With the current boost in the construction industry, the rush to become electricians is on the rise. Of the 43% of tradesmen vacancies in Great Britain, electricians form a significant chunk at 13%. London, the second-highest paying city for electricians, is where there is the highest shortage of electricians.
All this information and figure sounds fun. But how much does an electrician certificate cost in the UK? After all, you need to start with the right skills of the trade to become an electrician.
So in this post, we try to answer how much it cost to become a certified electrician.
First, let us tackle the cost of getting an electrician certificate.
- 1 Three ways to become a certified electrician are:
- 2 Rough estimate of how much you might need to be an electrician
- 3 Points for consideration
Three ways to become a certified electrician are:
Enrolling in a domestic electrical installer course
At the beginner’s level is the domestic installer course. On average, the cost of becoming a domestic electrical installer can be anywhere from £899 to £2,000 at both extremes. This figure is usually inclusive of the VAT as well as the certification fees. Depending on the location and institute, you can choose to pay in full or in instalments.
Some learning centres also offer separate modules for which the course costs a lot less than the above figure. For instance, you can choose a domestic electrician package without the BS7671 wiring regulations and pay only for the module you choose.
Taking a course for a diploma or technical certificate
For certification in diploma, aspiring electricians can expect to pay between £2,399 and £6,500. This figure is inclusive of the taxes and fees for certification. The package typically covers Level 2 & 3 Diploma under the City & Guilds, Electrotechnical Craft (2365).
Some learning institutions offer the option for instalments, while others require full payment at once. Registration fee in most institutions comes at a different cost, which is about £500 on average.
Applying for an apprenticeship electrician program.
Electrician apprentices in the UK who are between 16 and 18 years old do not pay. You may be under the apprenticeship program, but you are still treated as a regular employee. You will be paid the national minimum wage of £4.15 per hour.
After you finish any of the above programs, you can become an electrician. Working under a licensed electrician is straightforward since you join the payroll straightaway. But if you choose to be a self-employed electrician, that is a whole new chapter, which we will discuss below.
So the cost to become an electrician with a certificate is anywhere from £2,000 to £6,500.
Cost to become a self-employed electrician
Kickstarting your profession as a self-employed electrician may not be as challenging as it is made out to be. Of course, you will need to invest some money, just like any other business startups.
Rough estimate of how much you might need to be an electrician
Tools and equipment
This is where the bulk of your money will go. For a startup, the essential electrician tools and equipment costs may look like this:
- Hand tools: £300 and £650 include pliers, screwdrivers, testers, tape measure, cutters, and torch.
- Power tools: £1,000 includes drill, electric wall chaser, and multi-tool.
- Steps and ladder: £200
- Second-hand van: £650 to £1,000
As a self-employed electrician, your business is only as good as your van. In the beginning, a second-hand van will suffice for electricians. Of course, you can also invest in a new van if your budget allows it. But bear in mind that the price and insurance will be higher.
- Van insurance: £1,300 to £2,400. This insurance figure is for both extremes. However, the final insurance will depend on what type of insurance you have for the van.
- Van tax: £140 to £270
Marketing your electrical services can be surprisingly very cheap. Reaching out to property owners, business owners, and friends and family can be free. But printing business cards or displaying flyers can help the people remember your company.
- Printing business cards: £15 to £20
This will cover the areas such as insurance, licensing, banking, and taking care of employees if any.
- Installation Electrician or ECS card: £60. This figure applies to the first application. Subsequent annual renewals are £48. But there are slight differences in fees between paper and online applications for the ECS card. So you can check out the latest ECS card fees through this link.
- Annual public liability: £75
- Napit membership: £455 including VAT for an initial application. Subsequent annual renewal fees are £395, including VAT. You can apply for this membership here.
- Accounting /accountant: £600 to £750. If you can cover this area by doing a self-assessment with HMRC, you can eliminate this cost.
So the total cost to become an electrician is about £6,500, give or take. This figure is almost exactly like the cost you need to get a certificate and become an apprentice electrician.
Note: The figure above for electrical startups is a rough estimate. So you will do well by not considering it as the absolute amount.
Points for consideration
The initial investment for electric startups can significantly vary from one person to the other. One person might already have an assortment of tools from previous employment as an electrician. On the other hand, the other person might need to start from scratch and buy almost everything to kickstart the business.
Similarly, you might have an available space to run your electrician business. On the contrary, your friend might need to rent a space for the same and vice versa.
Another point of consideration is the location. In the UK, Newcastle and Coventry are among the top contenders for starting an electrical business. The startup costs are relatively low, and there is a high demand for electricians.
On the other hand, London has a high demand for electricians, but the startup costs are very high. Besides, the cost of advertising alone will make a sizeable dent in your wallet. And all this, without any assurance on the return on investment.