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How to upskill as an electrician

As an electrician, your skills are already in demand. Upskilling can help you ensure it remains that way, as well as allowing you to unlock the highest earning potential in your field.

Electricians were amongst our most-searched-for trades on Checkatrade in 2022. In fact, a whopping 2.9 million homeowners searched our trade directory for an electrician last year alone. So, your skills are already in high demand.

However, upskilling is a great way to ensure that homeowners continue to need your services as the landscape changes – and as more electricians enter the industry. Not only that but gaining new skills in your field can lead to higher earnings too!

Here, we’ll look at how to upskill as an electrician so that you can take the next step in your career.

What other jobs can electricians do?

Gaining the skills and qualifications to add other services to your roster as an electrician can be a great way to gain more work and stay ahead of the competition. This is particularly the case when it comes to new technologies that are only going to become more commonplace as time goes on.

Here are some other jobs that you can add to your skill set as an electrician.

Electric vehicle charging point installation

Conventional petrol and diesel cars are due to be banned in the UK from 2030. So, it’s no surprise that demand for electric vehicle charging points is set to soar.

In particular, the number of home charging points is predicted to go from around 3 million in 2025 to 15.7 million in 2035 (according to the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce) – and they’ll all need to be installed by electricians!

To make the most of this demand, you can find courses either online or in-person that cover all aspects of installing domestic electric vehicle charging points. If you prefer, you can even take courses that specialise in electric vehicle charging points for commercial vehicles, opening up a whole new market for you to sell your services to.

Our guide to the top training courses for tradespeople has more.

what other jobs can electricians do

Electrical inspection and testing

Electrical inspection and testing is an area that you might not have covered in much detail or gained qualifications in if you had training in the past. But just as you know how to install electrical equipment, it’s equally important to know how to check and test the installation before putting it into service, to make sure it complies with requirements.

There are lots of different courses you can take to brush up on your skills in electrical inspection, including short courses in safe isolation, for example.

However, it may also be worth considering longer courses in advanced inspection and testing. These can give you the qualifications you need to provide periodic inspection services, for example for landlords. Offering inspection services is a great way to expand your client base and boost demand for your skills.

Solar panel installation

As the government attempts to phase out fossil fuels, solar energy will become more and more important. By training to become a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installer, you’ll be able to keep your skillset up-to-date and make the most of the new surge in demand.

Courses in solar panel installation tend to cover all the different types of solar PV technology, as well as giving you the skills to install, test and maintain solar PV systems. There’ll be a mix of theory and practical training and assessments. The qualifications you gain will normally be valid for five years.

After you’ve trained to become a solar PV panel installer, you can apply to become MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified. This will give customers confidence that you can install solar panels to a high standard, and help you to boost the legitimacy of your business.

Battery storage

Battery storage is another new technology that often goes hand in hand with solar panel installation. It allows homeowners with solar panels to store any energy they generate that they don’t need immediately. In this way, they can reduce the amount of electricity they have to buy from the grid and maximise their savings.

If you want to design and install battery storage systems in homes and small commercial properties, a battery storage course will give you the knowledge and skills you need. However, it’s usually best to train in solar panel installation first!

Smart home installations and maintenance

Homeowners used to have to carry out lots of menial tasks in the home. But now there are all sorts of technologies springing up that take care of these tasks for you – or allow you to control things quickly and easily from your smartphone.

Smart homes cover lots of different elements, such as electrics, renewables, AV, security, and plumbing and heating. You won’t be an expert in all of them, but as an electrician, you’ll be familiar with many of the elements that homeowners might be looking for. That means you’ll be well-placed to offer smart home installations and maintenance.

The smart home market is growing rapidly, so it’s also a great avenue for you to grow your business.

Rather than attempting to offer everything, start with one element of smart home technology and narrow it down to a few key products and technologies that you want to work with.

Make sure that the manufacturers of any systems you choose offer decent support and training for installers. That way, you can be confident you’ll have the skills you need to install them to a high standard.

What to do after qualifying as an electrician

How to upskill as an electrician in other ways

Expanding the services you can offer homeowners is just one element of upskilling. Starting your own electrician business is the best way to maximise how much you could earn as an electrician. But there are lots of softer skills you’ll need to hone to ensure that your business is as successful as it can be.

Here are some ideas:

Finally, don’t forget to join Checkatrade!

We’re the tick people trust. To become Checkatrade approved, you need to pass up to 12 checks which show homeowners your business can be relied upon. In fact, 8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t endorsed!*

Tap into the demand for your skills

Join Checkatrade to be visible to the millions of homeowners searching for electricians like you every year

Find out more

FAQs

How can I improve as an electrician?

There are lots of courses you can take to hone your skills as an electrician. Check out our top training courses for tradespeople to get started. In particular, we’d recommend taking courses that qualify you to work with new technologies that are quickly growing in popularity, such as electric vehicle charging point installation.

What to do after qualifying as an electrician?

After qualifying as an electrician, you can progress your career by setting up your own electrician business or specialising in a specific area such as smart home installations. Running your own business is the best way to maximise your earning potential as an electrician, and upskilling can help you broaden your service offering to make the most of demand.

Tap into the demand for your skills

Join Checkatrade to be visible to the millions of homeowners searching for electricians like you every year

Find out more

*Deep Blue Thinking 2021 Trade Perception Survey

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