The Full Guide to Becoming Self Employed: Electrician

What is the right way to become an electrician? Is it as simple as completing an electrician course? Is it possible you can learn the trade as you go? The truth is that becoming an electrician without the necessary requirements is both dangerous and illegal.

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Becoming a recognised electrician

Before starting out as an electrician, you have to recognise that this job can be both dangerous and complex. This is why it’s so important to get the correct training and legal requirements prior to starting.

Getting the training

In order to get the required qualifications, you need to have a few years of experience and education. You can also try fast-track courses, however, they require experience as well, so the overall time is the same.

An apprenticeship is a good way to gain both experience and qualifications. They take, on average, 3 years to complete and offer the full qualification upon completion. Fast track apprenticeships offered to those with prior relevant experience often take less time, 2 years on average.

Another option is to shadow an electrician. This process takes, at minimum, 3 years to complete because you need to provide enough experience for the vocational qualification.

Obtaining the qualification

Getting the qualification you need is as simple as taking an exam or completing a course. Once you obtain an NVQ level 2 or 3 in electrical and electronic engineering, you can start to take on work. 

To take on more advanced electrician jobs, you would need to take the relevant qualifications, as well as further training. The original qualification unfortunately does not cover all roles.

You can find more information on the City & Guilds Website.

Setting up the business

When setting up the business, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of working as a sole trader or part of a limited company.

Sole trader

As a sole trader, the business is your responsibility. Your share your bank account with the business, its profits are your profits, and the debt is your responsibility. You maintain total control over the business and make all decisions as a result. For a single person, this is by far the best choice.

Limited company

A limited company distributes responsibility between the shareholders. This means that the business has its own account and you pay yourself through a salary and dividends. Big decisions are decided between shareholders. This is the best choice if you plan to expand the company further than yourself, and have a large number of employees.

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