Do you love problem-solving, challenging yourself and working with your hands? If so, a career as an electrician might be the perfect fit for you. This guide will give you some examples of electrician apprenticeships that have been on offer, as well as details on salary and the applications process.
The main role of an electrician is to install, test and maintain electrical wiring, equipment, appliances, apparatus and fixtures in properties and businesses. These responsibilities can cover lighting, power, security and many other things.
From bringing power to people’s homes to taking part in big engineering projects, a career as an electrician allows you to work in a diverse range of areas. There are five main types of electrician
- Installation electrician. They install power systems such as lighting, fire protection, and security in buildings. These can be residential or commercial properties.
- Maintenance electrician. They check all systems work efficiently and safely, usually in a business context.
- Electrotechnical panel builder. They build and install control panels to operate the electrical systems inside buildings
- Machine repair and rewind electrician. They fix and maintain motors.
- Highway systems electrician. They install and maintain street lighting and traffic management systems.
Our growing dependence on electrical equipment, as well as its increasing presence in our day-to-day lives, has meant electricians are in very high demand. According to a 2019 report by the Electrotechnical and Skills Partnership (TESP), around 12,500 to 15,000 additional skilled electricians will be needed over the next five years in the UK.
If you think that you could play a part in filling this skills gap, then read on to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities for electricians.
What are the advantages of completing an apprenticeship?
- Gain an industry-recognised qualification. You’ll complete the apprenticeship with a qualification that’ll allow you to pursue employment or further education at a higher level.
- Boost your CV. You’ll gain valuable workplace experience that’ll look fantastic on your CV and possibly lead to job opportunities.
- Make new contacts. Through your workplace experience, you’ll build up a network of contacts within the sector.
- Earn while you learn. No student loans, no tuition fees and, hopefully, no dept. You’ll be paid a salary by your employer, and the government covers the cost of the training.
How much will I be paid?
The current minimum apprenticeship rate is £4.15 per hour, which applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
If you’re aged 19 or over and have completed your first year, you’ll be paid at least the national minimum wage for your age. However, many apprenticeships, particularly Advanced and Degree/Higher Apprenticeships, offer more than the national minimum wage.
How do I apply?
Using Unifrog’s Apprenticeships tool, you can filter and search for apprenticeship programmes in categories such as ‘Electrical Support Engineer’, ‘Electrotechnical Engineer’, or ‘Installation and Maintenance Electrician’.
The tool will allow you to create a shortlist of the apprenticeship programmes which appeal to you. From there, you can read about each organisation, the salary on offer, the entry requirements, and the course content.
Click the green ‘Apply’ button next to each entry in your shortlist to go through to the organisation’s website.
N.B. The apprenticeships listed below were all advertised at the time of writing but may not be available now - we’ve listed them to give you an idea of the kind of opportunities that are often advertised in this sector.
1. Electrical Installation Apprenticeship at Sge-Services Ltd
- Length: four years
- Level: Advanced/Level 3
- Content: You’ll work for an electrical contractor which specialises in domestic, commercial and industrial projects by shadowing a co-worker. Your day-to-day duties will include making sure all equipment and tools are accounted for, making sure your co-worker has everything they need to carry out a task, and preparing electrical installations.
- Future prospects: You’ll earn a City & Guilds Level 3 Electrotechnical (Building and Structures) qualification, leading on to an approved Electrician ECS card, which will prove your competence to work to industry standards. The Level 3 qualification will enable you to work as a fully-qualified electrician.
2. Electrical Apprenticeship at Southern Water
- Length: four years
- Level: School Leaver Programme/Level 3
- Content: Southern Water operates in the South East of England and employs over 2,000 people. Your first year with them will be spent completing a residential training programme at a national apprenticeship academy. The remainder will be spent working with a mentor - an experienced Electrical Technician who will provide you with guidance throughout the apprenticeship.
- Future prospects: On completion you’ll receive an NVQ Level 3, which will enable you to work as a fully-qualified electrician. You may also be considered for electrician opportunities with Southern Water.
3. Degree Apprenticeship in Electrical engineering at Atkins
- Length: 55 months
- Level: Degree/Level 6
- Content: Atkins is a design, engineering and project management consultancy. You’ll study and work with a variety of their different teams, whilst developing the skills you need to become a qualified electrical engineer. You’ll create CAD drawings, shadow engineers as they provide electrical support, and support client meetings.
- Future prospects: By the end of the apprenticeship, you’ll have gained a full degree in Electrical Engineering through the National Apprenticeship Service. This will enable you to pursue full-time employment with Atkins or pursue employment elsewhere. A typical starting salary for an electrical engineer is £21,000 - £25,000, whilst those who are highly experienced can earn £45,000 or more.
This guide was written with the help of expert contributors from The Electrical Guys - click here to access their blog and learn tips and tricks from specialists in the trade.