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Electrician Electrical fitter, electrical engineer, electrical technician, installation electrician

Electricians fit, service and fix electrical equipment, circuits, machinery and wiring.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £42,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need a level 3 electrical or electro-technical qualification. You'll need to complete this qualification while you're working in a related job. 

A common way to get into this job is through an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship will give you a level 3 qualification.

Taking a level 1 or level 2 qualification in electrical installation may help you to find an apprenticeship or get a trainee position.

Electrical Careers has more information on how to become an electrician.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills
  • the ability to follow technical drawings, building plans and wiring diagrams
  • the ability to work carefully, methodically and safely
  • planning and organisational skills
  • problem-solving skills

3. What you'll do

You'll work in range of areas, from bringing power to people's homes to big engineering projects. You may also work with renewable technology, like wind turbines, 'smart' heating systems and solar power.

Your work will depend on the type of electrician you are:

  • installation electrician - installing power systems, lighting, fire protection, security and data-network systems in all types of buildings
  • maintenance electrician - checking systems to make sure they're working efficiently and safely
  • electrotechnical panel builder - making and installing control panels to operate the electrical systems inside buildings
  • machine repair and rewind electrician - fixing and maintaining electrical motors and transformers
  • highway systems electrician - installing and maintaining street lighting and traffic management systems

You may also supervise other people in a team.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £23,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £42,000

You could get bonuses and overtime pay. There are national rates for travelling time, travel expenses and accommodation costs.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 30 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday. You may work shifts or be on call.

You may have to travel between jobs and work away from home.

You may have to work around other trades. You may have to work in all weathers, in cramped spaces or at height.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into design engineering, site or project management, consultancy work or training.

You could also set up your own business.

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Last updated: 12 April 2017