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The electrotechnical industry presents many opportunities – it’s not limited to what many consider traditional electrical installation. Working in the electrical industry now means you can be involved in smart and renewable technologies, automation and controls, building energy management systems, and other areas that bring our home, work and leisure environments to life.

Outside the core electrical industry are wider specialist industries that also require electrotechnical skills and knowledge, such as fire and security systems, data communication networks and energy management.

Woman and man examine electrical switch board

The information in our job profiles aims to give a general overview of the role and a guideline to what it involves. The content is not intended to be exhaustive and roles will vary depending on the organisation and sector. The salary ranges are a guide only, as these are dependent on the size and location of the organisation.

Apprenticeship salary range
Qualified salary range
Experienced salary range
Senior leadership salary range

How does this role align to the green agenda?

An Electrician’s core skill set underpins several low carbon technologies and is highly transferable to emerging occupations supporting the sustainability agenda. A qualified Electrician has the knowledge and skills to safely install electric vehicle charge points (EVCPs), solar/PV panels and other low carbon technologies.  

Other growth areas, such as smart buildings and the electrification of heat, can utilise the base skills of an Electrician, with additional and specialised upskilling.    

Male electrician is working on a switchboard

Skills and capabilities

As an Electrician, you’ll need a great head for mathematics, as Ohm’s Law, calculating voltage, current and power all feature in the design of complex electrical installations. So, it’s a great opportunity for students who enjoy STEM subjects, as well as those who enjoy practical work.

Technical knowledge

  • Apply statutory health and safety policies, procedures and regulations
  • Identify and comply with all relevant legislation
  • Correctly identify and use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Apply relevant legislation
  • Apply and use necessary mathematical techniques, formulae and calculations
  • Safely and correctly use a range of tools, materials, equipment and components
  • Design, plan, set up and install domestic and/or commercial and industrial electrical and electronic systems
  • Inspect and test domestic and/or commercial and industrial electrical installations
  • Install and maintain domestic and/or commercial and industrial electrical and electronic equipment and components, including heating systems, comfort and convenience technologies, heat pumps, solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and devices.

Transferable skills

  • Time management
  • Planning
  • Organising
  • Writing
  • Problem reframing and resolution
  • Customer service
  • Effective communication.

A day in the life

Electricians work across domestic, commercial and industrial premises. Qualified Electricians are in high demand and may choose to work with low carbon technologies as part of their role, or to specialise in a particular technology – for example EVCP installation.

Watch the video to find out more.

Electrician Video Thumbnail

Entry routes

Different pathways to become an Electrician are outlined below, and the Electrical Careers website explains the different recognised training routes and qualifications. These provide a solid base of knowledge and practical skills. Once qualified, Electricians can undertake additional training to qualify in specialist areas and different new technologies.

To note: in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, it will typically take three years to complete a full-time, undergraduate degree. In Scotland, it typically takes four years. Apprenticeship courses vary in length, and also require an end-point assessment period. Please check this information on a case-by-case basis.

Potential career progression

Electrical skills are transferable to a range of occupations across different sectors. With technology changing, it is important to keep up to date through ongoing training and CPD.

There are varied progression opportunities available in design, engineering, commercial and management disciplines, such as:

Upskilling in new technologies or specialist areas, such as building controls, or smart homes

Project management or commercial roles, such as design and estimating 

Supervisory or management roles   

Setting up your own electrical business 

Relevant sectors

Electricians are needed across a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Construction and the built environment
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Public Services
  • Retail
  • Transport and logistics
  • Utilities
Electrician installing a solar panel

Learn about the green agenda across different sectors

Information kindly supplied by:
Electrical Contractors Association logo
ECA on behalf of TESP/Electrical Careers

ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing nearly 3,000 electrotechnical and engineering services businesses.

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals