'Domestic' Training Routes
If you want to become an electrician, you may see advertisements for ‘domestic installer courses’ or even ‘domestic electrician courses’.
Although these can often seem an attractive option as they are shorter and less expensive than more comprehensive training routes for ‘commercial’ electricians, we strongly recommend caution when researching these options, as you may pay for a course or bundle of qualifications which provides you with a limited range of skills.
The occupation ‘electrician’ is not controlled or licensed, so anyone can currently complete any form of training and call themselves an electrician. However, the industry only recognises a Level 3 apprenticeship or NVQ as providing ‘qualified’ status.
The term ‘domestic installer’ has developed over time and is connected to a Government scheme where the installer must notify Building Control of relevant electrical installation work in domestic properties only, to comply with the self-certification route in Approved Document P of the Building Regulations in England & Wales. Scheme operators require new applicants to have evidence of two years’ responsibility for the technical standard of electrotechnical work.
A domestic installer is not what the industry recognises as a ‘qualified electrician’ where you can safely undertake a wide range of domestic, commercial and industrial electrical tasks after a sufficient work-based training programme and qualification.
Domestic installer training courses are classroom-based and the training is short in duration. There is limited opportunity to practise skills in the workplace under supervision, demonstrate your performance in the workplace or develop the technical knowledge and understanding that’s expected of an electrician.
As a result, although these types of qualifications may seem a quicker route to starting your new career, it is a very limited option. The electrical industry in general and employers do not value this route as it provides insufficient technical knowledge, practical skills and workplace experience.
The Level 2 qualification that you will find in our recommended Self-Funded Route (England & Wales) is a similar cost but has wider content and is more likely to lead to work as an “electrician’s mate” initially from which you can progress with work experience and more training.