Like most trades, there is a distinct path toward becoming an electrician in Ireland. It is not going to be an easy path either. However, for those willing to put the work in, becoming an electrician in Ireland can become an incredibly lucrative position.
Since most of the work to become an electrician in Ireland is completed ‘on the job’ as an apprentice, you will be able to start making cash from the very first day.
On this page, we are going to walk you through everything that you really need to know about becoming an electrician in Ireland. This means information on the average wage, the types of jobs an electrician can expect to perform, as well as the exact route that you need to follow to become a fully-qualified electrician.
Average Wage For An Electrician In Ireland
The average wage of an apprentice electrician in Ireland is pretty high. Depending on which part of Ireland they work in, an apprentice electrician can expect to earn around €33,000 a year. This can go up to well in excess of €50,000 when fully qualified.
Do bear in mind that the average wage can vary drastically based on where you live. In some of the smaller counties of Ireland, the average wage can be as low as €30,000 per year, even when fully qualified.
Can You Move Between Ireland And The UK With Your Irish Electrician Qualifications?
Not easily, no.
Before Brexit, the process was a little bit easier. The mutual recognition of qualifications was enshrined in the law. However, since December 2020, this has no longer been the case.
If you are an Irish electrician looking to work in the UK, then you will need to obtain a JIB card. This will require you to complete a few examinations.
This includes working in Northern Ireland.
Jobs As An Electrician In Ireland
The work as an electrician can be varied. Sure, the bulk of your time will be spent repairing small faults in electrical systems. You know, the odd light switch or light socket here and there. However, no day as an electrician is ever the same. You may be asked to perform the following jobs:
- Planning the electrical layout for new buildings. This means planning how wiring, outlets, and lights need to be set up.
- Checking architectural blueprints to establish how the current electrical systems are set–up.
- Installing electrical systems. This includes wiring, lights, and circuit breakers.
- Repairs and maintenance to current electrical systems.
- Diagnosing and testing electrical systems
- Ensuring that installed electrical systems are up to code
When a person becomes fully qualified as an electrician, they will be able to start taking on their own apprentices. This means that they will be able to train up a whole new generation of electricians.
Of course, as an electrician, you can opt to work for somebody else, or you could go and set up your own company. The latter will require you to have far more skills than just being an electrician…but it is so much more lucrative!
Becoming An Electrician In Ireland
The process to become an electrician in Ireland has changed a little over the last few years. Originally, you would have needed to find an employer willing to register you with FAS. However, since that state body no longer exists, the route is a little different.
The process to become an electrician in Ireland will always be 4-years.
Qualifications To Become An Electrician In Ireland
The minimum qualifications to start the process to become an electrician in Ireland are fairly loose. The only firm qualifications are that you must be over the age of 16 and you must not be colour blind.
Other than this, you must meet one of three different categories:
- Grade D in at least five subjects with your Junior Certificate Examination. If you have studied in the UK, then grades from your GCSE may be transferable.
- Have completed a pre-apprenticeship course
- Three years working in an industry approved by SOLAS (more on those in a short while). This will mostly apply to industrial positions.
Of course, the more qualified you are, the easier your route to becoming an electrician will be. This is because competition for apprenticeships is exceedingly high. Teachers only want to take on the absolute best of the best.
Finding An Apprenticeship
Your first job is to find an apprenticeship. This means finding an electrician that has been certified to teach apprentices.
There are various databases online that you can tap into. You may also want to reach out to larger companies to see whether they are taking on apprentices.
Once you have found an employer, they must register you with SOLAS within 2-weeks of you starting work with them. You will also be asked to undergo a SOLAS colour blindness test.
SOLAS is the government board dedicated to qualifications and apprenticeships in Ireland. They replaced the work that FAS used to carry out.
Finding a Training Center
Your apprenticeship will involve both on-the-job training and training at a college. This means that you will need to find a training centre.
Chances are that your employer will point you toward a training centre that they recommend. However, you are free to choose your own training centre.
This part shouldn’t be too difficult. Most trade schools will offer training to apprentices.
Do bear in mind that you must pay for part of the training yourself.
The Learning Process
The learning process will take around 4-years.
You will be working a few months on the job. You will then spend a few weeks at school before you head back to work.
You will constantly be flicking between these two different parts of your apprenticeship. The idea is that you will be learning practical skills at school, and then you will be using what you have learned on the job. Because you become more qualified over time, you may find that your wages go up with each stage of the process that you complete.
Receiving Your Qualifications
After 4-years of your apprenticeship, you will be qualified as an electrician. You can now start your own company or go and work for somebody else.
If you wish to get into electrical engineering, then your qualification as an electrician will remove a year off of an electrical engineering degree.
Becoming an electrician in Ireland is a long process. It will take 4-years, but once you are qualified, the wages are high. It will also provide you with the ability to start your own electrician business and push your income even further.