One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How do I become an electrician?”. At Centrica Business Solutions, our electrical training is predominantly geared towards those who already work in the electrical industry and are purely looking to update / expand their qualifications. However, if you’re looking for new career with limited or no experience in the field, then there are alternative routes you can take.

It’s important that anyone working in the electrical industry is competent enough to do so. There are two main options to becoming a fully qualified electrician that both consist of theory and practical work requiring a good level of study.


Option One – Apprenticeships

Generally, students will begin an apprenticeship at age 16 – 18 when they’ve left school. Any electrical company can employ an apprentice, giving them valuable on-site experience as they learn on the job. The apprenticeship route is a level 3 NVQ qualification that usually takes 3-4 years to complete. As well as practical, hands-on experience, the apprentice will also need to attend a college / learning provider to understand the theory behind electrical installations.

Option Two – Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Electrical Installations

For those looking to change careers and start out in the industry, the apprenticeship route isn’t always a feasible option. In that case, some learning providers offer full and part time electrotechnical courses. The best route would be to complete Level 2 and 3 diplomas in Electrical Installations. Once completed, you’ll find it easier to gain a job in industry and will then be able to progress and complete the NVQ.


The NVQ is an assessment qualification that requires you to complete practical and theory assessment units, alongside various tasks in which you must provide evidence. An assessor will also visit you at work to evaluate your skills.

Once you’ve passed all the necessary skills and tasks, you’ll then move onto the AM2 (Achievement Measure no.2) which is the final assessment to completing the NVQ Diploma. Once achieved, you’re now a fully qualified Electrician who can apply for a JIB (Joint Industry Board) card to recognise your level of experience and education.

When you qualify, this is only just the beginning of your electrical career! You could go on to further your skills and gain qualifications and experience in inspection and testing, design and verification and specialist training such as hazardous areas – which is where we come in!

Our electrical courses will help to develop your skills and allow you to take on more complex work. Our training ranges from the City & Guilds Electrical Series to CompEx and BCIA. To view our full suite of training, click here.


Useful reading

Take a look at the following websites for more information on apprenticeships and the training available.

JIB Apprenticeships and Training

The IET Career & Learning Find an Apprenticeship