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Hi folks,

I know this has probably been posted before, but I was wondering what is the best way to become an electrician.

To give you abit of a background story. I've been working In the i.t environment for a number of years, but I have been recently considering a career change. I am bored of I.t now and Ive always wanted to be a qualified electrician. I do have some knowledge of electrical circuits from fixing pcbs and various electronics.

I recently found this company that would do a fast track course at a cost of a grand -vat. I am highly doubtful of these courses as I know it takes more than 8 days to be a spark. Haha.

I am 31 and wouldn't be in the position to go back to college full time. I could do a night course, if it were availible. I've just stumbled across this forum tonight and would love to hear some feedback.

Thanks for reading.
 
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Do you know any sparkys that will take you on to get some on site experience first....this will prob mean a big drop in wages so be prepared.....
 
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  • #3
Yeah, I've kind of thought about that aspect. I dont know anyone that would take me on. Most sparks tend to go out on their own, but it would be worth asking a few mates to see if they knew anyone that could take me on.
 
Really would help you...as they always say you will learn more doing the job ...and never be afraid of asking questions even if they seem stupid...i used to bombard my boss with them everyday
 
There are lots of different aspects to the electrical industry, don't just think it revolves around a single sparky working in houses.
Apprenticeships are the best way in, failing that then three years or so of evening college while you try and get work as an electrical labourer/mate (through friends, or contacting a few hundred electrical firms or even agencies) is the other way in. It is the practical experience that really counts and it takes years to really be a skilled electrician.
 
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  • #6
Yeah, it is definitely a skilled trade that cannot be taught overnight. I think these "fast-track" companies are just out to teach the basics, but me being technically minded I wouldn't fancy fitting plug sockets the rest of my life. Haha. I have reached out to jobcentres and stuff. So maybe they can put me in touch with people to go down the right channels, highly doubtful but anything is up for grabs atm.

Just a thought, but is there a way of sitting some exams and then finding an apprenticeship?
 

KennyKen

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Maybe look at doing both electrical and instrumentation if you can. The work is far more superior and interesting, Then second fixing lights and sockets.
 
If you are more technically minded then perhaps controls and instrumentation might be worth considering especially if you have programming experience.
Edit Kenny beat me to it.
 

KennyKen

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Sorry Del.

Yeah as soon as he mentioned IT background I thought PLC’s and ladder logic would be up his ally
 
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  • #10
I dont have major programming experience. I currently a website supprt technician, so I've only ever modified pre written scripts that allows me to migrate emails and databases. Its interesting to know about that side of sparking though, I'd deffo look into that aswell.
 

KennyKen

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Try enquiring for jobs at process facilities. If you manage to get an adult apprenticeship, there you learn about process in liquids or gas. The work will follow industrial electrical practices (which I consider the best) and would consist of interesting troubleshooting and programming that you would learn at college and on the job
 
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  • #12
Try enquiring for jobs at process facilities. If you manage to get an adult apprenticeship, there you learn about process in liquids or gas. The work will follow industrial electrical practices (which I consider the best) and would consist of interesting troubleshooting and programming that you would learn at college and on the job


This sounds quite interesting.
 

FatAlan

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Trainee
Re courses. Check out courses at your local college. C&G 2365 is a good start if you can get it via an evening class.
 
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  • #14
Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate it. Anything else you might think that would be useful, links to websites, any resources at all to help me find out more about your suggestions. please send it my way.

Cheers
C
 
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  • #16
Thanks kennyken. I was literally updating my c.v tonight and have been scrolling indeed for electrician apprenticeships. Going to start bombarding agencies and employers to see how far I get. I've also made enquiries with some education authorities to see what they can offer. The journey begins :cool:.
 

telectrix

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apprenticeship wages are OK if you still live at home with parents. if you have a mortgage/rent, wife, kids, dog, then you could not survive. first to go would be the wife (hopefully taking the kids), then repossession, all you'd have left would be the dog and the clothes you're wearing. :(.
 
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  • #18
Sorry guys my posts were getting blocked as spam there.bit odd. I hear what your saying about the apprenticeships wages. It wouldn't be ideal, but looking at the big picture it gain me the experience needed to advance further in the field.
 

telectrix

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take thew courses by allmeans, but try to find employment as a sparks' mate, maybe with an agency, blagg it. mates wages are £10+ /hour. apprenticesip wages are around £3/hour.
 

Matthewd29

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I'm in Belfast also so if I come across anything I'll let you know, but short courses here are few amd far between compared to the mainland, and if you need any help with anything message me
 
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  • #22
I'm in Belfast also so if I come across anything I'll let you know, but short courses here are few amd far between compared to the mainland, and if you need any help with anything message me

Cheers matthew, I will do. Yeah, courses are pretty sparse here, practically every short course I've seen is in england. Though that one in east belfast seemed to be to good to be true. I've emailed the college to find out some more information about courses etc, but If you find anything of use for me definitely throw it my way.

Thanks again.
 
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  • #23
Hi folks,

Bit of an update on my thread. I met with a careers advisor called Carmel. Nice girl. Had a long chat with her told her what my long term goal was etc. She recommended me to sign up for a course doing fire and safety systems, as she this would be a good starting point to gain employment in a sparky environment.

She also said if I gain employment with a spark as a labourer then it may help me get on the relevant courses to become a spark.
 

JAWS

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Trainee
Not 100% sure about fire systems courses other users may point you in the correct direction regarding that route.
To become a recognised JIB electrican you will need your level 2 and level 3 if that's the route you want to take.
This will mean college on part-time basis normally 2 or 3 year, but theres also nothing stopping you applying for an electricians mate now whilst enrolling in college.
Or you could skip getting your JIB card altogether and just me a mate for a couple of year then when you've the confidence join a CPS scheme.

Its all about getting your foot in the door and keep applying until something finally pops up.
 

rapparee

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Arms
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Hi folks,

Bit of an update on my thread. I met with a careers advisor called Carmel. Nice girl. Had a long chat with her told her what my long term goal was etc. She recommended me to sign up for a course doing fire and safety systems, as she this would be a good starting point to gain employment in a sparky environment.

She also said if I gain employment with a spark as a labourer then it may help me get on the relevant courses to become a spark.
Chris get into PLC programming, TIA Portal seems to be the way everyone is going these days.

A lot of fire alarm companies seem to use sparks and then retrain them into fire alarms.

A CCTV specialist is another way to go. It is mostly all Cat 6 with PoE cameras. Even a data specialist who can do fibre optic connections is an option. I think the ETT do a course on this in Ballymena

The short courses aren't regarded here in Ireland north or south. That's why you might find if you go over to the UK to do that course you might have to stay over there.
 

FatAlan

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Trainee
One of my mates stumped our sixth form careers advisor when he said that he wanted to be a shepherd. Same guy (not the careers advisor) spent his lunch time in the common room grinding the valve seatings in the cylinder head of his Moggy 1000. I digress :rolleyes:
 
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  • #27
Chris get into PLC programming, TIA Portal seems to be the way everyone is going these days.

Thats twice I've heard that on this thread now. Deffo seems like something I should look into.
 
B

Bobster

Chris get into PLC programming, TIA Portal seems to be the way everyone is going these days.

Thats twice I've heard that on this thread now. Deffo seems like something I should look into.
TIA portal is Siemens flagship programming studio. Studio 5000 is equally, if not more prevalent in the UK and is owned by Rockwell Allen Bradley.

There are multitudes of platforms, but those two are the market leader.

The trend I've noticed is a lot are moving to higher level programming languages in PLCs.

Something I would look into is Codeysis, lots and lots of free tutorials, usually cheaper to buy the training software etc.. Although, not as intuitive for an electrician to use, unlike Siemens or Rockwells ladder editior.

Ladder is still preferred for maintenance electricians as it can be followed like an electrical drawing. However higher level languages like STL, SCL are quicker to program, take less memory and can perform more powerful instructions.

If you want the real specialist stuff, look into Siemens PCS7, generally only used in multi million pound installations, and the engineers using this basically write their own pay. The last guy I used to help me on a PCS7 job charged out at 1200quid a day.
 
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  • #29
Hi folks,

Just wanted to get some advice on where I can do some training on plc programming? Been looking online today to try and get started. I live in Northern Ireland, so any advice on where to get accreditations would also be appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
 

rapparee

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Hi folks,

Just wanted to get some advice on where I can do some training on plc programming? Been looking online today to try and get started. I live in Northern Ireland, so any advice on where to get accreditations would also be appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
Check your local tech

Different regional colleges are running courses in the north
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #31
Check your local tech

Different regional colleges are running courses in the north
Cheers pal.

Am not too sure the way the colleges have been working atm woth this covid stuff. Ill be sure to check in with them.
 
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  • #32
Cheers pal.

Am not too sure the way the colleges have been working atm woth this covid stuff. Ill be sure to check in with them.
I got onto my local college, but they say they have no training courses in plc programming available. I did mention that they had Siemens level 1 and 2 course availible. It does mention some plc training, but not sure if its of any use.
 

rapparee

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I got onto my local college, but they say they have no training courses in plc programming available. I did mention that they had Siemens level 1 and 2 course availible. It does mention some plc training, but not sure if its of any use.
I know that the Southern Regional Colleges in Newry have a course going.

You get the basic training and then it is up to you really to kick on and develop it.

Tou need to maybe hunt a second hand plc off Ebay and mess around with a copy of cracked software. Your lecturer in the college might oblige you 😉.
 
Hi,
I’d be very wary if these fast track course you get offered, make sure what your paying for is worthwhile and will help you progress. On site practical experience is invaluable, you never stop learning on the job, this is what’ll make you a top Electrician. Good luck.
 

ipf

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Cheers pal.

Am not too sure the way the colleges have been working atm woth this covid stuff. Ill be sure to check in with them.
How come the Mexico flag, mate?

I used to have a Ford Escort Mexico in the 1980's, grand stuff .........just saying.
 

DPG

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How come the Mexico flag, mate?

I used to have a Ford Escort Mexico in the 1980's, grand stuff .........just saying.
They'll be using a VPN.

Just think how much that car would have been worth now if you'd have kept it!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #38
I know that the Southern Regional Colleges in Newry have a course going.
You get the basic training and then it is up to you really to kick on and develop it.
Tou need to maybe hunt a second hand plc off Ebay and mess around with a copy of cracked software. Your lecturer in the college might oblige you 😉.
Thanks for the reply. I did get an email back from a fella who said they have a Siemens Mechatronics course? Its a one day a wee for 22weeks course. Not sure if this would do? It does mention some training on plcs. Might jist have to source a second hand one and tinker about too.
Post automatically merged:

They'll be using a VPN.

Just think how much that car would have been worth now if you'd have kept it!
sorry for the late reply. In answer to your question. I was using a vpn for another project. Didnt realise it was still running. Should be back to normal now.

As for the car, who doesnt love abit of old school. Ive a friend who collects old cars. If youd of kept it youd of probably been flogging it to him today haha
 

rapparee

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Arms
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Thanks for the reply. I did get an email back from a fella who said they have a Siemens Mechatronics course? Its a one day a wee for 22weeks course. Not sure if this would do? It does mention some training on plcs. Might jist have to source a second hand one and tinker about too.
Post automatically merged:



sorry for the late reply. In answer to your question. I was using a vpn for another project. Didnt realise it was still running. Should be back to normal now.

As for the car, who doesnt love abit of old school. Ive a friend who collects old cars. If youd of kept it youd of probably been flogging it to him today haha
I don't know about this mechatronics course

Was it the higher apprenticeship?

We have a fella who went through it and I wouldn't trust him to change the batteries in my tv remote.

Saying that, does that reflect the course or the fella
Post automatically merged:

How come the Mexico flag, mate?

I used to have a Ford Escort Mexico in the 1980's, grand stuff .........just saying.
Thanks for the reply. I did get an email back from a fella who said they have a Siemens Mechatronics course? Its a one day a wee for 22weeks course. Not sure if this would do? It does mention some training on plcs. Might jist have to source a second hand one and tinker about too.
Post automatically merged:



sorry for the late reply. In answer to your question. I was using a vpn for another project. Didnt realise it was still running. Should be back to normal now.

As for the car, who doesnt love abit of old school. Ive a friend who collects old cars. If youd of kept it youd of probably been flogging it to him today haha
I assumed you were in El Paso Dundalk
 

Pete999

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I don't know about this mechatronics course

Was it the higher apprenticeship?

We have a fella who went through it and I wouldn't trust him to change the batteries in my tv remote.

Saying that, does that reflect the course or the fella
Post automatically merged:



I assumed you were in El Paso Dundalk
What does it reflect on then?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #41
I don't know about this mechatronics course

Was it the higher apprenticeship?

We have a fella who went through it and I wouldn't trust him to change the batteries in my tv remote.

Saying that, does that reflect the course or the fella
Post automatically merged:



I assumed you were in El Paso Dundalk
El Paso Dundalk? more like downtown Baghdad haha
Post automatically merged:

I don't know about this mechatronics course

Was it the higher apprenticeship?

We have a fella who went through it and I wouldn't trust him to change the batteries in my tv remote.

Saying that, does that reflect the course or the fella
Post automatically merged:



Yeah think its a reflection on the fella you have about you lol. either that or hes been talking in the lectures when he should of been listening.

Ive spent the day researching a lot about the course. it does seem very fitting to my previous job. I was computer repair technician, but i self taught my self electronics repair. so i have the trouble shooting & repair skills for the course. just dont know if i can get every thursday off work to do the course let alone 2.8k for the two year course.

Worst comes to it ill keep self teaching and hope there is a certification exam i can do online.
 
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