One of the best aspects of becoming an electrician is the various progression pathways that become available after completing your apprenticeship. This variety makes it possible to pursue a career that best suits your specific interests, as well as the type of electrical work that you enjoy most. This could be anything from electrical engineering to commercial installation, or something more niche such as working with solar energy.
However, in order to decide on which form of electrical specialisation is best for you, it’s vital to understand the different types of electricians and what types of work each does. Once you can recognise these differences, it’s possible to determine what sort of work is going to suit you, as well as the electrical equipment and electrical systems that you’ll need to know in order to succeed.
This starts with completing an apprenticeship, where you’ll learn how to become an electrician, as well as the basic skills necessary for success within the industry.
It’s vital to understand the different types of electricians and what type of work each of them does.
Electricians: Progression pathways
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and become a fully licensed electrician, there are two main options that you’ll want to consider when planning for the future.
The first of these is business ownership, with many electrical contractors opting to retain a broad focus in order to eventually operate their own company, employing other electricians. If this is a career that you’d like to pursue, there are some essential non-electrical skills that you’ll need to know, ranging from project management all the way through to effective communication.
The best way to pick up these skills is by completing dedicated business and management training courses, which provide students with all of the information they’ll need in order to operate a successful electrical business.
Another career option for electrical contractors is specialisation. To determine which specialisation is best for you, it’s important to be able to answer a simple question: What are the different types of electricians?
The best way to focus in on a particular area of electrical work is via specialist training.
Types of electricians
The various specialisations and focus areas can be broken down into a few key groups.
- Residential electricians: Plan, install and maintain the electrical systems of residential properties, including lighting fixture, power outlets and heating/ventilation systems.
- Commercial electricians: Similar work to residential electricians, but with a focus on commercial buildings such as large-scale office blocks.
- Emergency electricians: Are on call 24/7, or outside of typical working hours, in order to quickly repair any electrical issues that may arise unexpectedly and need to be fixed.
- Specialist electricians: Make up a very broad category, comprising everything from refrigeration experts to electricians that focus exclusively on installing solar panels.
- Construction electricians: Work on buildings as they’re being built, ensuring their electrical systems are optimised for the property’s eventual use.
Each of these different types of electrician requires a slightly different skill set, but the basics all come from completing an apprenticeship and understanding the core components of electrical work. From there, the best way to focus in on a particular area that interests you is via specialist training, which is provided by organisations such as NECA Education & Careers.
Electrical specialisation courses
It’s never too early to start thinking about the best short courses for you.
Once you’ve decided which electrical specialisation best suits your interests and skills, the next step is to boost your knowledge in that particular area, while still working as a residential or commercial electrician to improve your practical skills.
A great example of some of the courses on offer for these specialisations is the process of becoming a construction electrician. To learn or refresh the necessary skills, there are two different training programs that can be completed, depending on your level of prior experience. These are:
- Electrical installation for construction sites (three days)
- Construction wiring refresher (two days)
Not only will courses like these provide you with the expertise needed to succeed in your chosen specialisation, they’re also an incredibly valuable addition to a CV, making it far more likely you’ll be able to secure the type of electrical work that most interests you. This applies to all sorts of electrical sub-sectors, ranging from construction through to renewable energy, and even business ownership.
Accordingly, it’s never too early to start thinking about the best short courses for you. To find out more, or for advice on electrical specialisations, contact NECA Education & Careers today.