A little about my experience
In this post, I would like to concentrate on offering some advice to “new starters” in this career, we all started at the same place, usually at the bottom, and Tea making was a skill I had to quickly learn, and learn fast!
After I had mastered the art of making copious cups of industry standard Tea, I then started to actually learn something. Fortunately for me I ended up on a faulting team, the chaps were full of knowledge and confidence, this I yearned for as being the grunt isn’t much fun. I spent the best part of 4 years with these chaps & to be honest enjoyed every minute of it, I learned as much as I could and skills learned at work followed through into my spare time, all be it messing with different kit.
When I went “solo” it was suddenly very daunting, and the reality hit, the reality being responsible & liable for all the work & testing I was about to undertake. I was signing a legal document, my skills & knowledge were now being tested as the reality hits you hard when you accept that everything now relies on you, and any errors on your part could carry serious consequences.
Its good training in a classroom on pre-built installations, the faults are introduced in a controlled environment, there are tutors there to guide and assist, and more importantly you aren’t going to harm anyone or yourself. In the real world its much different, there will be faults that no one has seen before, you will get readings from test instruments that will perplex, even doubt your kit, dont panic, this is normal, its the real world !
It took me about Two months before I started to relax off a bit, keep in touch with tutors & trainers, believe me they will have seen it all before & most will be happy to give advice, some to even visit to give you assistance.
Electricians are mostly very helpful people & love to help problem solve, mainly due to the fact we like the challenge & an opportunity to learn some more.
Difficult faults you will always remember because you can bet somewhere in the future you will encounter something similar.
For the Journey
For my journey I was constrained by cost, and a small, very small customer base. Please dont buy everything you can because the chances are you wont initially need it. I needed wheels (Van) and some electrical testing equipment, and some basic hand tools.
My first bit of testing equipment was the Di-log 9083P multi function tester
I still have this today, and is my tester of choice, this will do everything that BS7671 (18th edition of the wiring regulations) requires, and it does it well.
Its light, easy to read, easy to use, quick to set up and very simplistic to operate, no fancy menus to navigate through, just one dial and a few buttons. I would recommend this to anyone who is about to or has just started a career as an electrician.
I also have a proving unit & a GS38 rated volt meter, again a Di-Log and for all of the same reasons as above
Additionally I procured a volt stick and some good quality screwdrivers (electricians 1000 Volt insulation rated)
I will on another post go into a little more detail on how the above are used, what they are used for and what to expect. I will also bring in some more equipment which I find invaluable and explain a little about these also.
I would also recommend a copy of the IET Guidance note 3 book & the current on site guide as these are full of information, as anyone going into this field will absolutely require beyond all doubt!
Its late, so to draw to a close
Anyone thinking about becoming an electrician will require lot’s of study time, a quiet place to read, plenty of coffee, and some good tuition. I’m not going to sugar coat it, there is a lot to learn, you dont need to be a math’s professor, as Im certainly not, but if you are eager to learn then anyone can do this as a career and shouldn’t be put off by people who have passed all the exams & qualified.
To be perfectly honest I was dreading the 2391 testing & inspection certification, I worried over this for months, spoke to people who had undertaken it and everyone had a different opinion of how they found the experience.
In hindsight, I actually really enjoyed the exams, I studied hard & long in a garden shed with a light & a table for around 3 months solid, every evening without fail, the hard work paid off, I was really pleased at how much I had remembered and the results spoke for them selves.
For me I had to learn how to learn, something I neglected at school and again the results reflected to effort, not good!
I hope I have shone a little light to anyone wanting what I did !
Goodnight & best regards