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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a bit of advice really regarding becoming an electrician. I'm sick of my job and want a career change and quite fancy getting a trade skill under my belt - where's best to get qualified , local college evening classes or these companies like able skills, and trade skills that are advertised in the paper every week. I don't know anyone who has used these companies before but was wondering if anyone you know has - is the claim of becoming qualified quickly AND properly really true?

Also what are the prospects like for a newbie qualified to get work or set up as a one man band? Any advice would be appreciatedT:
 

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Don't make any decisions before I get my next batch of ply. Good luck in your endevour. T: Cheers, Tony.
 

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Domestic private work is hard to come by at the minute, no-one extending or renovating. On the flip side, I'm flat out on site doing new builds but prices in this area have been slashed so really only bread and butter work.

I took the leap about 7/8 years ago and as I was working shifts at the time, I found it easiest to do the courses as an evening class. Took me less than 3 years to get all my qualifications and in my opinion, can't see how you can reduce that time and be as proficient and confident in working with electricity safely.

Your biggest hurdle is once your qualified, finding an employer to take you on with little experience. If you can find work as an Electricians mate while your completing your qualifications then it will put you in a better position once qualified.

Good luck T: and although times have been hard being self employed, I wouldn't change it for anything.

Ps. Don't think that being self employed means that you can work when you want, it never works out like that and you will end up working more hours that you thought were possible. Rasp:

:ILU:
 

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I don’t know if your self employed now. Working for your self is very hard work especially from scratch.

Some of the companies you mention promise the earth to it get you in, so make sure you do good research before parting with any money.

I’m not a great fan of these fast track training centres as getting qualifications is half of it. I’m sure many would agree here that experience is as important.

You could try offering your services free to local sparks to get a hand in and also to see if you would enjoy it or not. Sounds a funny to say that but I know of someone who invested a lot of money in becoming a sparks and gave it up because he decided he just didn’t like it after all.:confused:

Ask around and or join a Spark’s forum and see how the land lays with regard to the work prospects in your area.

Like I said its [email protected]@dy hard work, working for yourself at times but what you put in, you get out.

There’s load of sparks on here so wait a while and I’m sure they’re fill in the bits I’ve missed.

Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Domestic private work is hard to come by at the minute, no-one extending or renovating. On the flip side, I'm flat out on site doing new builds but prices in this area have been slashed so really only bread and butter work.

I took the leap about 7/8 years ago and as I was working shifts at the time, I found it easiest to do the courses as an evening class. Took me less than 3 years to get all my qualifications and in my opinion, can't see how you can reduce that time and be as proficient and confident in working with electricity safely.

Your biggest hurdle is once your qualified, finding an employer to take you on with little experience. If you can find work as an Electricians mate while your completing your qualifications then it will put you in a better position once qualified.

Good luck T: and although times have been hard being self employed, I wouldn't change it for anything.

Ps. Don't think that being self employed means that you can work when you want, it never works out like that and you will end up working more hours that you thought were possible. Rasp:

:ILU:

Thanks for the advice. The only other trade I thought about was plumbing - I have more experience with plumbing with odd jobs at home but think I'd prefer being an electrician for a career. I don't mind putting in a hard days graft, in fact I'd rather be working flat out than twiddling my thumbs which is what I'm doing now.

I really should have sorted out a career plan at school:*
 

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Just had a quick search for these "Quick Courses"....

Found this ...

Is this course right for me?

This course package is suitable for anyone who wants to become a Domestic Electrical Installer and has little or no electrical installation experience.

What's included?

This course package includes 4 courses:

5 Day Domestic Installation Workshop: TS4U-MOD1

This 5 Day Practical Installation Electrical Course will enable you to install everything from the consumer unit to the socket and everything in between, for those with little or no electrical experience. Our most popular course!

4 Day Inspection & Testing City & Guilds 2392-10: TS4U-92

This entry level course is a mix of practical and theory aimed at practicing electrical installers who have not carried out inspection and testing before. It is also suitable for those with limited experience of inspection and testing of electrical installations, such as those domestic installers new to the industry, or those working in allied trades. ie, Plumbers, kitchen fitters, landscape gardeners.

.........
A 5 day course and you will be proficient in fitting a consumer unit and anything else domestic?!?!?!?!?!?
:eek: You are avin a larf !!!! :eek:

As an employer, I wouldn't even give someone who applies with these qualifications a second look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah that's what I was thinking - I'm no expert (obviously) but even I am dubious about these claims to be fully qualified in 5 days or 6 weeks etc. I'm sure there are plenty of people happy to do a 5 day course then go out advertising themselves as a fully qualified sparky but I would want to know my way round a job properly and confidently before I charged people money - maybe that's why I'm not a millionaire yetI:
 

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hi bluehawk,
i made the same move nearly 5 years ago - used to work in a bank!!
i did a full time 5 day a week for 12 weeks course (city & guilds 2330 level 2).
then one day a week for a year (city & guilds 2330 level 3).
i contacted every electrical contractor in the area that i could find - 99% not interested. the fact i had qualifications didn't count for anything as i didn't have any experience. i got a lucky break from a large company who do new builds, but had to work for minimum wage for 9 months, but was worth taking the pay cut. now i am working for a firm who do new builds and occupied rewires, and earning good money.
i am now just finishing off my nvq level 3, having completed my am2 exam, which would then see me as a qualified spark, with the test & inspecting next on my list.
sorry for rambling, but there is no way after just a few weeks you could be anywhere near capable of working on your own, and i know my employer doesn't care for the domestic installers course, and pays guys on our firm with it, the same as just a "mate" or "improver".
good luck mate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hi bluehawk,
i made the same move nearly 5 years ago - used to work in a bank!!
i did a full time 5 day a week for 12 weeks course (city & guilds 2330 level 2).
then one day a week for a year (city & guilds 2330 level 3).
i contacted every electrical contractor in the area that i could find - 99% not interested. the fact i had qualifications didn't count for anything as i didn't have any experience. i got a lucky break from a large company who do new builds, but had to work for minimum wage for 9 months, but was worth taking the pay cut. now i am working for a firm who do new builds and occupied rewires, and earning good money.
i am now just finishing off my nvq level 3, having completed my am2 exam, which would then see me as a qualified spark, with the test & inspecting next on my list.
sorry for rambling, but there is no way after just a few weeks you could be anywhere near capable of working on your own, and i know my employer doesn't care for the domestic installers course, and pays guys on our firm with it, the same as just a "mate" or "improver".
good luck mate!
That's also another problem I think I'm going to come up against - 12 week full time course - unfortunately I would need to continue working whilst I trained, I haven't got a nest egg to prop me up while I stopped work for 3 months. :( I don't mind working for free with a qualified sparky during the weekend in order to get some experience but can't afford to give up my current job just yet. It's a tough one
 

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just ask as many people as you can mate, hopefully you'll get a break sooner or later, i'm sure someone will bite your hand off for a bit of free help and that'll get the ball rolling!! fingers crossed mate, keep us updated.
oh, and you may be able to some of those courses i rattled off in the evenings at a local college, but i would be careful of those courses you said - try googling reviews and such!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just ask as many people as you can mate, hopefully you'll get a break sooner or later, i'm sure someone will bite your hand off for a bit of free help and that'll get the ball rolling!! fingers crossed mate, keep us updated.
oh, and you may be able to some of those courses i rattled off in the evenings at a local college, but i would be careful of those courses you said - try googling reviews and such!!
Thanks for the help T: I've checked my local college and they do a Level 2 2330 course but it's only run during the day - a rethink with my current job maybe needed to fit it all in. Quite expensive to get the qualifications as well - knew it wouldn't be easy though.
 

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Honestly mate.

No one canbe a fully qualified electrician without a full 5 year apprenticeship. I have seen some guys way above their heads at my place.

If you see anyone offering 12 weeks intensive training, throw it in the bin. Dosent count for anything. I went to college whilst working for a good employer and most what you learn is on site from real hands on experience, complemented by what is learnt at college.
Plenty of guys out there that can slap a ring main into someone house, but install or fault find in a commercial or industrial environment??? No way...!!!

Its not a trade to be in these days because guys are working for very low rates of pay. I blame courses such as above, with what can only be called semi-skilled, electrician mates, at best. Being touted as fully qualified electricians:*

Sorry to wee on the chips:ILU:
 

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I agree with the above, I'm a time served electrician, 4 years with day release at college and this is not a trade in a healthy state at the moment. The work situation up here is not good, a lot of good lads out of work and with the qualifications you will get you would be at the back of a very long queue. Contracting is w4nkered at the moment, all the big companies des killing the job and paying £10 an hour. Working on domestic is getting crowded now, I used to do the odd foreigner, changing consumer units etc but a lot of lads have set up on their own and will do it cheaper than. Me and give a test cert too

Another ray of sunshine here!
 

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Bluehawk, have you thought about plumbing / gas fitting / heat pump installation? Boilers are always needing to be replaced and the system/circuitry is a lot easier to understand and grasp, also people are getting far more switched on to environmental issues. Cheers, Tony.
 

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Mr Bluehawk, I'm fairly local to you... and a qualified spark.

Forget the 5 day, 12 week courses if your serious about being a spark.

I thought I knew about electrics before I started my 3 years at college, you soon realise the potential complexity of the job.

You HAVE to LOVE paperwork to be a spark, if you don't like paperwork, do something else!!!

To do the courses you need a good level of maths & science knowledge,

Contact me if you want to chat T:
 

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go into plumbing it easier to learn with less science involved and actually pays better than electrician. my dad is a electrician for n/power/spi massive company in midlands all the plumbers easily earn 3x more than the sparkies,as with any trade it has it ups and down and private work is slow but get a few contract with companies for bread and butter money and your laughing
if electrcian is still what your after make sure you learn central heatings inside out as many sparkies think they can wire one up the amount of times ive been to a badly wired up 10way etc
 

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go into plumbing it easier to learn with less science involved and actually pays better than electrician. my dad is a electrician for n/power/spi massive company in midlands all the plumbers easily earn 3x more than the sparkies,as with any trade it has it ups and down and private work is slow but get a few contract with companies for bread and butter money and your laughing
if electrcian is still what your after make sure you learn central heatings inside out as many sparkies think they can wire one up the amount of times ive been to a badly wired up 10way etc
All of my central heating wiring work come from plumbers who haven't got a clue about electrics. Boiler just before Xmas was tripping out RCD when the boiler was turned on, all the plumber had to do was put the plug on, but that was too complicated for him... he had swapped the neutral & earth in the plug, heaven help him.

I must admit, I do alot more plumbing work than I do electrical, more money, more satisfying, customers appreciate the time & effort that goes into plumbing, less paperwork....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bluehawk, have you thought about plumbing / gas fitting / heat pump installation? Boilers are always needing to be replaced and the system/circuitry is a lot easier to understand and grasp, also people are getting far more switched on to environmental issues. Cheers, Tony.
I thought you were shouting at meLOL:
 
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