What Level Does a Fully Qualified Electrician Reach?

Learn about what it takes to become a fully qualified electrician. Find out about apprenticeships and certifications needed for this profession.

What Level Does a Fully Qualified Electrician Reach?

When it comes to electrical work, there are three levels of certification: apprentice, officer, and master electrician. Most of the training for an electrician apprenticeship program is done on-the-job, under the supervision of an experienced electrician. Apprentices must complete at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year, with a total of 8,000 hours over the learning period. This training is paid, although not at the same rate as a fully trained electrician.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprenticeship salaries can start at 30 percent of those earned by fully trained electricians, although salaries increase throughout the apprenticeship period. To become a fully qualified electrician, you must first obtain a Level 3 NVQ in electrical engineering. This is traditionally done through an internship period, as Level 3 is awarded at the end of the course. However, completing Levels 1 and 2 can help you find an apprenticeship position. It is up to company managers to review the scope of work that is required and the associated risks, to determine the minimum level of skills and knowledge that workers need to perform the task safely, and to identify the training needed to provide that level of knowledge and skills. By definition, a qualified electrical worker has the knowledge and training necessary to perform one or more specific tasks.

Just because a person is qualified to perform specific electrical tasks does not mean that they are automatically qualified to perform all tasks. In the United States, electrician licenses are issued at the state level, and all states recognize all three types of certifications. Since there are different levels of accreditation in the electrical industry, this may vary depending on the desired qualification level. Keep in mind that a person who considers themselves qualified to work in some teams and in their environment may lack the necessary knowledge to work in others, making them unqualified in those situations. In other words, a company doesn't have to use a qualified electrician for every electrical task, as long as the worker assigned to perform the task meets the criteria of a qualified electrician for the task.

One of the key considerations that will influence the decisions of many people is the time they will need to spend training before becoming fully qualified electricians.Your experienced tutor will guide you through the certifications needed to become an expert electrician. The study and examination of each degree will only take a few days to complete. In some jurisdictions, qualification also includes obtaining a local license that certifies knowledge about electricity and electrical work, or being a member of a recognized union such as the International Brotherhood of Electricity Workers. Access Training students can reach the highest level in the electricity sector and earn a series of industry-recognized electrical degrees (including PAT tests and the 18th edition) in a matter of weeks. Each employee's personnel file must include clear evidence of their qualifications, how those qualifications were obtained and verified, previous experience in tasks of this type, regulatory-related training, and training to obtain adequate personal protective equipment.