Project management involves everything from planning and preparation through to coordinating staff, clients and stakeholders – and if you’re an electrician working on or managing large-scale jobs, it’s likely part and parcel of your everyday tasks.
However, for many electricians (and those working with them), project management is something they’ve learned on the fly through trial and error. And while there’s nothing wrong with learning as you go, backing up your practical skills with proven strategies and best practice knowledge is a smart move.
With a shortage of qualified project managers in the workforce, by completing training in this area you put yourself ahead of the pack and open up career opportunities in a range of industries. So in this article we explain why project management is important for electricians and how you can gain a qualification in just one year that will accelerate your career.
Who are project management courses for?
If you’re a qualified electrician (or someone who works with them) and want to step up and coordinate large scale jobs, a project management certificate or diploma course will give you the skills you need. The knowledge, resources and support you’ll receive will help you to manage projects more effectively, delivering cost and time savings to both your clients and your business.
The courses are ideally suited to those who are already doing some form of project management in their existing business, who want to take it a step further and develop and formalise their skills. They are designed to suit students working for both small and large contractors, based in rural or urban locations.
Troy Cravino, based in Bendigo in regional Victoria, is currently Construction Manager at UCS Power. He recently completed the Certificate IV in Project Management Practice and had this to say:
‘I found the course to be informative and engaging. The trainer and guest speakers were experienced, supportive and very helpful. After completing the Cert IV I immediately enrolled in the Diploma to further my skills. I am now halfway through the course and am enjoying it just as much as the Cert IV. It has also been great to share experiences with and learn from other people studying the course.’
What project management courses are available for electricians?
At NECA Education & Careers, we offer two nationally recognised training courses: Certificate IV in Project Management Practice and Diploma of Project Management. The Cert IV course runs over 11 months and includes nine face-to-face class days. It’s a great option if you are currently looking after projects, and ready to progress and upgrade your skills.
If you are already an experienced project manager with at least 3 years’ experience, the Diploma will allow you to build on what you’ve learnt on the job so you can take your career to the next level. The course takes 12 months to complete which includes 12 face-to-face class days.
Completing the course over 11 or 12 months gives you the chance to implement what you’ve learnt in your workplace and be supported at the same time.
Why should you complete a project management course?
Building on and formalising your existing project management skills can benefit your career in both the short and long term. You can immediately translate your learnings and use the course resources to enhance your existing projects as the content is integrated with what you are doing on the job. And as part of the diploma, you’ll also have the chance to take part in a real-life simulation at the Building Leadership Simulation Centre run by Master Builders in Port Melbourne.
The simulation consists of actors creating a scenario in a replica site shed to see how you respond under pressure, while doing so in a safe environment with detailed performance feedback. Current students have found the simulation experience extremely beneficial.
The qualifications also provide the opportunity to grow your career, especially in the construction industry, as the shortage of project managers in the workforce means there is a high demand. On top of this, you’ll enjoy higher levels of job retention, and make new connections, learning not only from the instructors, but also from the experiences of your fellow students. There’s also support for succession planning, to help you back up existing managers and prepare to one day take over the business.
Are you ready to take the next step in your electrical career?
If you’re ready to accelerate your electrical career, completing a project management course is a great move. You have the flexibility of choosing between a certificate or diploma level depending on your needs. You will also build on your existing learnings which will benefit your business both now and in the future and open doors for career progression in the electrical and construction industries. And best of all, you can achieve a nationally recognised qualification in just one year.
It’s important to us that the course is right for you. So instead of just enrolling in the course, one of our team will come out to meet with you tounderstand your situation and determine whether the certificate or diploma is the right fit for you.
There is government funding available via the Skills First Program, which can cover more than half of the course fees if you are eligible. There is also a discount for NECA members, see the Certificate or Diploma course page for more information.
To find out more, get in touch with the NECA team on 03 5834 3115.