Become an Electrician

As an electrician in the construction industry, you will play a vital role in the installation testing, fault rectification and commissioning of different electrical systems. Examples are extra low voltage alarms and mains voltage power and lighting. An electrician will also work on a variety of equipment such as distribution boards, switches, isolators, motors and their control systems, air conditioning and heating/ventilation equipment to name just a few. You will ensure equipment is installed in line with specific manufacturers’ instructions to a high standard and within contractual deadlines. Installation electricians do not generally repair TV’s, washing machines or other domestic equipment.

Job requirements

An electrician needs to be in good health with good colour perception; you must be capable of working with a team so communication skills are important. A working knowledge of science and mathematics is also necessary as you will be working from scale drawings, specifications and carrying out cable sizing calculations.

Electricians work with their hands so they need to be practical people capable and skilled with power tools, hand tools and sensitive test instrumentation. Electricity can kill so safety is paramount; you must work with a methodical approach, as poor workmanship could have fatal consequences.

Working environment

Electricians work in a variety of environments, from outdoor construction sites in all weather conditions to working indoors in domestic (housing), commercial (shops & offices), industrial (farms and horticultural) buildings. Site conditions can be hot and humid to freezing cold, depending on the season, and from dusty, dirty and noisy to clean and quiet, depending on the location.

The contracting industry is a journeying industry, so it will be necessary to travel outside your local area to get to work, or to stay overnight in accommodation for the duration of the contract, and possibly work unsociable hours. Although not a requirement, a driving licence will be very useful.

Working at height on different forms of access equipment, for example scaffolding, powered access towers, trestles and different types of ladders is often a requirement of the job. You may also have to work in cramped conditions or confined spaces.

Safety and personal protective equipment

All work in the construction sector is subject to Health & Safety Regulations and PPE is mandatory on all construction sites. Your employer will issue PPE, which you may be required to wear, as follows:-


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