Electrician Apprenticeships: Sparking Your Career

Written by Calvin Bowers

When deciding which step to take next on the career ladder, it can be a good idea to look into electrician apprenticeships or other trade-based roles as there is always likely to be demand for them. There are several different types of electrician apprenticeship standards on offer and each of them can lead to a long and successful career for the right applicant.

There are many reasons to start an apprenticeship and one of the most popular ones is that it is a chance to learn and earn at the same time. Undertaking an apprenticeship gives you the chance to gain a useful qualification as well as being paid for the time that you are investing. The way an apprenticeship works is that you are paid for 100% of the time but the time is split between on-the-job training, which comprises 80% of your time and off-the-job training which takes up the other 20%. 

On-the-job training is where you are taking on the job role that you are being trained for and are shown the ropes in terms of how to actually do it by your mentor and colleagues. Off-the-job training is the time that you are allocated for the academic portion of the apprenticeship and this can be things like studying and learning health and safety information or learning about how electrical currents are conducted. 

There are several different types of apprenticeship which are based on the academic level of the apprenticeship and the difficulty in terms of the entry requirements that are needed in order to be accepted onto them. The most popular and easiest to access is the Intermediate Apprenticeship, followed by the Advanced Apprenticeship, then the Higher Apprenticeship and the final one is the Degree Apprenticeship, which can confer a degree-level qualification on those who successfully complete it.

Types of Electrician Apprenticeships

There are currently two electrician apprenticeship standards on offer and more information about each of these is included below, so that you can decide whether they seem like a good fit for you or not. 

Installation Electrician / Maintenance Electrician

The role of installation electrician / maintenance electrician is one that many consumers and businesses are familiar with. This is the person who will come out and repair or install electrical systems in your home or office premises. 

Becoming an installation electrician or a maintenance electrician is a very responsible job and it should not be undertaken lightly. It is a job where there is a lot to learn about electrical safety and how best to keep the public out of harm’s way. You will need to be able to bring a mature attitude to the role and be willing to learn from those with more experience than you. 

Some of the systems that you will be tasked with installing will be switchboards, cables, fuses, lighting and heating as well as air conditioning and safety components such as fire alarms, smoke alarms and intruder alarms.

The apprenticeship role is a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship and this should take around 42 months to complete, which is not inclusive of the time that it takes to undergo the End Point Assessment (EPA). 

Highways Electrician or Service Operative

Another type of electrician, rather than the domestic and office version, is the highways electrician or service operative whose purpose is to work outside on some of the features of our roadsides, including traffic light signals and lighting columns that help drivers to see where they are heading in the dark.

This is a popular role and one that is a good fit for people who like to work in the open air. The work involves learning how all of the roadside services work and how they complement each other. You will be expected to learn how to diagnose and resolve any faults that you come across and to be able to keep detailed logs of any and all of the work that has been carried out. This isn’t just for your sake but for any engineer who then has to follow in your footsteps and look at the same equipment. 

This apprenticeship is a level 3 apprenticeship and is frequently preceded by a level 2 apprenticeship called Highway Electrical Maintenance and Installation Operative. This advanced apprenticeship should take 24 months to complete and as with the other electrical apprenticeship mentioned above, this does not include the period of the End Point Assessment, which may be some additional time. 

Additional Information

At Employing an Apprentice, we provide a wealth of information for both employers and apprentices on all different aspects of the processes of both hosting and applying for an apprenticeship. We hope that this will help to demystify the process for both employers and apprentices alike. We provide regular news updates that look at many different issues surrounding the apprenticeship arena and try to help those involved to make sense of them. 

We help young people to build out their CVs and improve their covering letters. We can also give advice on how to find the work experiences that are best suited for them. 

As well as apprenticeships, we can also give advice on accessing T-Levels, which are halfway between GCSEs and a level 2 apprenticeship. They are like an apprenticeship, but instead of 80% being on-the-job training and 20% being off-the-job training in a classroom, the two are reversed, so 80% of the time is spent in a classroom. 

Applying for Electrician Apprenticeships

Electrician apprenticeships can give you the spark that you need to jump-start your career, but it can be hard to find a suitable apprenticeship in your local area

Luckily, this is where we come in. Take a look at our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board to find high-quality apprenticeship jobs in your area. This can be an excellent way to gain a better idea of the number of available apprenticeships in your local area at any given time. Remember to be selective and choose one that looks like a good fit for you going forward.

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Last Updated: Tuesday April 30 2024
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