Electricians are often cited as earning more than the other trade professions in the UK. As far back as 2017, the Daily Mail reported that some self-employed electricians were earning as much as £156,000 a year! But the perks of the job don’t end with the wage you could be taking home. There are also a lot of other benefits to life as an electrician, both in terms of the role itself and the freedom that self-employment can afford you.
Whether you’re considering starting out as an electrician or you’re looking for a career change, this guide will explain the various advantages of working in the electrical trade. We’ll begin by exploring the role itself, focussing on the day-to-day realities of working as an electrician and the potential for career progression. After this, we’ll finish off by taking a look at the average salaries for electricians in different parts of the UK.
Life as an Electrician
Your life as an electrician could vary significantly depending on what type of electrical work you go into. Some people in the electrical trade choose to stay as domestic electricians, whilst others go on to specialise in a particular area of commercial electrical work (for an explanation of the differences between these career paths, check out our dedicated blog on commercial vs domestic electricians).
Starting out as an Electrician
As a domestic electrician, you could either work for an existing installations firm or start up your own company. Firstly, though, you’re likely to start out as an apprentice or an entry-level worker. During this phase of your career, you would be working alongside more experienced electricians, learning how to install and maintain electrical sockets, fixtures, and appliances.
One of the perks of an entry-level or apprentice position is that you’ll be learning a lot on the job and making yourself much more employable in the long term. Your progression could be pretty fast, but this will vary depending on your employer. At some firms, you may find that you’ll be trusted to carry out tasks independently from a relatively early stage, particularly if you’ve already been through an apprenticeship.
Variety of Work
The further you progress in your career, the more freedom and variety you’ll have in your job as an electrician. As you earn the trust of your employer, they’ll introduce you to new techniques and you’ll work on a wider range of tasks. You may just be chopping out walls and assisting other electricians to begin with, but things won’t stay this way for long.
Once you’re fully trained up as a domestic electrician, you’ll be in a position to carry out the full range of domestic work including:
- Installing, maintaining, and repairing wiring and lighting systems
- Fitting and maintaining electrical home appliances
- Inspecting components around the home (such as transformers and circuit breakers)
- Testing out wiring and appliances for faults using specialist equipment and identifying solutions for homeowners
- Carrying out full home inspections to complete electrical installation condition reports (EICRs) and other forms of documentation.
This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you a sense of the variety of tasks that you’ll complete once you’ve settled into your career as a domestic electrician.
Benefits of Self-Employment
Having gained your qualifications and several years of experience working as a domestic electrician, you’ll be in a good position to consider going self-employed. There are loads of benefits to setting up your own firm, particularly in terms of the freedom that this affords you: you’ll be able to plan your jobs around your social life and prioritise your own workload. The possibility of self-employment down the line is a common reason why people become electricians.
Another advantage of working for yourself is that you’ll be able to come up with your own pricing strategy and choose what you do with the profits. Savvy, hard-working electricians can rack up some impressive salaries this way, particularly if you manage to gather a decent customer base; a popular option for self-employed domestic electricians is to network and find estate agents that can provide you with a steady stream of work.
Specialising as a Commercial Electrician
Whilst this is covered in much greater detail in our commercial vs domestic electricians blog, one of the greatest perks of working in the electrical trade is that you can specialise in a particular field as a commercial electrician. Some people start out as domestic electricians and then take further qualifications in areas such as solar power or manufacturing, opening up the opportunity to learn new skills and earn even higher salaries than in the domestic trade.
Average Electrician Salaries in the UK
This brings us nicely on to the kinds of salaries you can expect to earn as an electrician. According to Adzuna, the average salary for a domestic electrician in the UK is £32,690 per year, whilst commercial electricians earn £35,328 on average. Although this gives you a general indication of potential wages, it’s worth breaking the data down by specific regions as average salaries can vary significantly (and the highest-earning areas may surprise you).
Adzuna provides helpful reports on local salary data across the UK:
- North East of England – £33,747
- North West of England – £35,973
- East Midlands – £32,665
- West Midlands – £35,707
- South East of England – £34,242
- South West of England – £34,420
- Scotland – £33,475
- Wales – £33,330
- Northern Ireland – £33,707
If you were thinking of becoming an electrician before reading this post, hopefully you’re now set on the decision. We offer a range of different electrical training courses aimed at different levels – take a look and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.