Everything you need to know about electrical apprenticeships

young male adult working with electrics

Interested in an electrical apprenticeship? Here are some of your most common questions answered. 

What does an electrical apprenticeship involve?

While working for your employer you’ll be fully supported through a programme of learning and one-to-one sessions. Your job will provide you with relevant real-life experience, team working skills and progression opportunities, while you’re fully supported by a training adviser. You will spend at least 20% of your working hours in a training environment.  

Some of your main duties and responsibilities as an electrical apprentice will be: 

  • installing, maintaining and repairing electrical equipment such as power sockets, lights, fire alarms and heating 
  • working in varied environments both indoors and outdoors 
  • developing good working relationships with colleagues, other trades and customers 
  • using building and engineering drawings 
  • understanding wiring and circuit diagrams 
  • inspecting and testing electrical installations 
  • diagnosing and fixing faults across a range of circuits and equipment 

What qualifications and skills do you need for an electrical apprenticeship?

You don’t always need academic qualifications to start an electrical apprenticeship, but employers will often look for at least three GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, one being in a technical or science subject alongside good English and Maths skills. 

As an electrical apprentice, you’ll need to be good at solving problems, structuring your workload and working as part of a team as well as demonstrating a willingness and motivation to learn. 

Why should I complete an electrical apprenticeship?

Electricians require highly-complex practical skills that need to be tested in a real environment before you can deliver services directly to customers. Apprenticeships are uniquely positioned to give you the hands-on experience you’ll need to develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed. Electrical apprenticeships will also enable you to build relationships directly with employers and other tradespeople who can help you with your career at the end of your apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeships are a great way to get your foot in the door if you have limited skills and experience in the electrical sector. 

Read more: Why should electricians use apprenticeships?

How should I prepare for an electrical apprenticeship interview?

Once you’ve been invited for an interview, it’s time to show your interviewer that you’ve got everything they’re looking for in an apprentice. 

1.    Research – find out more about the company and the types of projects they work on in advance so you can ask relevant questions and demonstrate qualities that seem important to them.

2.    Prepare – even if you don’t know exactly what is going to be asked on the day, you can prepare a list of key facts about yourself that can keep you focused when answering.

3.    Plan ahead – make sure you know what you’re going to wear and how you’re going to get to the interview so that you can make the best first impression

4.    Body language – try to use your body to show the interviewer how friendly and enthusiastic you are. Remember to smile, sit up straight, and make eye contact!

5.    Ask questions – have some questions prepared to show that you are interested in learning more about the company and apprenticeship.

Take a look at our list of qualities that employers look for in an apprentice for more tips on what to demonstrate. 

How long does an electrical apprenticeship take?

Our Level 3 electrical apprenticeships take three and a half years – providing you work full time between 30 and 40 hours per week. The extended length of an electrical apprenticeship gives you time to get to know the sector and business on a deeper level and helps you to progress further. This means you can take on more complex tasks due to your experience within the role.

Read more: How long is an apprenticeship?

How much do electrical apprentices get paid?

Electrical apprentices are paid at least the minimum national apprenticeship wage rate of £4.81 if they are under 19 OR over 19 and in their first year of the apprenticeship. Once an apprentice is over 19 and has completed the first year of their apprenticeship, they are paid at least the national minimum wage for their age. 

Many employers choose to pay their apprentices more than minimum wage as they recognise it helps to improve loyalty to their employer as well as their overall quality of life.  

What can I do after completing an electrical apprenticeship?

After completing an electrical apprenticeship, you may choose to continue working as an Installation Electrician or Maintenance electrician for a company, become a self-employed electrician or pursue more technical qualifications to progress into specialist and management roles. 

Our dedicated team have a wealth of experience and can guide you to the right match for your career ambitions. Call 03333 222 666 to speak to a member of our team.  

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