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:
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.
Explore Our Electrical Franchise OpportunitiesLearn More
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:
- 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.
- Tools and equipment – an electrician needs a good supply of quality tools and equipment to do their work well.
- Qualifications and training – if you aren’t already professionally qualified, remember that most courses cost money.
- 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.
- 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:
- A description of your business and how it will work
- A market and customer analysis
- An analysis of your competition
- A financial analysis of your expected income and business costs
- 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
The benefits of buying an electrical franchise in the UK
Being an electrical contractor is just the sort of high-competition industry that franchising fits so perfectly with.
Certainly, franchise electrical contractors are growing in number in recent years. More and more new independent business owners are deciding that buying a franchise is a good way to get ahead in the industry.
Set yourself apart from competitors
Buy an electrical franchise and you distinguish yourself from your competitors. You can trade under the name of a well-known brand and benefit from the quality and reliability local people associate with that name.
Access the best processes
But it’s not all in a name. You also get access to the industry-leading processes your franchisor has developed over years in the industry. These are templates and procedures that will help you make your new business a success.
Strength in scale (and numbers)
Protected by a business of your franchisor’s size, you are all set to handle any fluctuations in the market. From unexpected events like a global pandemic, for instance.
That comes alongside the strength in numbers of operating as part of a network of similar small business owners who are ready to help and advise you in any situation.
With the power of a network behind you, you will find it easier to expand and grow. Because it is in the interests of your franchisor and dozens of other business owners to help you do so.
Why else would you buy an electrical franchise?
Looking into electrical franchise opportunities also makes sense if you want to:
Get business support and training
Of course, this is immensely helpful for you and your team if you want to deliver your day-to-day services to the highest standard.
But for most franchisees, the most important coaching they receive has to do with business skills. A good electrical franchise in the UK should come with training to teach you how to operate and manage your business, always aiming towards growth. It should also coach you in developing a healthy work-life balance.
Have your marketing done for you
Not only will a strong franchise brand naturally attract more clients, but your franchisor should also be actively advertising on behalf of all of the franchisees in their network.
For example, in the case of Fantastic Services, we take care of all of the marketing on behalf of our franchisees. In fact, our proven customer acquisition processes fill the schedules of our franchisees every day. All you need to do is concentrate on running your business.
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.
This post was written by Fantastic Services and posted on their website here. They are an exhibitor on the FranchiseShow247 Cleaning & Domestic Services floor and you can visit their FranchiseShow247 exhibition stand here.