Career outlook for electrician

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure that electrical systems in people’s homes and businesses work safely. You’d fix faults and install new systems.

You might set up and maintain power systems for engineering projects and buildings or ensure that street lights work.

You could also work on renewable technology, such as wind turbines, 'smart' heating systems and photovoltaic systems that produce solar power.

You would:

  • Fit and repair electrical circuits and wiring
  • Follow technical drawings, building plans and wiring diagrams
  • Make sure that electrotechnical systems work
  • Find and fix faults in the systems
  • Install and maintain electrical equipment, instruments and machinery

You’d need to understand the importance of safety regulations and work carefully and methodically. You might work outdoors, sometimes in bad weather. You might need to work high up or in small confined spaces.

You could specialise in an electrotechnical role such as:

  • Installation electrician - you’d install power systems, lighting, fire protection, security and data-network systems in all types of buildings
  • Maintenance electrician - you would check systems regularly to make sure that they work efficiently and safely
  • Electrotechnical panel builder - you would build and install the control panels that people use to operate the electrical systems inside buildings
  • Machine repair and rewind electrician - you’d make sure electrical motors and other machinery like transformers work properly
  • Highway systems electrician - you’d install and maintain street lights and traffic management systems which give signals to people using roads and motorways
  • Installing renewable technologies such as PV Systems

You could work in all kinds of places including homes, offices, shops and sports stadiums. You may also supervise a team of people.

Working conditions


You will normally work a basic 37.5-hour week, Monday to Friday, with the possibility of overtime. You may work shifts, or you may be on call where 24-hour cover is provided.


You will travel from job to job, which may include contracts that take you away from home for periods of time. A driving licence will be useful.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You would need a Modern Apprenticeship leading to a relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Electrical Installation (SVQ Level 3).

The Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) also offers an adult training scheme.

There are no formal qualifications required to enter a modern apprenticeship but some employers will ask for qualifications at SCQF Level 4/5.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Science subjects, in particular physics (required by many courses and employers)
  • English
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering science

You will also need

  • Normal colour vision and to pass a colour vision assessment, to work with electrical wiring.
  • To pass SECTT Pre-Employment Assessment of technical and numeracy skills or equivalent.
  • A Scottish Joint Industry Board card (SJIB card) to train and work in this job.
  • A Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to train or work on construction sites

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding and experience of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCQF Level 5).