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Information about education, pay and careers to set you free.

Want a Career as an Electrician?

Electricians are in demand and listed as scarce. This means you stand a good chance of finding work or starting your OWN business.

Becoming an Electrician

According to the Department of Higher Education and Training, the demand for electricians requires it be labelled a scarce skill. If you have a scarce skill, consider becoming an entrepreneur if you’re struggling to find work.

During times of high unemployment firms take advantage of an applicants vulnerability even if they have a scarce skill.

Don’t be bullied into a low wage. Understand your market value, where you’re willing to compromise and negotiate accordingly. Research salary trends in the industry and at the company.  

What do electricians do?

Installs, tests, connects, commissions, maintains and modifies electrical equipment, wiring and control systems.

If you are applying for employment or an apprenticeship you should know how to use these terms in your cover letter and CV.

Tasks

  • Installing, maintaining and repairing electrical wiring systems and related equipment in various buildings.
  • Examining blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequences and methods of operation.
  • Planning layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures, based on job specifications and relevant standards.
  • Inspecting electrical systems, equipment, and components to identify hazards, defects, and the need for adjustment or repair.
  • Selecting, cutting and connecting wire and cable to terminals and connectors.
  • Measuring and laying out installation reference points.
  • Positioning and installing electrical switchboards.
  • Testing continuity of circuit.

Applying for an opportunity? Tip:

It’s important you outline your competencies according to the areas listed above.

Be sure not to include anything you don’t know, focus on what you can do and highlight anything you are particularly good at.

Professional Requirements

Occupation Regulations

  • All trades are regulated by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB).
  • To become a qualified artisan you have to pass a trade test at a national trade test centre that is accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
  • All national trade test centres are quality assured and recommended for accreditation by the NAMB.

Learning Pathway Description

New occupational qualifications will soon be registered under the QCTO. New entrance requirements will be specified in each of the qualifications.

The QCTO will replace the role that SETAs played in accrediting organisations for training. In the near future we will all need to check information about qualifications with the QCTO.

According to the new Draft Trade Test Regulations (March 2013) the minimum entry requirements are:

  • a minimum of 40% in mathematics (excluding mathematical literacy) at Grade 9 level or a National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2; and
  • in the case of civil, mechanical and electrical categories of trades a minimum of 40% in the relevant N2 Trade Theory or the relevant vocational subjects of the National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2

Job Application Tip:

Be sure to list your qualifications in your CV.

How to become an artisan

  • You can do an apprenticeship under the mentorship of a qualified artisan.  An apprenticeship consists of a practical and a workplace component that usually commences after the completion of the knowledge component.
  • You can do a learnership or a series of learnerships.  A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification.  It consists of knowledge, practical and workplace components that are learned in an integrated manner.
  • You can do a learning programme that includes prescribed work experience, such as an internship, after you have completed the knowledge and practical components.
  • You can accumulate knowledge and experience over a minimum period of time while doing the work of an artisan that allows you to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

The knowledge components refer to the N- or NCV programmes.

All the pathways end with a trade test at a national trade test centre that is accredited by the QCTO. In order to call yourself a qualified artisan and to perform functions that are carried out by qualified artisans, you have to pass the trade test.

210 Qualifications for Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services

QCTO registered Qualifications for Physical Planning and Construction

167 Scarce Skills in the Mining Sector


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