Understanding Electrician Certifications – The Basics

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Due to the exciting choices available, the electrical industry offers jobs that many people choose. For simplicity's sake we will use the phrase Electrical Industry to cover off the more accurate term of "Electro-Mechanical Engineering". Also, due to a wide variety of qualifications and standards throughout the world, we'll focus on those that fit the UK domestic and commercial market. Due to the huge list of opportunities available for a career in the electrical industry, we have to begin by focusing on the main areas and look at the 'add-ons' later on.

The electrical market has in our opinion two methods of entry. The primary route is the apprenticeship which is considered the more traditional and then we have the second phase for those who are joining at a later stage. We have to reference individuals so we will plainly do so by 'Junior' and '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. Whereas the 'Junior Entrants' train alongside regular electrical employment to pick up practical work place skills as they gain their qualifications. Upon leaving school many apprenticeships provide a fast learning curve for young adults looking to boost their auxiliary skills.

The different ways into electrical work have two distinct types of training: It is the involvement with NVQ's (or SVQ's for Scotland), that differentiate the Junior Entrants. The training itself is similar to non NVQ training, but completion of the full programme means getting the actual qualifications. Often, this means that students have to gain an apprenticeship in order to be able to realise the course work and testing requirements of the job.

Instead of seeking a work-based training environment, the Mature Entrant often seems to focus on working as a self employed person where different qualifications to NVQ's are preferred. For example by concentrating on those qualifications aimed at giving them the best return from their training costs. Whilst this may seem to reduce the overall qualification set, this meets the trade requirements for the areas involved, and thus provides a quicker and more direct commercial route to the market.

In terms of typical earnings, we have two clear routes - those relating to employment and those for self-employment. 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.

Basic salary for Junior Entrants can start at around 12 thousand per annum, often going above 35 thousand after several years in industry. Mature Entrants are more difficult to assess, and incomes up to and above 70k are regularly reported within the UK Press. Regardless of all that is the need to cover off additional costs such as tools, clothes and even a vehicle and all that goes along with that. Earmarked within this is the need to cover additional expenses such as accountancy or insurance. However, the driving force remains the UK skills shortage and this means that there's a load of work available. Without a doubt, the market would allow for some people to work a full seven days a week. Although by working very long hours and having assistants to help, the figures of 70-100 thousand advertised in newspapers might be achieved, it wouldn't be easy.

It should be noted that the working week for most electricians differs between the Junior and Mature Entrant markets. Most 'Junior Entrants' do not work at the weekends. 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. This alters quite a bit, with lots of self employed electricians gaining much of their income from small office work, which is predominantly Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

A Junior Entrant that has chosen to adopt a career within the electrical trade is more than likely to gain follow up expertise within the particular field they fall into, often dictated by the main business activities of their employer. However, many mature entrants gain extra skills by learning those trades such as gas and plumbing work. Without a doubt the extra skills help them in their overall employ whether this is commercial or domestic work.

One fresh approach is that of the 'Green Engineer'. The chance to win some big employment and business advantages within the governmental as well as the traditional growth sector means that this area could be attractive to both Junior and Mature Entrants alike.

Author: Scott Edwards. Visit Electrical Certificates or CLICK HERE.

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