Electrical Training Courses – follow the right path
We often get contacted by people looking to join the electrical industry and become a qualified electrician. The most common questions we receive are: which electrical training course should I do, or which courses should I avoid? People are regularly confused by different packages and bundles of courses, not all of which lead to qualifications.
There are numerous electrical courses on offer, which can lead to confusion for those wanting to enter the industry. Unfortunately, not all electrical training courses lead to a qualification, and there are a number of qualifications that aren’t recognised by industry or employers as meeting qualified electrician status. Some qualifications are designed for the experienced, practising electrician, not new entrants. Unfortunately, you may spend time and money on a course which proves to be completely worthless when it comes to finding a job at the end.
As an employer in the electrical industry, I have lost count of the number of people who have approached me for employment, but sadly the courses they have undertaken have not provided them with the relevant skills or qualifications needed.
Electrical Courses and qualifications – not the same!
There is a subtle distinction between training ‘courses’ and ‘qualifications’ that you may not be aware of. A training ‘course’ will provide you with some form of learning but not all training courses result in you gaining a qualification. A ‘qualification’ is accredited by an awarding organisation such as City and Guilds or EAL.
Many training providers will offer electrical courses, but not all of them lead to you gaining a recognised qualification at the end of the course.
Our recommendation for electrical courses
If you want to become an electrician and are not sure what electrical training course you should be looking for, our advice is this: you will ultimately only become fully qualified after completing a work-based programme.
Our recommended Training Routes map out the different options to becoming qualified and it’s clear that if you don’t gain the on-site practical experience you can only go so far.
If this isn’t possible straight away, you can start on certain recommended Level 2 and Level 3 technical courses such as the ones found on our qualifications page. They provide the underpinning technical knowledge, will give you the opportunity to develop some practical skills in a classroom environment and may have the potential for contact with employers. You could look for opportunities to support qualified electricians and learn your trade before progressing onto the NVQ Level 3.
Domestic electrician training courses
You may also see a promotion for ‘domestic electrician’ training courses – these do not actually achieve industry-recognised electrician status as these courses have limited scope, are classroom-based and short in duration. Importantly, these courses are connected to a Government scheme where the installer must notify work in domestic properties to comply with Building Regulations. Take a look at our current advice about these types of courses on our domestic installer training page.
Once you’ve qualified…
As a qualified electrician, your learning and development will not stop with the completion of your apprenticeship or NVQ! There are a host of other courses aimed at Continued Professional Development such as regular updates to the wiring regulations, inspection and testing or electric vehicle charging that are intended as progression options for qualified, experienced electricians and assume an existing level of knowledge, skill and experience. Commercial and management courses are also extremely useful for those who want to progress further and to different parts of a business.
So for those looking for electrical courses, it’s a case of buyer beware! Make sure you understand what training routes lead to qualified electrician status and ask questions of your training provider to be clear on what they are offering and what links to practical work experience they can provide.