More and more people are choosing to retrain as an electrician in later life.

After all, there always seems to be a need for electrical contractors. Even more so these days, as smart homes and other technologies call for more electrical devices fitted in modern homes.

Plus, most people find working with their hands much more rewarding than sitting behind a computer screen all day. This means that you’re in good company if you’re wondering how to become an electrician at 30, 40 or even 50.

From how to become a qualified electrician in the first place to how to start your own electrical contractor business, this article has got you covered:

Table of Content
Table of Contents:

How Much Do Electricians Make in the UK?

Is being an electrician worth it financially? It certainly seems that way.

  • A newly qualified electrician who works for someone else can expect to earn around £19 000 to £22 000 per year.
  • An experienced electrical contractor in the UK might expect their earnings to be more in the £33 000 bracket. This is according to the best measure of the Office of National Statistics.
  • You can expect to earn more than this if you own your business or are a franchisee of a known brand.

How to Become an Electrician

There are currently more than 100 000 qualified electricians in the UK. Most have GCSEs in maths and English, but this isn’t always a requirement for courses or jobs.

Overall, it usually takes between two and four years of study and apprenticeship to become an electrician in the UK.

After studying, you should have one of the “level 3” qualifications which are recognised by the industry. Examples of these include:

  • Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • Certificate in the Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings
  • Certificate in Inspection, Testing, Design and Certification of Electrical Installations
  • Certificate in Electrical Technology Engineering
  • BS7671:2008 – Certificate in the Requirements for Electrical Installation

There are several organisations which offer suitable training schemes, including the Electrical Contractors Association (the ECA) in England and Wales, SELECT  in Scotland and the Electrical Training Trust (ETT) in Northern Ireland. You might also investigate the NICEIC and ELECSA.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start an Electrical Company?

As a newcomer to the industry, the need to buy tools can make the initial cost of starting an electrical company much higher. If you have all the necessary tools and equipment already, it will cost much less.

This makes it a little difficult to put a set figure on the amount of money you will need to start an electrical company. You will at least need to make sure that you have:

  1. A reliable vehicle – usually a van. You can buy second-hand, but always be sure that you are buying a trustworthy vehicle in good condition.
  2. Tools and equipment – an electrician needs a good supply of quality tools and equipment to do their work well.
  3. Qualifications and training – if you aren’t already professionally qualified, remember that most courses cost money.
  4. Accreditation costs – it’s always a good idea to be able to boast of your accredited credentials to potential customers. Being accredited also usually costs money though.
  5. Insurance cover – you will almost certainly need some basic public liability insurance cover, as well as employers liability insurance if you are going to have a team.

How Do I Start an Electrical Contractor Company?

1) Get the Experience and Qualifications

Make sure you have relevant experience in the industry. Most electrical contractors have a minimum of several years of industry experience before they start working for themselves.

It is important to know that there are several types of franchise which may allow you to run an electrical contractor company based on your skills in other industries.

2) Do Your Market Research

Is there a demand for electrical services in the area you are planning to work in? Is there much competition? You might not know until you look.

Don’t just gloss over the details here either. Unless you are joining a franchise and they will be doing the work for you, you need to put some serious research into knowing who you are going to be up against. You also need to check how many potential customers there are in your area.

3) Raise the Money

You might already have the money you need to start your business saved up. If not, you need to think about how you are going to get it.

If you are going to be borrowing from a bank or other lender, you will need to create a business plan. This should include, at minimum:

  1. A description of your business and how it will work
  2. A market and customer analysis
  3. An analysis of your competition
  4. A financial analysis of your expected income and business costs
  5. An executive summary which highlights how your business will succeed

If you are going into business as a franchisee, you will find that banks are much more likely to give you a favourable hearing. This is because they know you have a big-name brand behind you.

If you are going into business solo, make sure your business plan is as realistic, accurate and detailed as you can make it.

4) Remember the Legal Side

Bear in mind that the work you do as an electrical contractor will almost certainly be covered by legal codes:

  • In England and Wales, the most well-known and important of these is Part P of the Building Regulations.
  • Work which meets Part P standards has to meet the relevant British Standard (this is BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations).

That’s not all though. Be sure to remember your equipment needs to be PAT tested every two years and that building regulations and laws in the local region you’re based may differ.

5) Plan Your Marketing

How will you go about advertising your new business? If you don’t have a franchisor doing this on your behalf, you will need to:

  • Create a website
  • Plan leaflet drops
  • Create flyers to hand out to local companies
  • Network with other professionals

Starting Your Own Electrical Contracting Business

Starting your own business as your own boss can be a hugely rewarding choice. It’s the reason why so many people choose to change careers or go it alone every year.

But there are challenges involved. It would be a mistake to start your own electrical contractor business in the UK without proper planning and research of the area you’re planning to operate in.

Thinking about starting your own electrician business?

Explore Our Working Franchise Opportunities

Learn more

There is a way you can do so with a steady stream of clients being found for you, with marketing done on your behalf, and with expert support standing by to help you grow your business.

That’s what being a Fantastic franchisee means. Find out more about becoming a Fantastic franchise today.

  • Last update: February 4, 2021

Posted in Advice Hub