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Discuss Next step with regards to training . . in the Electrical Courses and Electrical NVQ's area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Evening folks,

I am new to this group, but hoping it will aid me in the route to go down next.

A small bit about myself, I joined the military straight from school, but have now decided I need a change. Mainly for family reasons, my little one is 3, and I have been away just under half of his life. . . winning.

I am currently nearing the end of a 'Domestic Installers Course'. I am not going to be disrespectful to time served electricians, and apprentices and say I'll be a qualified spark, I am under no illusion of this.
I have looked into going to college to get the Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations once I have left the military. Unfortunately I was unaware at the time of booking the Domestic Installers Course that the Level 2 and 3 Diploma would be the best option, stupid mistake on my part. However, what would be the next viable path for me to go down?

Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to do an apprenticeship, as I would be taking a pay cut of around 16K. I understand that I will be needing to take a pay cut of some sort but with 3 kids, I need to minimise the amount.

Please do not beat around the bush and get straight to the point, and I thank you in advance.
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I have done a ‘Domestic Installer’ course a couple of years ago and have been working self employed since, and I’m not alone with this.

That being said it’s not an easy route. The DI courses just about cover the basics and not a lot more. The difference between wiring up a light in a booth in a training centre and trying to work out why a customers lighting circuit won’t work or keeps tripping in a house that’s been repeatedly bodged is pretty vast. It’s bizarre what you come across sometimes.

There will be people here who will tell you that apprenticeships are the only way. I disagree with that because we all come from different backgrounds and learn in different ways - and like you say - not always financially viable.

The middle ground, I guess, would be to work an ‘an electrical approver’ or an ‘unofficial apprentice’. In other words develop you own progression scheme by trying to work for a local firm as an electricians mate or similar.

Advantages and Disadvantages of all the different ways in to the trade, but I wouldn’t beat yourself up for doing a DI course. It’s a start.

See what others say....


Advent Win
Think there are some ex-forces guys on here who may be able to give you some sound advice.

Unfortunately a lot of firms don't like taking on older apprentices 19+ due to the lack of funding so you are unlikely to get an apprenticeship. The other route is to work for a firm as a mate/improver, work with other guys, build up your experience and in a couple of years do your NVQ. This is of course if you want to go into commercial/industrial.


Hello and welcome,

I am still serving but will be free within three months. I recently completed the same course as you have mentioned. I only really used it to get my eye back in and get the new 18 regs in the back for free essentially. I had a smally break since rejoining the forces.

I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, was more of a revision session to the very very basics but good to confirm my existing knowledge and of course a break from service life.

One of the things I noticed with some of the other blokes on the course was firstly how long it took them to install and test a 1 metre cooker radial. Not sure how they would make a living considering every other obstacle there is in say an occupied property, which as a ‘domestic installer course’ is a pretty pertinent point. On the flip side there were some complete newbies on the course who picked it up and as they were from an engineering background easily grasped the basic principles and further more were a lot more competent and reasonable with the practical things.

One lad who I got on with particularly well, also a newbie to it all, has since been employed, after a successful trial, as an improver with a view to complete 2365 level 2 and 3, and NVQ3.

So it has worked out for him. I didn’t think it would be possible with some of the things I witness and some of the questions that got asked over the course duration.

TJ Anderson

In my experience, having worked with all kinds for many years, I would now say your entry in the industry does not determine what you can become. Particularly ,someone with an engineering background could do very well at it. Conversely an apprenticed thicko will always be a thicko! :)

Ex military too and have chosen to change my career, although I left nearly 10 years ago! I was in a job I wasn't really in to. I did a domestic installer course and looked for work and didn't get very far, it's all about experience most of the time unfortunately. I managed to find a company who took me on as a PAT tester and then less then a year later I was an electricians mate and actually doing some interesting work! They are paying for me to go through NVQ.

Could look at New Trades Career as a trainer as they give you onsite experience. From personal experience avoid Access training academy!

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