what is an electrical technician?

As an electrical technician, you install or maintain electrical systems in residential and commercial settings. You work with various equipment, including switches, transformers, generators and circuit breakers. You also resolve issues and repair electrical systems to ensure they work properly. For instance, you could check for faulty wiring or short circuits in electrical systems.

Electrical technicians often work with electrical engineers to create engineering plans for electrical systems and perform supporting roles. You ensure effective spare parts management and supervise project improvement processes as an electrical technician.

Most electrical technicians work in the maintenance department of a company and conduct field repairs on electrical, mechanical and instrumentation systems. During maintenance duties, you coordinate shutdowns to reduce downtimes and system failure rates. As well as improving maintenance standards, you lead efforts in equipment standardisation by carrying out overhauls to ensure best practices within the plant. In manufacturing, an electrical technician performs process improvements and enhances production safety by ensuring the proper functioning of electrical systems. 

Would working as an electrical technician suit your interest in engineering and complex systems? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an electrical technician role.

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average salary of an electrical technician

According to National Careers, an electrical technician takes home a median salary of £20,000 annually in entry-level positions. Experienced workers earn over £40,000 per due to their qualifications and expertise. The compensation could be in hourly rates or monthly payments depending on the company and whether you work full-time or part-time roles.

H3: how to increase the salary of an electrical technician

The major determinant of your compensation package is your experience. In entry-level positions, you have limited expertise, which reduces your earnings significantly. Working as an electrical technician gives you hands-on experience, improving your knowledge and expertise. Employers are usually willing to pay more for experienced electrical technicians who require minimal supervision.

Aside from experience, your skillset and qualification also affect your earnings. For instance, if you pursue an apprenticeship programme to join the role, your compensation package is lower than university graduates. When you possess unique skill sets, you can perform additional tasks and suggests process improvements that benefit the organisation. 

The role you play also determines your payment due to the differences in job complexity. For instance, electrical technicians working in installation take home better salaries than those working in maintenance.

checking electrical equipement
checking electrical equipement

types of electrical technicians

The types of electrical technicians depend on the level of expertise and licencing. To become an electrical technician, you require intense on-the-job training to learn the ropes. The more hours of supervised training you complete, the higher your qualifications. When you master the necessary techniques, you can work independently.

  • apprentice electrical technician: as an apprentice electrical technician, you complete a four-year training programme and work under supervision as you gain hands-on experience in the role.
  • journeyman electrical technician: as a journeyman electrical technician, you have at least two years of work experience and extensive knowledge of installing and maintaining electrical systems. You also tackle electrical jobs without supervision.
  • master electrical technician: as a master electrical technician, you supervise other electrical technicians. You work independently, and you are certified to open your own business.

working as an electrical technician

Electrical technicians carry out diverse functions depending on the industry. However, your role is primarily maintaining and repairing electrical equipment and systems. Here are the highlights of an electrical technician's duties, tasks, work environments and career outlook:


education and skills

Some of the ways to join the role include:

  • university and college courses: you should pursue a higher national diploma or foundation degree in electrical and electronics engineering. The course equips you with knowledge of various electrical systems and skills necessary for the role. Alternatively, complete a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in electrical installation or electrical and electronics engineering. Some T-Level courses include building services engineering and engineering, manufacturing, processing and control.
  • apprenticeship: you can pursue an electrical engineering technician advanced apprenticeship programme and learn the job as you train. The requirements for the apprenticeship are 5 GCSEs.

electrical technician skills and competencies

Electrical systems have many moving parts, and every electrical technician requires a diverse skill set. Some of the qualities necessary for the role include:

  • problem-solving skills: as an electrical technician, you disassemble equipment to locate a problem, then put everything back together again. This process requires keen technical abilities, critical thinking and algebra skills.
  • diagnostic skills: you won't always find the source of an electrical problem immediately. Sometimes, you identify the problem by conducting tests before you begin any repairs. You require superb diagnostic skills to service equipment effectively in conventional and unconventional ways.
  • business knowledge: whether you become an independent contractor or a tech who works for an established company, you need good time management and customer service skills.
  • communication skills: as an electrical technician, you explain problems and solutions to people who may not understand all aspects of their electrical systems, which requires good communication skills. These skills also help you train your apprentices after you're promoted.
  • excellent colour vision: to troubleshoot most electrical systems, you should be able to identify wires by colour.
smiling man
smiling man


FAQs about working as an electrical technician.

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