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Electrical Training Routes

There are several routes to becoming a qualified Electrician, the following guidance is provided by The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership- making the different routes clear and offering information on options available.

Female electrician at work

Route 1 - Apprenticeship

The preferred route into the industry, employers can access funding for apprentices of all


An apprenticeship is a job with training. It’s ideal way to start your electrical career and

earn while you learn. You’ll be employed and will gain your skills via a combination of on the-

job learning in your workplace and other learning supported by a college or training


The apprenticeship programme takes around four years to complete.

Traditionally apprenticeships were only for young people, but now employers in England

can receive funding for apprentices of any age, so they’re now an option for those looking

to change or progress their career, as well as school leavers.

Importantly, your employer receives funding for the apprenticeship programme and you

will not be expected to pay anything towards your training.

There are two apprenticeship options for becoming an Electrician:

Installation & Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship – Installation and

Maintenance electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems in industrial,

commercial and domestic environments.

Domestic Electrician apprenticeship – Domestic Electricians work in domestic

properties such as homes, dwellings, or individual units, rather than in their

communal areas.

Take a look at the two apprenticeship journeys below which show the whole process:

Domestic Electrician apprenticeship route

Domestic apprenticeship route
Download PDF • 279KB

Installation & Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship route

Installation & Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship route
Download PDF • 279KB

Route 2 – Full-Time Education – 14-19

If an apprenticeship (Route 1) is not available this is an alternative. Over 19s can also

sometimes receive funding.

If you’re not able to get an apprenticeship, this classroom-based route will provide you

with technical knowledge and some practical skills that you can gain at a college or

training centre, with the potential for work experience or contact with employers. You’ll

still need to get practical experience in the workplace before you can become qualified.

If at any stage during your college education you become employed, you can transfer

onto an apprenticeship programme (see Route 1) and your employer will fund the

completion of your training, either through their apprenticeship levy funds or through

government support. What you’ve learnt already will be recognised and will reduce the

time it takes to complete your apprenticeship.

If you don’t become employed there’s only so far you can go – it’s not possible to become

qualified until you get into the workplace and gain on-site practical experience. You could

look for opportunities to support qualified electricians and learn your trade to start this


Generally, students aged 14-19 can receive funding for this route but in some situations,

over 19s can also receive financial support for this training.

Take a look at the process here:

Full-time education route

Full time education route
Download • 395KB

Route 3 – Self-Funded

For career changers and others who have to fund their own training if not eligible for Routes

1 & 2.

If you can’t access funding and need to pay for your own training, it’s important you

consider your route carefully. There are no shortcuts to becoming a qualified electrician.

The classroom-based qualifications you’ll gain at a college or other training provider are a

good foundation, but on their own they do not mean you are a qualified electrician. This

comes with time and experience on the job, supporting work-based training, and the

informed judgements you’ll become able to make as a result of this real-life experience.

In fact, if you read the small print, many of the packages offered by commercial training

providers acknowledge that you need to be working in the industry to complete the full


Take a look at the recommended Self-Funded journey which shows the whole process:

Self funded route

Self funded route
Download • 370KB

Route 4 – Experienced Worker Assessment

For those who have been working in the industry for at least 3-5 years but not gained an

apprenticeship or equivalent Level 3 qualification.

If you need to get your skills and experience recognised to the industry Level 3

benchmark, the Electrotechnical Experienced Worker Assessments can help.

It’s the assessment process to recognise occupational competence for people who have

been working as an electrician for a number of years* but haven’t been able to complete

an apprenticeship or achieve an equivalent Level 3 vocational qualification.

The Experienced Worker Assessments are based on the same content as the two industry

apprenticeship routes, so that both new entrants and existing workers are now being

assessed and accredited against the same industry standard.

The main benefit is that your existing qualifications, skills and experience can count

towards the Experienced Worker qualification criteria, so you’ll only need to fill in any


There are two Experienced Worker Assessment (EWA) routes you can take depending on

your area of work:

Domestic Electrician EWA route

Installation & Maintenance Electrician EWA route

* 5 years’ experience is needed for Installation / Maintenance Electrician and 3 years’

experience for Domestic Electricians

Take a look at the Experienced Worker routes below:

Experienced worker- Domestic route

Experienced Worker- Domestic
Download PDF • 367KB

Experienced worker- Installation & Maintenance Electrician route

Experienced Worker- Installation & Maintenance
Download PDF • 368KB

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