Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 212
own business or moving into project
management with more experience.
There are no set entry requirements to
train as a skilled tradesperson, although
GCSEs in maths, English and technology
will be helpful for the calculations,
measurements and theory. New entrants
to the industry tend to train on the job,
often through an apprenticeship.
Some tradespersons, such as
electricians and carpenters, also need
to study for professional qualifications,
which can be undertaken on the job.
Full- and part-time trade courses are
available at colleges where you can work
towards NVQs Levels 2 and 3. You'll
need a Construction Skills Certification
Scheme card to work on a building site.
As a "chippy", you could find yourself
doing everything from making
and fitting interiors in shops, bars,
restaurants, offices and public
buildings to constructing stage sets
for theatre, film and TV productions.
Making and assembling fitted and
free-standing furniture, installing
kitchens, cupboards and shelving
or cutting and shaping timber for
floorboards, doors, skirting boards and
window frames, making and fitting
wooden structures such as staircases,
door frames, roof timbers and partition
walls, and building temporary wooden
supports to hold setting concrete in
place (shuttering) are other common
tasks in a trade that often requires
a certain amount of creative flair.
What qualifications do I need?
You can take a college course in
joinery or carpentry with or without
taking an apprenticeship. Employers
usually look for some on-site
experience and qualifications, but
you can start as a joiner's mate or
labourer to get the former. Once
you're working, your employer
may offer on-the-job training.
How much can I earn? Starting
salaries are between £16,000 and
£24,000, while experienced chippies
can earn £25,000 to £40,000,
or more for the highly skilled.
Whether bringing power to people's
homes or big engineering projects,
electricians work with everything
from renewable technology such as
wind turbines and solar panels to
smart heating systems. There are
numerous roles open to qualified
electricians. Installation electricians
install power systems, lighting, fire
protection, security and data-network
systems in all types of buildings,
while maintenance electricians
check systems to make sure they're
working efficiently and safely.
An electro-technical panel builder,
meanwhile, makes and fits control
panels to operate the electrical systems
inside buildings, while machine
repair and rewind electricians fix and
maintain motors and transformers.
Highway systems electricians install
and maintain street lighting and
traffic management systems.
What qualifications do I need?
You'll need to complete a Level
3 electrical or electro-technical
qualification while you're working in a
related job. A common way to get into
this trade is through an apprenticeship.
Taking a Level 1 or Level 2
qualification in electrical installation
may help you to find an apprenticeship
or get a trainee position.
How much can I earn? Newly
qualified electricians earn between
Words: Trish Lesslie. Photography: Getty Images, Shutterstock
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