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How to Become an Electrician: All the Requirements Now

How to become an electrician now. There is a demand for Electricians in South Africa. The demand for skilled electricians is higher than the supply.

Want to Become an Electrician in South Africa?

become an electrician

Do you want to become an electrician?

This post explains how to become an electrician in South Africa. According to the Department of Higher Education and Training, the demand for electricians is high. This means electrician skills are scarce. If you have a scarce skill, consider becoming an entrepreneur, particularly if you’re struggling to find work. During times of high unemployment, firms take advantage of an applicant’s 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 the salary trends in the industry and at the company.  

Become an Electrician: High Demand in South Africa

Electricians are in demand in South Africa, and the demand for skilled electricians is higher than the supply. This is due to several factors, including:

  1. Growth of the construction industry: The growth of the construction industry in South Africa has led to an increased demand for electricians to install and maintain electrical systems in new buildings and infrastructure projects.
  2. Ageing infrastructure: South Africa has ageing infrastructure, including power plants and transmission networks. These require ongoing maintenance and upgrades, creating a demand for electricians.
  3. Lack of training and education opportunities: A shortage of training and education opportunities for electricians in South Africa has limited the number of individuals entering the field and available to meet demand.
  4. Retirement of experienced electricians: As experienced electricians retire, there are fewer experienced professionals available to fill the demand for skilled electricians.

These factors have created a scarcity of skilled electricians in South Africa, which has driven up demand and made electricians an attractive career choice for those interested in the trade.

Steps to Become an Electrician

Practical experience is a key requirement for electricians to qualify. You can gain electrician practical experience in two ways:

  1. Gain electrical experience by working as an assistant to an electrician. You can approach local businesses in your area. If it’s. small company you may need to volunteer as they might not be able to afford to pay you.
  2. Apply for an Electrician Apprenticeship. Many TVET Colleges and private training providers offer electrician apprenticeships that are funded by a SETA.

To become an electrician in South Africa, take these steps:

If you want to be an electrician:

  1. Obtain a matric certificate or equivalent.
  2. Enrol in a recognized technical college or apprenticeship program and complete a National Certificate in Electrical Engineering (N1-N6) or equivalent qualification.
  3. Gain practical experience through an apprenticeship or by working as an assistant electrician.
  4. Pass the Trade Test for Electricians, which is required for all electrician certifications in South Africa.
  5. Register with the Department of Labour as a qualified electrician.
  6. Consider obtaining additional certifications, such as the Registered Wireman’s License, to increase your professional standing and employment opportunities.
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List of Qualifications and Skill Programs to Become an Electrician

Electrician Qualifications for Field 012: Physical Planning and Construction

Learning Subfield: Electrical Infrastructure Construction

Qual / Prog IDTitleNQF LevelMin CreditsPrimary or Delegated QA FunctionaryLearning Programme
72052Further Education and Training Certificate: Electrical Engineering 04130
73313National Certificate: Electrical Engineering 02140
72051National Certificate: Electrical Engineering03133
72073National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Construction 03133CETA72051
101173Advanced Diploma in Electrical Engineering 07140CHE
13979Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Electrical Engineering 08560CHE48694
111285Diploma in Electrical Engineering06360CHE
101150Diploma in Electrical Engineering 06360CHE
100953Diploma in Electrical Engineering 06360CHE
96856Diploma in Electrical Engineering 06360CHE
101197Diploma in Electrical Engineering 06360CHE
97088Diploma in Electrical Engineering06360CHE
101014Diploma in Engineering Technology in Electronic Engineering 06240CHE
101016Diploma in Engineering Technology in Instrumentation Engineering06240CHE
101015Diploma in Engineering Technology in Power Engineering 06240CHE
96767Doctor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 10360CHE
97019Doctor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 10360CHE
96924Doctor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 10360CHE
97119Doctor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 10360CHE
96936Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering 09180CHE
96898Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 09180CHE
97131Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 09180CHE
97006Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 09180CHE
96937Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering 09180CHE
74008Master of Philosophy in Electrical and Electronic Engineering 09180CHE
72076Further Education and Training Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Generation 04130EWSETA72052
72077National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Distribution 03133EWSETA72051
67432National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Distribution02140EWSETA73313
72079National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Generation 03133EWSETA72051
67433National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Electrical Generation 02140EWSETA73313
72081National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Renewable Energy 03133EWSETA72051
67435National Certificate: Electrical Engineering: Renewable Energy 02140EWSETA73313
90764National Certificate: Vocational: Electrical Infrastructure and Construction 02130UMALUSI50440
90783National Certificate: Vocational: Electrical Infrastructure and Construction03130UMALUSI50442
90802National Certificate: Vocational: Electrical Infrastructure Construction 04130UMALUSI50441
111625Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering08480
109871Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering 08480
120863Higher Occupational Certificate: Solar Photovoltaic Standalone Service Technician05133
120883National Occupational Certificate: Solar Photovoltaic Standalone Systems Installer04211
104790Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner 04259
104791Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner04359
104793Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner04291
104795Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner 04403
104787Occupational Certificate: Overhead Electrical Line Mechanic04570
120885Occupational Certificate: Solar Photovoltaic Standalone System Mounter 0484
Qualifications to Become an Electrician

Requirements To Become an electrician

It’s important to note that the regulations and requirements for electricians may change over time, so it’s a good idea to stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards and requirements.

Electricians with a high level of training, experience, and certifications may find it easier to find work than those with limited skills and experience.

the Work Done One You Become an Electrician

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

If you are applying for employment or an apprenticeship, use these terms in your electrician cover letter and CV.

When You Become an Electrician These Could Be Your Electrical Job 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. Try these electrician cover letter templates.

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 To Become an Electrician

Occupation Regulations to Become an Electrician

  • 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.

The Learning Pathway to Become an Electrician

Check for new occupational qualifications registered by the QCTO. New entrance requirements will be specified in each of the qualifications.

According to the Draft Trade Test Regulations (March 2013) electrician 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 to Become an Electrician:

Be sure to list your qualifications in your CV.

apprenticeship thank you letter

Training to Become an Electrician Apprentice

  • Do an apprenticeship under the mentorship of a qualified artisan.  An apprenticeship consists of a practical and workplace component that usually commences after the completion of the knowledge component.
  • Find 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.
  • Complete 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 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. To call yourself a qualified artisan and to perform functions that are carried out by qualified artisans, you have to pass the trade test. Explore the occupational certificates for pathways to become an electrician.

Free MOOCs Can Help You Become an Electrician

Massive Open Online Courses can be a great way for electricians to gain new skills and advance their careers.

Here are some popular MOOCs to help you become an electrician:

  1. Coursera: Coursera offers a wide range of courses on electrical engineering and electrical systems, including topics such as electrical circuits, renewable energy, and power systems.
  2. edX: edX offers courses on electrical engineering, electrical safety, and renewable energy, as well as courses that focus on specific electrical technologies, such as solar power.
  3. Udemy: Udemy has a variety of courses on electrical systems, electrical safety, and electrical engineering, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of the electrical trade.
  4. FutureLearn: FutureLearn has a range of courses on electrical engineering, electrical systems, and energy management, which can be useful for electricians looking to expand their knowledge in these areas.

These MOOCs offer flexible scheduling and the ability to learn at your own pace. MOOCs are a convenient and accessible way to further your education as an electrician. However, it’s important to keep in mind that MOOCs are not a substitute for hands-on training and on-the-job experience. Obtaining a certification from a reputable institution is generally preferred by employers.

Unemployment and Keeping Motivated Before or After You Become an Electrician

If you’re an unemployed electrician, it can be challenging to stay motivated. But remember that these are temporary times, and with the right approach, you can find a new opportunity.

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated while you become an electrician:

  1. Stay positive: Stay focused on your goals, and try to see this as a temporary setback. Believe in yourself, and your abilities, and that you will eventually find a job that fits your skills and experience.
  2. Update your skills: Take advantage of this time to further your education or training, and expand your skill set to make yourself a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
  3. Network: Reach out to your professional network and connect with other electricians in your field. Attend industry events, and participate in online forums to stay informed about the latest developments in your field and new job opportunities.
  4. Stay active: Stay active and busy, and keep your mind occupied with hobbies or other activities you enjoy.
  5. Be proactive: Don’t wait for job opportunities to come to you. Reach out to potential employers, send out your resume/cv and cover letter.

Remember, finding a job can be a process, and it may take time, but stay motivated and continue to work towards your goal. Good luck!

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Zukile Mphalisa

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I do want to get a practical training in Electrical Engineering and I have an N6 certificate. I’m 47 of age and never have get any opportunity to work with electricians or artisans but only working at production lines as an operator. So now my wish is to obtain a trade certificate so that I can open up my chances of becoming a qualified electrician. for further information about myself you may dial at (number removed).
    Currently I’m working at (Name Removed) as an operator.

    Your’s faithfully
    Z. Mphalisa

  2. Andile Kebe

    Dear Sir/Madam
    I would like to apply for Electrical Engineering training.

    Due to the level of my knowledge I feel confident that I will succeed in the role I’m applying for.

    I’m 42years old and got N6 in Electrical Engineering without training.

    I avail myself for any kind of interview that I may be invited to,my cellphone number is 073 737 0900.
    Your faithfully

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