For many people, an interesting and varied choice often means a career within the electrical industry. From here on we will use the phrase of Electrical Industry to explain the more accurate term of "Electro-Mechanical Engineering". Also, for ease we will concentrate on those principles that sit within the domestic and commercial markets for the UK. By starting on the main subjects and checking the 'add-ons' later on we can review the centre of the electrical industry.
Basically there are two clear ways to gain admission into the electrical market. The first is for those wishing to train via a more traditional apprenticeship route, and the second is for people who are entering the field at a later stage in life. Throughout this document we will simply refer to two types of people the 'Junior' and the 'Mature' entrants.
Mature Entrants who join the industry later on do so with the aim of working for themselves, usually as a one person business. By contrast, Junior entrants would seek to work with an established electrical firm and build their skill-sets as they train. To be fair, young apprentices leaving school will have a lot of supplementary skills to learn during their early years as a working adult.
Clearly these two options have both differing training styles and methods of entry. Junior entrants go through NVQ training in England and Wales, and SVQ training in Scotland. An NVQ qualification would need to be obtained as part of the training program. New employees gain the necessary course work and testing elements through an apprenticeship or some form of suitable work program.
By working independently and without the need for NVQ assessments, many Mature Entrants can concentrate on those areas that provide the biggest profit and offer the largest practical solutions for themselves. Instead most of them aim for the techniques that will get them up and running as quickly as possible and give them the best return against the cost to train in the first place. This method allows for a quicker route to the market and does meet the necessary trading elements for the areas concerned despite reducing the overall qualification set.
Between self-employment and general employment we have two routes to consider in terms of typical income. With self-employment a person may be working on a part-time or full time basis -to that end we will assume they are working full time. The aptitude and talent for getting things done can affect the levels of salary as well as any experience or knowledge gained.
With the right level of experience, 'Junior Entrants' salaries can rise considerably from twelve to thirty thousand pounds per annum. On the other hand experienced self-employed electricians have been known to earn around 70 thousand or more within the UK. It should be remembered however that a self employed person must often bear additional costs for items such as vehicles, tools and clothing. Self employed people also have to allow for added expenses. In the UK there is a lot of work for electrical professions due to a short fall of current skilled people. In light of the above, a full seven day week is available to most people should they want it. Whilst figures of seventy to a hundred thousand are often bandied around in the press, they do not often inform you of the long hours you would need to work to achieve this.
To be fair, most Junior and Mature electricians experience very different working hours to each other. Most of the work for Junior Entrant electricians will be on a simple 9-5, Monday to Friday basis. Whereas the Mature market can be more dependent on the domestic market for some - i.e. weekend and evening work, when their clients are available and back from work. And yet, a huge number of self-employed electricians operate during the main part of the working week by focusing on office and small business systems.
Once a career in electrical work has been chosen, a Junior Electrician is often at the mercy of their employer when it comes to learning new skills and expertise. Whereas the mature entrant can gain knowledge from any trade source - even one outside of the core of electrical work. Without a doubt the extra skills help them in their overall employ whether this is commercial or domestic work.
A new trade example is that of the 'Green Engineer'. This new service to the industry could fit into the overall skill-set of an electrician. The curiosity of both Junior and Mature Electricians to this new industry is well founded especially when considering the power of the UK and the EEC markets in areas of growth and governmental projects.