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Steps to Become a High Paid Electrician

Course Work Requirements

If you want to earn the highest electrician salary possible, then you’ll have to work up to becoming a master electrician or electrical contractor. This can take anywhere for 6 to 8 years depending on the state you live in and that state’s licensing requirements.

No matter what state you live in, you will have to have a certain number of hours in electrician courses plus a certain length of time working in the electrical field before you qualify to take the state test for master electrician. Becoming a master electrician or electrical contractor requires a certain number of steps. First is the position of apprentice electrician. After accruing enough hours as an apprentice and completing the required amount of electrician courses, individuals are eligible to take the journeyman electrician exam. Once licensed as a journeyman, an additional number of hours working in the field are needed before the individual qualifies to take the master electrician or electrical contractor licensing exam.

What Type of Electricians are the Top Earners?

It shouldn’t be any surprise that a master electrician or an electrical contractor makes the highest electrician salary. These individuals have progressed through a required number of steps before they have reached the top of the electrical licensing ladder. They have truly earned their positions and great pay.

Each state has different requirements before an individual can become a master electrician or electrical contractor. Starting out as an apprentice, an individual must work in that position for a certain amount of time and take a certain number of credit hours in electrician courses before they qualify to take the test to become a journeyman electrician. Individuals that pass the test for a journeyman electrician license must continue to work in the field another designated amount of hours before they are eligible to take the exam to become an electrical contractor or master electrician. This whole process can take as much as 6-8 years before an individual can become a master electrician or electrical contractor. It’s no wonder these individuals earn a hefty pay.

Future Electricians Who Like the Outdoors

If you’d like to earn a high electrician salary and like to work outdoors, you might want to consider becoming an outside lineman working for your local electric company. Outside lineman generally make more money than average electrician salaries. However, make no mistake about it: you will earn that higher pay!

Outside lineman install and repair the high voltage wires that supply electricity to various structures. They work in all sorts of weather and can be called out during all hours of the day or night to restore power in a community. The job of an outside lineman is also physically taxing as there will be instances where the individual is required to do things like climb a power pole. Certainly, an outside lineman earns their higher than average electrician salary.

Electricians Command Competitive Incentives

Companies in the know offer a high electrician salary and other incentives to attract and keep their electricians happy. The need for electricians is on the rise and projections from government agencies such as the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that job growth in the electrical field will continue to rise for many years to come.

Some of the incentives that companies offer to keep their electricians happy are medical insurance, dental plans and retirement plans. Wise companies realize that with the need for electricians so high, they have to be competitive in terms what they offer their electricians or they will lose their electricians to another company. For electricians, all these extra job perks add up and allow them to lead a very comfortable lifestyle.

How to Become an Electrician in the UK

Electricians test, fit and repair wiring and circuits, and install new electrical infrastructures. Often working in residential homes, offices or public buildings, electricians ensure and any wires and circuits are safe, repair any faults that may have cropped up or could crop up within the electrics, and help to install new circuits once any building work has come to an end.

Electricians have the potential for progression. Through training, experience and hard work, one can be promoted to the position of supervisor or manager. Failing that, electricians could go on to support themselves financially and become self-employed.

In addition, electricians with a wealth of experience could progress to being an engineering technician; this means an electrician who specialises in helping with any technical faults within engineering or construction businesses.

NVQ Training
If you want to become a fully qualified electrician, you will require a level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services. This can be awarded by either the City & Guilds, or EMTA Awards Limited. School leavers aged up to 19 are advised to start off training as an apprentice, and incorporate their NVQ studies into their training.

To become an apprentice, trainees usually need a GCSE (grade A-C) in Mathematics, English Literature and Science. If they don’t have the necessary academic qualifications, but they can pass the initial aptitude test, they should still be allowed to train. The apprenticeship provides them with relevant work experience, and allows them to earn a small wage at the same time.

The second part of the NVQ involves practical training. This allows students to gain hands-on experience in dealing with more important projects, and take more responsibility, in the same manner that the average electrician would on a daily basis.

For those who are over 19, rather than an apprenticeship, trainees on an NVQ course are advised to secure relevant work experience, usually over a long period of time. This is particularly important for the practical aspect of the NVQ, as without prior experience they are likely to struggle.

Other Qualifications
There are alternative qualifications to the NVQ in Electrotechnical Services. One example of this is the City & Guilds Technical Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology. This qualification will provide relevant training in electrical theory, and involves the development of the necessary practical skills. However, without completing a work placement or an apprenticeship, this certificate will not give trainees a full electrician qualification.

Even after completing an NVQ, electricians can go on to earn more qualification, specific to the position they have, and hope to have in the future. They include City & Guilds certificates in Inspection, Testing and Certification of Installations; Wiring Regulations and In-Service Inspection; and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

In addition, there are training programmes that will help to improve one’s skills. One such scheme is called ‘Part P’, and allows electricians to certify all their own electrical work, as opposed to requiring a contractor or a building inspector for approval of their work.

Becoming (PAT) Portable Appliance Testing is another great way to generate income if you are looking to make the move into becoming an electrician. (PAT) is an important part of health & safety of goods generally 3 years old, however this can be sooner for certain products. An example of where the testing would be carried out is in the work place, schools, hospitals on appliances such as kettles, fridges and computers etc. A device used to measure the electrical circuits to ensure safety. Generally courses can be completed for in the region of £50 for a training DVD for £150 for attending a 1- day training event.

What Employers Are Looking For?
There are a number of key skills that an employer will expect a well-trained and highly qualified electrician to possess. As well as good practical skills, electricians must be confident when using power tools, and pay close attention to minor construction details. They should take a methodical approach to their work, and be able to solve any problems that may occur. Being able to predict potential problems, or being prepared for potential problems, are further signs of a good electrician.

In addition, an electrician must have the ability to perform a number of tasks. They include analysing technical drawings, following instructions and focusing on the job for a long period of time.

There is also the matter of being able to prevent danger. An electrician should know how to ensure a healthy and safe working environment, and be aware of specific electrical safety regulations. Given the important of health & safety in the life of an electrician, gaining a first aid qualification will add real weight and purpose behind your C.V. First aid qualifications are run most weeks of the year and can be obtained over 3-5 days with St John Ambulance, or other private training companies, and start anywhere between £50-£150 per person. In addition any further health and safety qualifications will bolster an application for employment either on an apprenticeship or for a full time placement.

Electricians should also be reasonably fit, and have normal colour vision (not doing so could lead to major issues when distinguishing between different coloured wires in a circuit). Being an electrician is about more than just fixing wires, so having good administrative and communication skills are also very useful. The ability to communicate is essential given the responsibility of the job and the related trades that an electrician will work with such as Joiners, Plasterers and Plumbers.

How Much Money Will I Make as an Electrician in the UK?
The salary for an electrician will depend on their level of experience, and whether they work for a company or they are self-employed. Apprentice electricians will usually start on an annual salary of £10,000. This should rise to between £16,500 and £19.000 once they have earned their qualifications. This acts as the typical starting salary for all electricians who work for a larger organisation. By continuing to gain work experience and through hard work, an electrician’s annual salary should rise to at least £20,000, right up to £25,000. Electricians with specialist grading could end up earning around £28,000 per annum.

Self-employed electricians will need to have put in a few years of experience, and earned a fair amount of money, before being able to financially support themselves to the point where they can break out on their own. For those who do, a salary is determined not by the year, but by the job. Self-employed electricians have to build up their own network of clients. This means that, if their clients do not have work for them, then they cannot perform jobs and, consequently, earn money. After all, there is no guarantee of work for an electrician when they are self-employed. And, for the jobs that they do perform, if they are infrequent and/or minor, they won’t be making a lot of money. Over a long period of time and through continually building up contacts, being self-employed may end up being profitable, but when first going self-employed, an electrician will judge how much they are making based on the jobs they perform, and the frequency of their work, as opposed to an annual salary.

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Electrician in the UK
For some, the negatives of being an electrician are enough reason to not pursue this career path. However, with the right amount of skill and preparation, such drawbacks may not be a factor. A list of both the key pros and cons of being an electrician are listed below.

PROS
• Constantly learning new skills on the job
• Opportunities for progression through hard work and experience
• Not all the work involves electric (some administration too)
• Many jobs will be within a team, so you can share tasks & responsibilities

CONS
• The job can be dangerous for those just starting out
• Uncomfortable working conditions due to lack of space & bad weather
• Can involve a lot of travelling
• Half-finished sites can cause injury without researching any problems

Helpful Contact Information
The job of an electrician can be dangerous and, for those who are self-employed, a risk financially. However, for those with the necessary skills, talent and work ethic, being an electrician can be a successful career path to follow, and a profitable one in the long run.

For details of the different City & Guilds qualifications, including the NVQ, contact:
City & Guilds Head Office
1 Glitspur Street
London
EC1A 9DD
Telephone 0844 543 0000

To find out more information regarding the different qualifications awarded by the EAL (EMTA Awards Limited), contact:
EAL
SEMTA House
14 Upton Road
Watford
WD18 0JT
Telephone 0113 260 1188
http://www.eal.org.uk/

RF Training – Private Electrician Training Courses.
http://www.rftraining.co.uk/electrician-courses/

Electrician Shopping – 6 Steps to Choosing the Right Electrician

When you’re looking for an electrician, look for someone with whom you can form a long-term relationship. It’s going to save you a lot of time and money if you can find someone whom you trust to get the job right the first time and give you the right price.

Step 1) Find Recommended Companies

You can get recommendations for electricians from friends and neighbors. You can also search on-line for electrician Los Angeles or electrician Burbank, and so on. If you add the word reviews to your search, you can look through company reviews.

Another approach is to search websites that feature reviews. Reviews appear on many websites including Google Places, Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, and CitySearch.com. AngiesList.com is an excellent source of recommendations for contractors but requires a small annual membership fee. On AngiesList, you can see how customers rated their contractors, including electricians, and details of how their jobs went.

When looking at customer reviews, take a look at the big picture. Is there one bad review among the many good ones? Is it just a grumpy customer? Is there a company reply that clears things up or says that it has corrected its employee?

Once you have three or so recommended electricians, take a look at their websites.

Step 2) Check the Electrical Company Website

· Is it presentable and well-maintained?

· Easy to find what you’re looking for?

· Friendly, helpful, and not cluttered with hard-sell advertising?

· How many good testimonials?

If the website checks out, it’s time to interview the electrician.

Step 3) Interview

When you talk with the electrician, pay attention to how comfortable you are, including your trust level. I’ve listed questions that you can ask. If you’ve already gotten glowing recommendations or it’s a small repair job like fixing a broken light switch, you probably wouldn’t want to ask them all. But if you aren’t talking with a recommended electrician and you’re planning a remodel, ask away.

· Experience with your type of work

· Years in business. Most companies which have stayed in business a long time have managed to keep their customers satisfied. They’ve also gathered a lot of useful experience and competence.

· Contractor’s License Number

· Liability Insurance and Workers Comp Insurance. It’s desirable that the company carry at least $1 million in liability insurance to protect your home should their work create property damage. Workers Comp provides for medical care for the electricians should they be injured on your job. Again, this protects you from liability.

· Guarantees. Some companies offer a lifetime guarantee on their work. This wouldn’t generally include the electrical parts that they install – that’s covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee. However, the electrician should give you at least a several-year guarantee on labor. A guarantee up to the life of your home is best.

· Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Ask for the exact company name that you should look and in which city. Sometimes, the BBB will use a slightly different name, possibly the formal legal name of the company.

· Pricing

· Website address if you don’t already have it

· Names and contact info for five clients

Take notes on all this, particularly the License Number. If you decide to go ahead, you may wish to check some of what the electrician has said. If you decide not to go ahead, no need to proceed any further with this electrician. But save the notes so that you can remind yourself later of which companies you’ve already ruled out.

Step 4) Look and Listen

While you’re gathering this information, listen to what is said but also pay attention to how the electrician acts and makes you feel. If you meet with the electrician, keep your eyes open, too.

· Do you like the electrician?

· Do you feel comfortable and not under pressure?

· Does the electrician inspire your trust?

· Do the electrician and company employees seem to know what they’re doing?

· Do they seem to operate legally and behave ethically? Are they acting the way that you would want them to act towards you?

· Do they return phone calls promptly?

· Are they timely when meeting you for appointments?

· Do they listen to your questions and concerns and answer them in a way that is forthcoming and that you can understand?

· Does the electrician dress neatly and have a vehicle and tools that look well-maintained?

Electricians who are bidding jobs are on their best behavior. If you already notice that an electrician treats you or others in ways that concern you, better to find another with whom you feel more comfortable.

Step 5) Check It Out

· If you haven’t already, check customer reviews. The first section of this article gives details.

· Enter the Contractor’s License Number into the Contractor’s License Board website for your state. See if there are any “black marks.”

· Check the company’s rating at the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/. Ratings run from A+ to F based on customer complaints made to the Bureau. As a note, an “A” reflects the same level of customer satisfaction as an “A+.” The “A+” is earned by an “A” contractor becoming a paying member of the Better Business Bureau, which supports the Bureau in its work.

Step 6) Call References

Don’t hesitate to call references. Customers are usually happy to give a good recommendation to help a deserving electrical contractor. You can return the favor later should a homeowner call you. Ask:

· How did your job go?

· Was your job done right the first time?

· If a return visit was needed, was the electrician easy to work with and prompt?

· Was company pricing competitive?

· Was the electrician within budget and schedule?

· Would you be happy to continue to use this electrical company?

Speak with at least three references. Listen carefully for enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm about the electrician. Clients, past or present, may not feel comfortable saying anything negative. If they express little enthusiasm or say something negative, take this into consideration when making your decision.

A Final Tip: Don’t Automatically Choose the Low Bid

A bid may be too low. How can that be? An electrician may intentionally omit items that the job requires, only to come back later saying that additional work needs to be done. On the other hand, some electricians may unintentionally bid low through inexperience. Either way, the electrician may ask for more money to finish the job or may leave you with an incomplete project.

Price is important, but judge the entire picture an electrician is showing you — character, expertise, the ease of working with him or her, and overall value. A large part of an electrician’s value is that he/she gets the job done right and safely without taking too much of your time and inconveniencing you. A very competent electrician can save you money by suggesting more efficient ways to do a job or to save on electricity. When you enjoy a good relationship with your electrician, it can save you both time and money.