How To Retrain As An Electrician In The UK

by Editor on November 18, 2012

I get quite a lot of requests for info about how to re train to be an electrician. Perhaps I’m not the best person to ask because I’ve not had the personal experience of re-training.   Although it’s not as straight forward as becoming qualified via the apprenticeship route there are some options open to older trainees and career changers. The Electricians Forums are great places to find info about electrical training and get advice from others that have already retrained. Don’t be shy and just get stuck in and ask your questions.

Here’s one positive success story which could give you some inspiration, but as you’ll find out there are some critics of this method…

Electrical Apprentice Training

This guy had the opportunity of spending  4 months studying and getting himself up to speed:

Firstly, I bought a package of C&G courses from a private college. They sent me piles of course materials and I instantly became a book-worm at home. Having no job helped me to focus and learn faster. I took the courses over a period of 4 months in the following order:

C&G 2382 – 17th Edition Wiring Regulations
C&G 2377 – Portable Appliance Testing
C&G 2393 – Building Regulations
C&G 2392 – Initial Verification, Inspection & Testing
C&G 2391 – Inspection & Testing

For each of the above courses, my course provider gave 1 week in-house training prior to sitting each exam, but I spent many hours sat at home absorbing information prior to attending each course. I made it my mission to know as much theory as possible, before receiving any training.


During the fourth stage of my training (C&G 2392), I started hunting around for established electrical firms that might be willing to take me on and help me gain experience in my mission to become a competent electrician. I knew that for someone to spend time showing me how to physically do things would initially cost them money, so I wasn’t expecting to be paid in return for their help! I took the view that if I could prove my ability and provide them with some kind of value as soon as possible, they would hopefully offer me some kind of monetary employment. Incidentally, I didn’t just wing off a load of CVs to random companies by email and keep my fingers crossed for someone to reply – I decided to take a more direct approach and pick up the phone. Maybe I was lucky, but the first company I spoke to agreed to let me shadow one of their electricians.

After 3 weeks of fast-paced on-the-job experience, the company won a couple of contracts and found themselves needing additional staff, and so offered me a paid sub-contracting position. It’s nearly 2 years since that day, and I now have my own electrician’s mates and apprentices working for me – some of them in a similar position to what I was. I’m now in a situation where I’m running my own teams on a number of projects and I can look back and smile at my initial fears of the unknown…   You can read more and find out what other electricians think about it in the electricians forums : http://www.electriciansforums.co.uk/electrical-courses-electrical-nvqs/60671-my-story-how-become-qualified-electrician-career-changers.html#ixzz2CCpa5ySR

And here’s another tale- Redundancy spurred me on to retrain as an electrician.

And another good thread about career changers on the IET Forum.


ElectriciansBlog.co.uk

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

shane July 11, 2013 at 14:47

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF TRAINING AVAILABLE IN NORWICH TO BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN CANT SEEM TO FIND ANYONE WHO HAS DONE A COURSE WITH OLCI I WOULD WORK FREE OF CHARGE JUST TO GAIN THE EXPERIENCE ANY ADVICE

Electrician London UK - Colin November 18, 2012 at 20:30

This is a great story, and what it shows is what can be achieved when you take action and you believe in yourself. The really noce point you made was about providing value to those who might take you on. I’ve discovered that when you have something to offer, and you offer that freely, then people employers will see the need for your services, and the money comes. This is a really encouraging story, and particularly apprentices need to hear stories like this as they embark on their new trade.

All the best – Colin

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