How to become an Electrician

How to become an Electrician
author profile picture

by Jessica Tabinor on

There are excellent opportunities in the UK construction industry for electrician jobs at all levels, thanks to steady investment in infrastructure and many high-profile projects.

Read on to find out more about the skills you’ll need and to discover whether a career as an electrician is the right fit for you.

£14-36k dependent on experience

Hinkley Point C / HS2

NVQ, City & Guilds, ECS

What do electrician jobs involve?

As an electrician, you’ll be responsible for installing, inspecting and testing electrical equipment, to ensure that everything works correctly. You’ll also be responsible for making sure strict safety regulations are adhered to and that all equipment operates safely. Through rigorous testing and inspections, you’ll need to identify and repair anything that isn’t up to scratch.

Electricians are needed on sites of all shapes and sizes, meaning you could be working on anything from bringing power to people’s homes to assisting on huge engineering projects. You could also be involved in technology-focussed projects, like fitting fibre optic cables, or renewable energy projects, such as photovoltaic systems and wind turbines.

What is an electrician’s salary?

Your salary as an electrician can vary, depending on the size, location and scope of the project you’re working on, as well as from one employer to the next. At the start of your career you can expect to earn between £14,000 and £19,000 per year. As you gain more experience and progress, you can see this increase up to between £30,000 and £36,000 per year.

Overtime and extra shifts give you an opportunity to boost your earnings. If you decide to become self-employed you can set your own rates.

These figures are intended as a guideline only. 

What skills do I need?

In electrician jobs, it’s important to have good practical skills, hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. You’ll need excellent attention to detail and the ability to understand and follow complex technical drawings and plans.

Working with electricity can be dangerous, so you’ll need the ability to work carefully, precisely and safely, ensuring proper procedures are followed. You’ll also need good organisational and problem-solving skills.

What qualifications do I need?

There are a number of routes you can take if you wish to have a career as an electrician. Apprenticeships are a popular option, allowing you to train and study, all while earning a wage. To gain entry to an apprenticeship scheme you’d usually need at least four GCSEs of grade C or above, including English, Maths and Science.

During an apprenticeship, you would study towards an Electrical NVQ Level 3. It’s also possible to study towards this if you’re not completing an apprenticeship. Alternatively, you could complete the City & Guilds Electrical and Electronic Engineering (8030) course.

If you want to work on a construction site, you may also need to apply for a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) competency card, specifically the ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) card.

What are the hours and conditions?

You’ll usually work between 30 to 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However, some shift work may be required and you may also need to work overtime on evenings and weekends, as and when project deadlines dictate. This overtime gives you an opportunity to boost your earnings.

There is a high likelihood of some travel between jobs, as well as time spent away from home. You need to be prepared to work both indoors and outdoors, often in cramp conditions or at heights.

Career progression

With the right training, experience and qualifications, you could progress into a supervisor or management role. Alternatively, you could decide to become self-employed, or even to set up your own business, employing other electricians.

Areas of specialism 

There are a number of areas you can specialise in as you move through your career. Installation electricians install power, lighting, security and data-network systems into buildings, while maintenance electricians focus on inspecting systems to make sure they’re working safely and correctly.

To search for opportunities across the sector click here. Or, browse our dedicated HS2 and Hinkley Point C pages for more information.

Cx Jobs

Project Manager (Construction)

An opportunity has arisen for a Project/Site Manager with knowledge and experience within Construction to join the team with our prestigious client BAEJob Description In accordance with the to be agreed "Statement of Work (SoW)", the opportunity presented is for our FM professionals to take on the roles required during the design, construction and acceptance, inclusive of site preparation, service diversion and mobilisation. The key roles include Manage the conversion of customers User Requirements and Project objectives into a suitable RIBA Design Communicate and obtain the required approvals at each stage of the project Support the undertaking of the required commercial and pricing exercises Manage the Professional Services team in the delivery of the Project objectives Manage the interface between the Station representatives and Project Manage and maintain the relationships between the DE&S customer and BAE Systems in relation to the facilities element of the project Monitor and support the required SHE objectives of the construction elements on Station Provide a focal point for BAE Systems regards all things Construction related, for the Station Provide Facilities governance and oversight of the Construction elements of the work Manage the interface of Construction activities and Station operations in support of the project objectives (eg: utilities connections, traffic mgt, security, environmental, quality mgt, FOD Mgt, etc.) Review the RIBA 4 Design process within the Design & Build contract with the Construction Contractor, Technical Advisors team, Clerk of Works and relevant Subject Matter Experts (SME's) Support the required accreditation process of the Security elements of the project Review and advise on the development of the individual Construction & Operational Plans in support of the contract Review and advise on the development of the Handover, Acceptance and Approvals Plan, required in association with the Station, Customer and Maintenance organisation needs. Recognising the restricted nature of the work there is a requirement for the candidate to be eligible to obtain Security Clearance for this role.

Manufacturing Engineer - Assembly and Integration

Our Client based in Stevenage has a requirement for a Manufacturing Engineer within the unit & missile assembly manufacturing facility. The focus will be to ensure that products are built efficiently and to budget.A key member of the Manufacturing Engineering team, you will carry out activities in support of multi-project manufacturing. Compilation and update of Manufacturing Instructions. Design, Commissioning and proving of associated tooling. Support the industrial validation process through the use of FMEAs, FAIs etc. Resolution of technical problems that may arise during the manufacturing process. Route card changes as a result or rework activities. Management of Configuration Control by the embodiment of Design Modifications into the Manufacturing Instructions. Support to the Non Conformance Process using SAP.Skills/QualificationsFormal technical Engineering/Craft Apprenticeship to NVQ Level 3/TR23/TR21. Formal further education certificate to HNC or equivalent certificate. 5 years experience within an engineering discipline. Have the ability to interpret Design Drawings with a view to producing Manufacturing Build Instructions for both Skilled and Semi-Skilled operators. Must be able to work within, and contribute to a team environment. Recognise and understand customer requirements, and respond to them. Understand and work to Company Processes and Procedures. Have the ability to communicate both within the working group and at various levels of the organisation.


We are currently working with a leading M&E contractor that specialise in commercial and industrial projects across the UK.They currently require the services of a Telehandler for their refurbishment project on a leisure centre in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.Candidates are required to have CPCS, PPE and previous experience across commercial and industrial projects.For more information on this role, please contact Scarlet Wilson on 01617071516.


PIPEFITTERS - NEWCASTLE CITY CENTRE - IMMEDIATE START We are currently working with a key client that specialise in M&E contracts across the UK.They currently require the services of Pipefitters for The Spark Building - a 100,000sq ft new build Grade A office space - in Newcastle City Centre.Candidates are required to have CSCS (Skilled in Pipefitting) and previous experience across Commercial or Industrial projects.For more information, please contact Scarlet Wilson on 01617071516.

Austin Distel Va Opp86kf Q Unsplash