yourself and the public in danger. Our courses allow you to train safely in state-of-the-art facilities.

Click here to learn more about our gas courses, or contact us today to find out how to enrol.


Sometimes overlooked in favour of other trade professions, the ability to professionally install tiles is a valuable skill that can open up a variety of opportunities if you are a business owner or tradesperson. Tiles are an extremely popular choice of surface in household renovations, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms where they are commonplace and are even growing in popularity. The ability to offer a professional, polished tile installation is the ideal compliment to any current skills you may possess, as well as being a great starting point to a professional trade career or progression into other skilled fields.

As well as being particularly beneficial to tradespeople, learning how to install tiles can also be tremendously useful for homeowners and property developers looking to improve their DIY ability. If you are keen to save money on the cost of hiring professional installers, you may find that our DIY Tiling Course or Essential Tiling Course could prove to be a fantastic investment over time. This grants you with the ability to oversee tiling work according to your own preferences and in your own time, allowing you to purchase and install your tiles without the need to accumulate added labour costs.

Who can our Tiling Courses Benefit?

Plumbers - If you work as a plumber or own your own plumbing business, being able to perform professional tiling jobs could massively benefit the range of work you are able to undertake. This would allow you to add another service to your portfolio when performing bathroom installations, and will enable you to complete a full installation without the need for hiring external assistance.

Landlords/Homeowners - If you are a homeowner looking to renovate your home on a budget, it is well worth learning to how do so from experienced professionals. This will give you a lasting range of skills that you may call upon when you wish to update your home, saving the time and expense of hiring a labourer. It could also greatly benefit landlords looking to save money on their rented properties, by granting them the ability to perform updates and repairs without added expense.

Plasterers/Decorators etc - If you already work in a related field of home renovation but have little to no experience of installing tiles, it can be a great way to enhance your skillset, and thereby expand the range of work you are able to perform. 

Total Beginners - If you're looking for a route into a career as a professional tradesperson, tiling makes a great starting point. Not only does it allow you to seek work on a self-employed/hired basis straight away, it also makes a fantastic starting point for those looking to progress into other training courses. 

To view our full range of tiling courses, click here.

If you have any further questions about a specific tiling course, or about some of our other training courses, contact the Access Training team today!
Qualifications to Be an Electrician
 
At Access Training, we offer a combination of practical experience and theory training to equip our candidates with the knowledge and confidence to succeed in their chosen trade on completion of their course. We also provide them with the opportunity to gain the qualifications recognized in their specific field, so that they can access a suitable employment route and meet the quality standards expected in their industry. So you're thinking about being an electrician but now you're wondering, "what qualifications do I need to be an electrician?".
 
In short, you need the Part P Domestic Installer and 17th Edition Electrical Reg qualifications to begin your career, but each electrical qualification that you gain allows you to work on different jobs. To learn more about what qualifications you need to become a fully qualified electrician, keep reading. 
 
If you're looking to become a qualified electrician, it's highly important that you have the right qualifications in order to meet the industry's strict safety standards.  While you may already have some practical knowledge of working on electrical installations, it remains vital that you validate your abilities and knowledge by gaining the correct qualifications needed to progress in your career. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, as well as the thorough planning and knowledge required to carry out an installation or inspection, it remains vital for electricians to provide proof of their abilities with the appropriate certifications.
 
Here are the qualifications you'll need to establish your career and progress as an electrician:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Part P Domestic Installer - This qualification will allow you to work on electrical installations in the residential sector, in private housing, apartments and so on. Your knowledge will range from the maintenance of lighting, sockets, cooker circuits and consumer units, to more advanced jobs such as full house re-wires.

  • 17th Edition Electrical Regs - An essential companion to your training, this will inform you on the latest wiring regulations, allowing you to work safely and legally.
These qualifications are available on our Essential Electrical Course

Advanced Qualifications:

  • PAT Testing - This qualification equips you with the ability to prevent accidents involving portable, electrical appliances, allowing you to widen the work you are able to undertake on behalf of customers.

  • Fundamental Inspection & Testing - This qualification allows you to inspect and test new circuits on existing installations, while also allowing you to complete new installations.

  • Periodic Inspection & Testing - Designed for experienced electricians, this course will advance your existing knowledge of the inspection and testing of circuits, allowing you to issue safety reports and recommend any additional work.
These qualifications, along with the above, are available on our Professional Electrical Course

Further Progress:

  • Design, Erection and Verification - This covers the theory and design of electrical systems, qualifying you to design electrical systems for others to carry out, the very highest qualification in the electrical trade.
This qualification is available with all of the above, on our Premier Electrical Course
 
You can find our full range of electrical courses, as well as those covering individual units, here. If you are unsure about which of our courses is right for your experience level and ambitions, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a member of our team today!
 

See also:


Back in December, we wrote a blog discussing the possibility of an 'Uber for electricians', essentially; an app that would allow tradespeople to connect with homeowners where and when they were needed. Since then, this prospect has become more of a reality for the UK, as a man from Lincoln sets his sights on a £500,000 growth project to expand his business, using crowding to back his plans.href

Paul Gascoigne, who shares his name with the former international footballer, launched his trading app last September with a view to eventually expanding his efforts. Since its launch,  the app has gained over 1, 3000 installs on devices, and has more than 1,000 active users. Mr Gascoigne hopes that with sufficient funding, he will eventually be able to able to expand his business further, setting a goal of obtaining 100,000 users by the end of the year.

If the campaign for funding is successful and the app continues to grow in popularity, the app could soon become a staple amongst tradespeople UK wide, but is this a good thing? To weigh in on the issue, we thought we'd draw up a list of pros and cons which outline the possible benefits and drawbacks that such a plan could have, along with the impact this could have on the industry as a whole.

Pros

Flexibility: One benefit of this type of service would be the flexibility and ease with which tradespeople would be able to accept offers of work, allowing them to advertise their services in a convenient and fuss-free way. According to current user Pete Stothard, it is also useful for filling in unexpected gaps in a tradesperson's schedule, due to issues such as last minute cancellations.

Honest Review System: One plan for the app is to add a review system, whereby users would be able to leave recommendations and view those of others, to see how many a tradesperson has received, and perhaps even to find out if they have been recommended by a friend.

Better for Self-Employed Tradespeople: This app could make it easier for self-employed tradespeople to gain work and reach new customers, by allowing them to offer a fast and efficient service. People just starting out or deciding to go it alone may find it difficult to compete with larger, more well-known firms, but an app like this could present them with an opportunity to link with new customers and gradually build their reputation.

Cons

Lack of Face-to-Face Contact: Charlie Mullins, founder of successful London plumbing firm 'Pimlico', says he does not think that these apps would offer the same level of trust as traditional methods. According to him, this type of service would not be able to compete with established trade businesses, simply due to the fact that a personalised level of customer service would be able to be replicated on this scale.

Risk of Fast Service Over Good Service: Another possible drawback that comes with this sort of service, is the possibility of a customer choosing the option that takes the least effort, over the option that would offer them the best service. Just as people who shop online often choose the cheapest option with the fastest delivery time, it could be the case that customers turn to this app for the sake of convenience, as opposed to doing some research and seeking out the best option for their requirements.

More Issues in Service Delivery: Like any third party service, this app could create more problems than is solves in some senses, particularly in relation to issues such as payment and review systems. If the app goes offline for a period due to technical issues, will this affect the customers relying on services and the tradespeople who are expecting to receive calls to work? The review system would also have to be well-thought out an thoroughly monitored to be successful, in order to prevent rival firms and others with ill will from unfairly impacting an individual's reputation.

As with any industry, the future of tradespeople will no-doubt rely on technology in one way or another, although the true extent of this is not yet clear. As the app continues to gain momentum, we should be able to examine its impact more closely, and gain a clearer image of how it is changing the business for better or worse.

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Recently, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported a shortage in the amount of trained plumbers in the UK, signalling an obvious opening for a fresh group of ambitious candidates who are keen to train in this field. In order to keep up with the demand for skilled professionals in the workplace, and to cater to the various needs of our candidates, we have devised a range of plumbing courses to suit a variety of abilities and requirements.

Essential Plumbing Course

Of all our plumbing courses, this is the option that best suits absolute beginners! Designed for individuals with little to no experience in the field, our Essential Plumbing Course is a fantastic way to gain a foundational understanding of plumbing work, upon which to build a prosperous new career. From fitting radiators to installing hot/cold water storage tanks, this course will give you an understanding of the essential aspects of plumbing work, allowing you to achieve a City and Guilds qualification as evidence of your achievements. Most importantly, you will learn how to perform all of these tasks safely, making it a great starting point for further training.

Professional Plumbing Course

If you're looking to cover a more comprehensive range of plumbing skills, then our Professional Plumbing Course is ideal. Like all of our plumbing courses, it is designed to suit the needs of individuals with no previous experience whatsoever, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and candidates with some previous knowledge of plumbing. Allowing you to train on a full or part-time basis, this course is both efficient and flexible to the needs of the individual. By the end of your training, you will have achieved four accredited qualifications, putting you on track to begin your new career as a professional plumber. 

Premier Plumbing Course

The most encompassing and advanced of all our plumbing courses, this training programme is ideal for candidates who wish to begin their career as a professional plumber and heating engineer. As part of our Premier Plumbing Course, you will gain gas and electrical qualifications as well as those in plumbing, enabling you to join the Gas Safe register and undertake a greater number of jobs. Despite the advanced nature of the course, it is still open and tailored to individuals with no experience in plumbing, as well as those who are simply looking to update their existing knowledge. On completion of the course, a successful candidate will have obtained six recognised qualifications, making it the perfect choice for those who wish to begin or resume their professional careers right away.

For more information about our plumbing courses, browse the selection here, or get in touch with us today.

Joseph Valente Tweet

You may remember that a few weeks ago we posted about the recent success of 2015 Apprentice candidate, Joseph Valente, who was rewarded with a £250k business investment from Lord Alan Sugar. It would seem that Valente, owner of plumbing business Impra-Gas, is already putting the money to good use; he recently announced via Twitter that the company is looking to recruit electricians and gas engineers in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and the Midlands.

It's fantastic to see that Lord Sugar's investment is already paying off, and that Valente is able to offer a number of candidates the opportunity to become a part of a successful, expanding business. This is also great news for qualified electricians and gas engineers, and proves how valuable and in-demand their skills are across the country. Valente, who admits that traditional education wasn't right for him, has managed to forge a pathway to success not only for himself, but also for other budding professionals in the industry, proving that highly determined tradespeople are just as worthwhile to the world of business as those in more glamorous professions.

Valente's journey from school drop-out to budding plumber and now businessman is highly inspirational, and is testament to the number of lucrative opportunities available to those who are willing to make the commitment and learn a new trade. Whether you see yourself as one of Valente's future employees or as the owner of your own business, you can be sure that the time and money you invest in completing your training as a gas engineer or electrician will prove to be invaluable in shaping your future career ambitions.

If you've been inspired by Valente's story, or if you're looking to begin your career in a particular trade and don't know where to start, we want to hear from you! We have carefully designed courses for budding plumbers, electricians and gas engineers, and we would be happy to direct you to the option most suitable for your needs and experience. Whether you're changing careers or starting from scratch, our professional, experienced staff can offer you a great insight into both the skills required and the industry itself, allowing you to step into your new career with knowledge and confidence.

If you would like to speak with one of our advisers about the range of courses on offer, get in touch with us today!

Here at Access Training, we offer a variety of gas training courses that will equip you with all the skills necessary to become a qualified gas engineer. This could allow you to begin an entirely new career in 2016, providing you with a steady income and stable career for years to come. 

If you're already a registered gas worker, the new year is a perfect time to update your existing qualifications in order to ensure that you are working safely and with the most up-to-date knowledge. From ACS reassessments to LPG training, we offer a range of options for gas workers who are looking to expand or refresh their skills.

If you're unsure about which of our gas training courses would suit you, this brief guide should help you to make an informed decision:

Best For Beginners

If you're a total beginner looking to learn more about gas work with a view to becoming a fully-qualified gas engineer in the future, then our Essential Gas Course is a great place to start. That said, if you're looking for a more advanced qualification, you may be more interested in our Professional Gas Course (which will equip you with everything you'll need to turn professional) or our Premier Gas Course (which includes two electrical qualifications, allowing you to work on a wider range of installations). All three of these training programmes are open to everyone, from absolute beginners to more experienced candidates who wish to brush up their skills and gain some industry-recognised qualifications.

Courses for Qualified Gas Engineers

To ensure that you are working safely, we offer ACS assessments and re-assessments for professional gas engineers, allowing you to join and remain a member of the Gas Safe Register. For engineers looking to transition from natural gas to liquid petroleum, we offer an LPG Training course which covers working with metres, installing pipework, and identifying unsafe situations.

To enquire about starting one of our accredited gas training courses in 2016, contact us today!

With the construction trade experiencing significant growth over the last financial quarter, economists are forecasting a huge boom for the industry over the next four years. Obviously that makes it the perfect time to locate a suitable construction training course, get qualified and start a new career ready for this influx of work. But is this recession-worn Britain ready for the boom? Do we have enough quality construction training courses ready, or even enough interest generated for new recruits?

The construction industry has only just gotten itself out of a worker shortage, and the plastering and bricklaying trades are still struggling with recruitment. This also ties in with another problem the industry have, which is that a majority of the construction workforce is due to retire within the next 5-10 years. So we have a forecasted growth in output, a bulk of the workforce set to retire and trouble with recruiting new workers...no wonder the situation has been referred to as a "ticking time bomb" by some!

The first thing the UK needs to do is generate interest amongst young people. We've all heard the stories about university degrees not getting people very far in life so maybe it's time to give construction training a chance. Younger people need to be encouraged to take up a more physical career in the industry, and sold upon its strong points rather than put off by some of the stereotypes that go with it. Better pushing of the skills you learn, the variety of work and the rewards that come with it are sure to interest people, beginning them on their new career path and solving the problem of the retiring workforce.

That's the time bomb problem solved in the long run, but the industry is also working to a pretty strict deadline. People are retiring every day and construction demand is continuously rising - so we need skilled workers fast. There's plenty of construction training offered by college courses across the country, but two to three years is a long time to wait and their facilities are often lacking because resources are spread thinly across so many different areas. Intensive construction courses are the answer to this problem, offering the same level of skill and expertise (if not better), in only a fraction of the time. With centres entirely dedicated to construction training, students will also know that the focus is always on exactly what they're getting.

Take Access Training for example. Bricklaying, plastering, tiling, carpentry and painting/decorating all under one roof, with each one taught by an experienced professional. You can train in one trade, or even try your hand at them all with our tailor-made multiskills courses. And if you get the qualifications in your chosen trade and want to come back for more, we make it simply to continue on your training experience and build up your skillset even further.

So there we have it, some very crucial problems the construction industry faces before its big boom can get going properly, and some very obvious solutions to them. To find out more about Access' range of construction training and to book your place, please get in contact with one of our course advisers on 0800 345 7492 today.

There are grounds for genuine optimism amongst British tradesmen, as the Japanese engineering giant Hitachi follows up its £700m acquisition of the Horizon nuclear project by expressing its long-term commitment to the UK infrastructure sector.

The construction project is to include the development of two or three 1300MW advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) plants in two separate locations, Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. It is estimated that each of these sites will support between 5,000 and 6,000 construction jobs, with the first of the units operational by 2025.

British businesses are also buoyed by the news, as, based on the experience gained during the development of four ABWR plants in Japan, 60 per cent of the project’s budget will be spent on materials, personnel and services from the local area.

Hitachi also intends to create a legacy of nuclear skills and training in the UK by working with local colleges and universities to introduce training programs and develop a permanent base of nuclear skills in the UK, leading to global demand for their skills.

The Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi, said: “This is the start of a 100-year commitment to the UK and its vision to create a long-term, secure, low-carbon and affordable energy supply. We look forward to sharing Hitachi’s corporate vision and nuclear business with the management and employees of Horizon, working harmoniously with UK companies and stakeholders for the delivery of this vital part of the UK’s national infrastructure and the creation of a strong nuclear power company.

Energy minister John Hayes is hugely encouraged by this deal and the message that the rest of the world will receive, “that Britain’s economy is open and stable and committed to the development of new sources of nuclear energy.”

The project is to be supported by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency, who will work collaboratively with Hitachi to provide certainty that the reactor design will be fit for use in the UK. It is expected this will be a relatively straightforward process, given the approval the design of the reactor has already received from US nuclear authorities. 

Electrician courses and a toolbag are not all it takes to be an electrician. You need to have the drive and the determination to succeed in the industry, alongside a passion for learning and understanding. If you’re considering becoming an electrician, but you’re not sure whether the career is for you, check out our quick guide to the skills and traits which stand prospective electrical students in good stead.

Genuine interest
This is the only characteristic which really matters – the rest are just bonuses. You can overcome any problem or weak spot if you genuinely care about the area and truly want to learn and improve. The very best electricians are those who love what they do and haven’t simply ‘hopped on the bandwagon’ as the profession is stable and lucrative. Taking joy in technology, problem solving and working with electrics will ensure you pass electrician courses with flying colours and go on to have a promising career as a spark.

Eye for detail
An eye for detail is a real asset when undertaking electrical work. Being able to spot small issues within a big picture can be a big advantage.

In terms of actual eyesight, the work can be very precise and delicate which means that good vision is very useful indeed. If you haven’t had your eyes tested for a while, ensuring you have the correct prescription is a good idea.

Colour blindness is one area which many prospective sparks worry about. The Equality Act (2010-11) means that you cannot be discriminated against for a disability so there is no cause for concern. Very few varieties of colour blindness cause problems for sparks. Monochrome or red-green colour blindness can be problematic but they can be worked around if you have the patience, dedication and drive.

Hand-eye coordination
Electrical work will find you up ladders, in tiny corners, scrambling in attics –being relatively agile will help with the demands of the job. Equally, close electrical work with small implements can be very fiddly and painstaking, making good hand-eye coordination a good asset to have.

Problem solving abilities

Electrical work can sometimes be a bit like a great big sodoku. If you relish getting to grips with a problem and using logic and practical know-how to solve it, you should start hunting for electrician courses today!

Here at Access Training we offer electrician courses for all levels of ability, whatever your background and whatever your goals. To learn more about our flexible electrician courses, please explore the rest of the Access site or speak to one of our friendly advisors today on 0800 345 7492.

Wired for Success is an exciting initiative launched by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). The scheme is providing electrical training to 11 women from the same housing association and aims to get them off benefits and into full time employment by equipping them with valuable practical skills.

As the first female president of the ECA, Diane Johnson has masterminded the electrical training scheme and hopes that soon projects of this sort will be springing up across the country in a wide range of different trades.

There are many barriers which prevent women from entering the trades and a lack of flexibility is one key problem area. Many of the women undertaking the electrical training are single mothers who between full-time childcare and housekeeping could find little time to train on conventional courses. The Wired for Success scheme has rebalanced the situation for these dedicated women, offering electrical training which fits around their schedules and allowing them to develop their abilities at a time and pace which suited them.

Financial problems are another serious issue which stop mothers on benefits from gaining employable skills. One woman on the scheme found that she did not have the spare cash to travel to the training centre, for example. Thanks to the commitment and understanding of those behind the project, hurdles like this can be overcome.

Although a significant amount of time, energy and support is required from both the Wired for Success participants and creators, the ultimate outcome appears to be more than worth it. By finding the time, space and finance to complete electrical training, these women will emerge with extremely employable skills which will allow them to stop receiving benefits and provide for their families.

Yet even the benefit system makes life difficult for women who want to develop employable skills. The Job Centre does not recognise the Wired for Success programme as a training course and therefore pressured the participants to look for work or face losing their Jobseekers’ Allowance.

It can be extremely difficult for the unemployed to gain the skills they need to get off benefits and begin productive careers. At Access we offer electrical training on flexible courses which allow you to train at your pace and at a time which is convenient to you. We hope to see more schemes like the Wired for Success springing up across the UK soon, until this happens we are dedicated to offering the most accessible and flexible electrical training to candidates from all backgrounds. Contact Access today on 0800 345 7492, or explore our website to learn more.