Instyle LED Lighting Specialists UK
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

Discuss Becoming an Electrician - Starting Over Again - Advice? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Welcome to ElectriciansForums.net - The American Electrical Advice Forum
Head straight to the main forums to chat by click here:  American Electrical Advice Forum

Hi,

I've recently been thinking about my current career within the world of IT and have decided to change direction. I've been working with computers for nearly 10 years and don't have the job satisfaction I thought I would have. I'm only 30 and think its the right time to change. Office work is driving me crazy, being active and moving around is the way to go.

I previously studied at college within electrical engineering, obtaining my C&G 2330 Level 2 and 3, along with my 17th Edition Wiring Regs course. The trouble is I never managed to get any hands on experience on the job due to college work and I suppose 'lack of experience' due to being around 17 years old at the time.

I've always been a hands on type of person, rewiring data cabinets and computer cables is as far as it goes in my current job. The pay isn't too bad but I'd one day like to work for myself doing some form of electrical work.

Can anyone lend any advice on the best route to brush up on my skills, any qualifications I'd need to gain in order to work on building site environments or domestic properties and to generally get my foot in the door of the electrical world once again? I've even thought of working for free around the East Mid's area either at night or on weekends to build up some form of working experience in the field.

Any help would be great. Thanks!
 
CK Tools :) The professionals choice when it comes to Electrical Tools
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

oracle

-
Arms
Esteemed
Perhaps you could start with doing a course on the 18th Edition (Wiring Regulations) followed by contacting the JIB about registering as an Electrician.

They will be able to tell you if there is anything else you need.
 
Maybe go more deeply into networking in IT, if that's not something you're already doing? Networking engineers seem to rake it in, unlike most domestic sparks. That'll have you out and about, working from the back of a BT van or sumfink...
 
get on site as soon as possible agencies will take you on but upgrade your regs first doing commercial and industrial work and a bit of house bashing aswell will give you an idea of where you want to work.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks guys for your advice!

Mark68, following your advice I've had a look and in my area the 18th Ed. Regs course costs around £450 to complete with around 10 weeks, so its a hefty bill! I'll have to figure a way of getting that one done then.

This might sound a bit of a stupid question - what exactly is house bashing? I'm under the impression its to do with rewiring houses/first fix jobs, where you get the general idea of how cables are installed and get familiar with industry practices that can't really be taught inside a classroom environment. Is this correct?

Thanks
 

oracle

-
Arms
Esteemed
Thanks guys for your advice!

Mark68, following your advice I've had a look and in my area the 18th Ed. Regs course costs around £450 to complete with around 10 weeks, so its a hefty bill! I'll have to figure a way of getting that one done then.

This might sound a bit of a stupid question - what exactly is house bashing? I'm under aa the impression its to do with rewiring houses/first fix jobs, where you get the general idea of how cables are installed and get familiar with industry practices that can't really be taught inside a classroom environment. Is this correct?

Thanks
Didn’t you have any practical training when you did 2330 level 2 and 3?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Yeah I did the course over a few years from what I recall. The course involved erecting different domestic circuits, such as radial and ring socket circuits, single/double pole lighting circuits using standard bayonet + lamp fittings as well as florescents. Ended up doing a very simplified full house arrangement, what you'd call a full 'rewire' (although you can't do much in the 4 or so hours they allow you).

Thanks
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Well I've been delving around the forums and came across someone else, who also comes from an IT background and would like to move into the electrical field. One of the replied to the thread mentions PLC work and Ladder Logic. This does interest me as I've worked with a few programming languages in the past and get the gist of programming logic.

Does anyone know of a course or a starting point to enter into PLC training and Ladder Logic courses?

Would it be worth taking the 18th Ed. Regs course to go along side this?

Thanks!
 

oracle

-
Arms
Esteemed
Well I've been delving around the forums and came across someone else, who also comes from an IT background and would like to move into the electrical field. One of the replied to the thread mentions PLC work and Ladder Logic. This does interest me as I've worked with a few programming languages in the past and get the gist of programming logic.

Does anyone know of a course or a starting point to enter into PLC training and Ladder Logic courses?

Would it be worth taking the 18th Ed. Regs course to go along side this?

Thanks!
As a maintenance electrician I have had training and experience with PLC and Micro-controller systems given in house at the company I worked for.

If you’ve used C++ you’re good for micro control and if you have an understanding of AND OR NAND NOR logic you’re into one aspect of Step/Ladder programming already!

Ladder programming uses either logic symbols or (digital) N/O N/C switch and timer symbols in series / parallel circuits for each logical step with an output to a mechanical or solid state device.

For any kind of electrical work the 18th Edition is essential
Hope this helps you
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks Oracle for the reply!

I've dealt with the C# in quite a bit of detail, full trained in using the language, but I've not really touched C++. I understand that the two are closely related, the main difference being C# is Microsoft platform orientated and C++ is used on all types of computer platforms including UNIX systems. I also have been in trained in Logic as described, as it generally gets bundled with Maths for IT.

With this advice in mind, I've decided to take the 18th Regs course, just need to find one now!

Thanks once again!
 

rapparee

-
Arms
Esteemed
Thanks Oracle for the reply!

I've dealt with the C# in quite a bit of detail, full trained in using the language, but I've not really touched C++. I understand that the two are closely related, the main difference being C# is Microsoft platform orientated and C++ is used on all types of computer platforms including UNIX systems. I also have been in trained in Logic as described, as it generally gets bundled with Maths for IT.

With this advice in mind, I've decided to take the 18th Regs course, just need to find one now!

Thanks once again!
You're wasting your talents.

Get into automation.

Robot programming or PLC programming.

Leave wiring houses to the guys who have been doing it since they were 16. They are more experienced and quicker than you, you'll find it hard to catch up.

PLC programming on the other hand will be a breeze in the park for you and you will also be able to get your hands dirty.
 
D

Deleted member 105166

As you already have 17th Ed., why not do an online 18th Ed. course, you will just have to go to the college to sit the exam. You can do this for around £300 including the big blue book.
 
Thanks Oracle for the reply!

I've dealt with the C# in quite a bit of detail, full trained in using the language, but I've not really touched C++. I understand that the two are closely related, the main difference being C# is Microsoft platform orientated and C++ is used on all types of computer platforms including UNIX systems. I also have been in trained in Logic as described, as it generally gets bundled with Maths for IT.

With this advice in mind, I've decided to take the 18th Regs course, just need to find one now!

Thanks once again!
If you're used to properly written object oriented software engineering PLC code will make you want to stick pins in your eyes, ladder logic is basically relays in software format. If you're doing anything slightly complicated you end up with a lot of hacks. There are various propitiatory languages such as structured text/statement list.

The best way to learn is to have the hardware in front of you and play with it. A lot of the stuff you'll find in the real world costs £1000's but Automation Direct sell some quite affordable ones you can learn the concepts with.


I write software for both and they are very different, you need a good understanding of electronics and control to write PLC code.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks CBUK2UK! Are there any particular brands of PLC to look out for when purchasing on to learn from? Are there any virtualisation platforms used in the industry for testing purposes?
 
Thanks CBUK2UK! Are there any particular brands of PLC to look out for when purchasing on to learn from? Are there any virtualisation platforms used in the industry for testing purposes?
You can pick all sorts of PLC hardware up on eBay quite cheap, you’ll also find knock off cables for most stuff. The thing you will struggle with is the software. It tends to be quite well protected. You also need not only the correct piece of software but also the correct version.

That’s why I’ve linked the Automation Direct Click stuff, you’ll never find it in the real world but you can get a basic PLC for £60-70 and the software is free. The principle is basically the same for any IDE if your doing ladder.

You get simulators with all the recent PLC brands bit the software is expensive and it’s kind of like wiring a plug in a simulation, you really need to get hands on in my opinion.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Thanks once again CBUK2UK for the headsup on where to purchase the right equipment.

The one thing I'm aware of is the fact that job out there in the 'real-world' demand experience with real-world equipment. In your opinion, if you were looking for second hand PLC units/software, are there any brands or models I should be looking out for? I've not come across many PLC based systems, although some sites I work at do use them, its just I've never had the need to interact with them or the software they're based upon.

Thanks.
Post automatically merged:

Also, I forgot to ask, is it with learning any other computer languages such as SQL for querying purposes of such PLC equipment? I'm sure if its relevant across the board or just for specific purposes.

Thanks!
 
@sparkynovice I've been working in the field for quite a lot of years, for me getting into PLCs being easier than becoming a domestic electrician very much depends on your personal qualifications and experience.

95% of the people I've worked with in this field fall into two categories:
1) Graduates - people with degrees in science, maths, engineering, computing etc, they tend to design/write the software for new projects.
2) Electricians and instrument technician (even a few mechanics) who tend to install and maintain these systems.

You get some crossover in the above like experienced technicians who end up in software engineering etc. Design/engineering relies on quite a detailed understanding of control systems as well as design specific legislation/standards.

The money is good when you get there and the work can be varied and interesting but there is quite a lot to learn to become competent. Especially given a lot of systems are 20 or even 30 years old and have had numerous modifications over the years and little/no documentation.

PLCs are one part of a larger group of technologies refereed to as SCADA, SCADA systems use things like web apps, phone apps, win forms applications to provide access to data and control plant. Again these tend to be written by either people from an engineering/science graduate background or people with specialist knowledge such as accountants or logistics people.

Where you fit in that lot dictates what it makes sense for you to focus your efforts on learning.
 
Aico Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

Reply to Becoming an Electrician - Starting Over Again - Advice? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Bulk Workwear - Clothing Suppliers for the Whole Forum Network
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members
Top Bottom