Are you at a stage in your life where you are considering retraining? Do electricians have a good work-life balance?
Becoming an electrician is not easy, but once you have made it through years of training, the rewards can be exceptional if you are motivated to work. Your standard working week will be 40 hours plus some travelling time, and you can expect a solid wage once qualified.
Is an electrician career worth it?
Being an electrician can be very rewarding if you are motivated to do a good job and work hard. If you work for a company, you will receive all standard benefits like holidays and pensions and a pretty good salary that can be boosted by overtime.
On the other spectrum, the self-employed sparky has the freedom to work when they want and for who they want. But, the truth is they are inundated with work and tend to work harder than an employed spark because of their self-employed status.
If you consider having a decent salary at the end of the month, then yes, it is. But there is a significant element of job satisfaction, and if you like meeting new people regularly, it’s an excellent career for you.
Is being an electrician hard on the body?
Like any trades, there is an element of crouching and bending and lugging heavy equipment around, but when compared to the other trades, it’s easy on your body.
If you have average fitness and are agile, you can easily cope with the daily rigours of being a spark.
You need good eyesight. You can’t be colour blind for apparent reasons. It’s ok to wear glasses if you need them for close-up work.
Your hands are in constant use, so you need a level of dexterity when wiring through a house.
If you are an industrial electrician, cables are heavier, but you will always be working with a mate or another electrician.
What’s the hardest part of being an electrician?
If you enjoy your job, then there are no hard parts but many electricians, although fantastic at their job, complain about the amount of time it takes to qualify compared with other tradespeople.
Here is a shortlist of what’s hard about being an electrician.
- It seems to take forever to be a fully-fledged qualified electrician, and the knowledge keeps developing regardless of whether you are qualified. Continual personal development takes time, and it’s normally your time that’s needed and not the company’s.
- You can be on call and work some strange hours, particularly if you are self-employed, the phone rings, and your customers do not have electricity, and you are expected to go and resolve the issue. The upside is the call out fee!
- The job is physically demanding at times and can take its toll on you across a day or week of working hard.
- You have to be extra alert, and you can’t sugarcoat it. Electricity is dangerous and can injure you badly and may kill you if you make a mistake.
Compared with other trades being an electrician is a great job. You are indoors most of the time. You are not getting soaked during the rainy days or freezing outside.
Is being an electrician good for your health?
Being an electrician is not as hard on the body as other trades unless you electrocute yourself through a stupid career as an electrician does not have any tangible negative health issues.
With the exception when working on older properties, you can be exposed to considerable amounts of bird poop and rats in some cases, but if you have PPE, there is no problem.
How stressful is being an electrician?
If you are a domestic installer, a spark who spends his days working in houses, the primary stress is if the homeowner will make you a cup of tea and give you a biscuit.
Some customers think you have a magic wand instead of a screwdriver and expect you to finish in minutes.
That may sound somewhat flippant, and it is, but it gets across the point that domestic installers have an easy job in comparison to commercial and industrial electricians.
A commercial electrician can be onsite for weeks, if not months, depending on the size of the contract. All electricians want to get in and out quickly and move on to the next job.
The commercial electrician will have a daily target to hit and a project manager breathing down his neck if he lags behind schedule. This can cause stress and fatigue, which then becomes dangerous.
Is it boring being an electrician?
Being an electrician is not associated with being bored. The workload can be varied, so it’s rare to hear an electrician say they are bored.
As a domestic installer, you are working with homeowners every day of the week, and you meet some characters that will keep you going when you are up against a tough job.
Pay and reward
An employed electrician with overtime can be pushing around 50K per year, which at this age is a good salary for someone who has not been to university.
If you’re self-employed, then the skies are the limit to earning potential, primarily if you are based in and around a major city. If you are prepared to put the hours in, it’s reported that some sparks earn 100k per year. That’s incredible money.
If you have a head for business and recruit electricians to work for you, then the business can grow financially in an exponential manner.
The lifestyle of an electrician
If you’re motivated, you can achieve the dizzy heights of business and have pretty much any lifestyle you desire.
For the average electrician, you earn a decent salary that allows you to go on holiday every year, raise a family, and live in a decent home with perfect electrical installation.