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The trade usually involves working in residential homes, public buildings or offices.

An electrician may typically perform the following tasks:

  • Connect wires along ceilings, walls and floors
  • Assess plans to calculate where wiring and plug sockets need to be fitted
  • Test wiring and electrical equipment for faults
  • Install alarms and other security systems
  • Lay cabling to connect computers etc. to power supplies
  • Fit fuse boxes, earth terminals and circuit breakers
  • Install telecommunications networks
  • Mount back boxes on walls for points and sockets

This trade is extremely varied and many electricians choose to become freelancers due to the many benefits. In this case, networking is vital, as maintaining good relations with sub-contractors will result in more work and higher pay.

Qualifications needed to become an Electrician

As with most skill-based trades, an apprenticeship is one of the most common and practical ways of getting into the industry.  Choosing to go down this route means that you can ‘earn as you learn’ by gaining both the experience of working as well as attending college.

A professional apprenticeship normally takes between three to four years to complete and during this time you will be typically trained to safely handle electricity and how to install electrical components etc.

For the majority of apprenticeships, applicants (in England and Wales) should have GCSE grades A-C in Maths, English Language or Literature and an ability to understand technical drawings is an advantage.

The Benefits of Freelancing as an Electrician

There are many benefits to freelancing as an electrician, for example by freelancing for one or more clients at a time, you can often have more income than you would expect from a full time salary.  You can use our Freelancer Calculator to work out exactly how much you could potentially take home as a sole trader.  There will be a lot more variety within your day-to-day business and job satisfaction. There is also the fact that you will be your own boss, meaning flexible hours to suit yourself, the freedom to work when you choose, where you choose and for however long you like.

Finding Work as a Freelance Electrician

A strong client base is vital for both building and sustaining a good reputation when it comes to having a successful freelance career. This can be achieved by having introductory offers, providing discounted work to friends and family– anything that may spread a positive word of mouth, showing how you provide an excellent customer service.

Self promotion is a fantastic way of getting your name out there and attracting new clients. Advertising your business through a website, business cards and door-to-door flyers will all help towards building a wider range of clients.

Here are some helpful suggestions on how to market yourself:

  1. Give out business cards to friends and family.  This way they can hand them out to their friends; knowing that they know you personally will perhaps make them have more trust in you and your business.
  2. Set up a professional website.  The website needs to be information rich about the services you offer, a price list, the areas you cover and contact details. Using a website builder such as Webs or DIY Site Builder can make it both simple and quick.
  3. Take advantage of social networking sites such as Twitter, Linked In and Facebook are an effective and free way of advertising your business.  Linked In is designed specifically for businesses and professionals to create a network of co-workers and other associates.
  4. Advertise your business through free directory websites.  This ensures many people actively looking for your trade can easily find you.
  5. Talk to all the retailers from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card and ask if they can use your service, or if they know anyone who can.
  6. Advertise in your local newspaper/newsagents etc. This way you’re able to target specific areas and increase the amount of people who see your business without spending too much money.

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