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Discuss Career change to electrician in late 40's ? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Jon48
    Offline

    Jon48 EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Hi all, I know this has been touched upon many times before but I need some advice tailored to my situation.

    So I’ve enrolled on a City and Guilds NVQ level 2 Electrical Installation Course at my local college near Cardiff with the intention of possibly retraining to become an electrician; I’ve done some minor electrical work at home before and have, over the past year, become more interested in electrics, I'd like to maybe do something on the solar side of things. At the moment I’m a freelance community arts worker and have, in the past been a school teacher.

    So the big issue is that I’m in my late 40s, yes I know, I’m getting on. The college seem fine with this but have pointed out that I may have problems finding someone to take me on to complete the qualifications further down the line; I don’t really have any contacts in the industry either.

    So my dilemma, with the course starting in September, is- would I be wasting my time doing this course; am I being totally unrealistic about my becoming an electrician at my ripe old age?, obviously I can't afford to be wasting 2 years with no opportunity to progress after that.

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. SparkyChick
    Offline

    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Hi Jon, welcome to the forums.

    I don't think you're too old. I switched career at the ripe old age of 40 something ;)

    I'm currently preparing to get busy at college to do the level 3 quals, NVQ3 and AM2.

    You mention a college near Cardiff... where about's are you? Sometimes I'm on the lookout for some help if you're in my neck of the woods :)

    But let's put a dose of realism in the pot... it goes without saying it can be quite physically demanding... especially in this kind of heat. I spent 4 days last week running round a local hotel changing lighting transformers (150 I did last week, 4 to go). Lofts are awful. It's sometimes very dirty. If you don't mind any of that, then go for it.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. SWD
    Offline

    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    Does the sun shine in Wales for Solar power?

    Joking apart, good luck it will be hard as I was thinking about getting back in to being an electrician but put that idea to bed, Solar/Renewable energy seems a good avenue to follow especially if Tesla get the solar roof tiles coupled with the battery packs of the ground in the UK.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Jon48
    Offline

    Jon48 EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Thanks for the replies. I'm in Barry, Sparky Chick; if you are needing an extra pair of hands, I'd definitely be into helping out if I'm free, it could be a good taster to see if I'm actually suited to the job.
    It's good to know that you've entered the business in mid-life too- when it comes to getting a portfolio of work at level 3 through an employer, do you think I'll have issues?, there seems to be a lot of talk on here about there being incentives for them to take on school leavers/ apprentices over older folk. Also, am I correct in thinking you've largely been doing domestic installation work, ie. not working as a fully qualified electrician?, how's that been- have you managed to make a decent living in this area?
    PS. it's always sunny in Wales!
     
  5. SparkyChick
    Offline

    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Most of my work is domestic, yes, but I do have a few commercial customers and the odd agricultural customer. The job at the hotel last week for example (it's a large chain and I've reworked the lighting in the bar/restaurant area, been to a few call outs and off the back of one of those, recommended the changes I carried out last week).

    Am I making a living... I'm not making as much as I would like, but then I'm not going out of my way at the moment to grow the business rapidly as I don't want to end up in the situation where I have more work than I can cope with. Part of my decision about going self-employed was to have more control over my time, so I just try and do the best job I can for every single customer on the basis that they'll then recommend me to friends and family. I don't chase work... by that I mean I have a price and I rarely (three jobs since Oct 2016) drop it and I don't generally chase quotes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    It is a gamble no doubt. I wish you luck. It is something that needs to grow organically in the way that first get some work, second start the training. No better acid test than can you get work in the first place. Pay will be low to start. As you say you don't want to invest in training only to find you can't get a break in the industry. So do it the other way around. Age is not a problem it can be an asset over younger unreliable people sometimes. Do you have tools, transport or any equipment? Advertise in local wholesalers to do free work for the experience week ends maybe.
     
  7. SWD
    Offline

    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    There are better and more well paid jobs, any reason for giving up teaching as even supply teacher rates are more then what a sparks earns.
     
  8. Jon48
    Offline

    Jon48 EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Again thanks for the replies, appreciated. Supply teaching around here pays £85 a day before deducting the up to two 2 hours of travel to any 'challenging' school they ask you to go to; expect to be personally insulted on a regular basis and now and again physically injured; the Welsh Government's preferred supply provider will also hide a 'Swedish Derrogation' clause in your contract which means they can legally flout the agency worker regulations and not give pay parity with other workers doing the same job. This is why teachers in Wales are leaving supply in droves.
     
  9. SWD
    Offline

    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    Ah I understand, stuff working for £85 and to be insulted by the Welsh (us English get abused but not paid for it) at that rate rate you are better off working in McD's.

    Learn your electrics help sparky chick (I hear she's a little bit of a Nessa) gen up on solar, network cabling and the new thing is intelligent homes that are network controlled but thats more of the high end stuff, but as you know being a teacher homework pays off.........

    Bring me an apple in the morning......
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. Jon48
    Offline

    Jon48 EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Yep, it's a weird feeling when your teaching some underachieving kid who you know will leave school without qualifications and walk into a job that pays more than you get!
     
  11. SWD
    Offline

    SWD Gender neutral Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    London
    The worst of it is that the job they will walk in to is the benefits office.......
     
  12. PEG
    Offline

    PEG Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Manchester
    Hi bud,if you think working SE for the great British public,will bring any less challenges...you were obviously not a sociology teacher ;)

    What advice did the college give,in relation to additional experience and progressing your career,post course? I would be concerned,if a representative of the college,had explained what was contained in the course,and did not discuss any during or after advice.

    As for your age,accepting you are in reasonable health,it will not matter a jot :)
     
  13. Jon48
    Offline

    Jon48 EF Member

    Location:
    Wales
    Yes, I'm sure working for the Great British public is equally challenging in different ways, I'm just looking for a change. The college are pretty easy going- said that they've had ex-teachers do the course before; all they mentioned was that the progression to, I suppose the level 3 part of things would depend on my ability to secure placements and age may be a factor in doing that, but it shouldn't be impossible. The course itself is only costing £30 so I can't really complain.
     
  14. Intoelectrics
    Offline

    Intoelectrics Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Midlands
    A friend of mine was a postman, he felt under paid and over worked so decided to go SE as a plumber. After 2 years he's back as a postman. The grass is not always greener, but if you are deadly serious then genuinely, I hope things work out for you! I would take SparkyChick up on the offer, you will need all the experience you can get. :)
    I'm sure you will get plenty of useful advice here on the forum and don't take it to heart if some of it is negative. Its nothing personal just you need to understand the reality of being SE as a trades person. There is a lot more to it than just becoming qualified, running a business can be very demanding and all time consuming.
    Good luck!:)
     
  15. Massive1
    Offline

    Massive1 Trainee Access

    Location:
    southend
    The level 3 you take after your level 2 you dont need any placements at work as it will be purely classroom based.

    Placements wont be undertaken until you decide to enrol on the NVQ and to be honest if you are only wanting to do domestic then the NVQ portfolio is not needed, but would defiantly be worth doing if you ever got work where the company was involved in the commercial sector.
     
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