Becoming a self-employed electrician takes some preparation and planning, but it can be a rewarding career path. Whether you’re just finishing your electrician training or are currently working under an employer, going independent has appeal. Follow these steps to give yourself the best shot at success.

self-employed electrician

Get Properly Qualified

The first and most important step is making sure you have the right electrical qualifications. In the UK, you need to complete an approved electrician apprenticeship program that covers installation, maintenance, inspection, and testing. This typically takes 3-4 years. You’ll finish with a qualification like a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems. This is issued by an accredited body and must meet national standards.

With your diploma or qualification certificate in hand, you can apply to register with an industry certification body. This includes the likes of NICEIC, NAPIT, or Elecsa. Registration shows customers you meet all competency, safety, and legal standards. Many electricians choose to get further qualifications in niche areas like solar panel installation or data cabling to expand their capabilities.

Get Licensed and Insured

Even with proper qualifications, working independently requires getting licensed and insured first:

  • Public Liability Insurance – This covers any damage or issues when working in a client’s property. Minimum £1 million coverage is typical.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance – Protects against claims of poor workmanship or design flaws. Usually a minimum of £100,000.
  • Electrician Certification – Applying for Building Regulations certification allows you to self-certify installation work rather than involve local inspectors.

Tools and Equipment

A good starter toolkit is obviously essential as well. At a minimum, this includes basic hand tools (screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers, etc.), a multimeter for testing, access equipment like ladders for reaching fixtures and cables, and PPE like thick rubber gloves to prevent electrical shocks and burns.

You may also want more advanced tools for specific jobs—think cable tracers, inspection cameras, conduit benders, rotary hammers for drilling, or metal fish tapes for running cables within walls. Consider starting with basic tools and renting specialized equipment as needed.

Create a Business Plan

Being a solo tradesperson rather than an employee for a company comes with more financial considerations. This is where having a thought-out business plan becomes key. Important elements to factor in and get squared away include:

  • Estimating costs/expenses – Vehicle, fuel, tools/gear, insurance, certification fees, accountant, taxes, advertising, workshop space if needed, etc. Build out an operating budget.
  • Pricing services – Determine hourly or per-job rates to both cover costs and make a profit while remaining competitive locally.
  • Business registration – Formally register with HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Accounting & taxes – Using accounting software to track income, expenses, tax liabilities, etc. is highly advisable.
  • Marketing – Promote your electrician business through channels beyond word-of-mouth referrals such as social media, flyers, and local partnerships. Be sure to highlight your qualifications, speciality areas, great references, and reviews prominently.

Build Experience

Take on jobs that fit your expertise level at first. This lets you get experience running all aspects of projects end-to-end—dealing directly with clients, diagnosing issues, making repairs, following regulations properly, pricing accurately as promised, and managing any problems independently that arise. Build up your professional reputation job-by-job.

As you gain experience, there will be opportunities to raise rates, take on more complex and diverse assignments, bring on employees once established to scale, or even specialize further by industry. Stay visible in the local market and keep expanding your skillsets.

Stay Up to Date

Finally, electrical codes, standards, and best practices evolve constantly. Signing up for refresher courses, continuing education, manufacturer training sessions, and keeping current with the latest electrical news allows you to provide the quality work your clients expect.

self-employed electrician

Being a registered, independent electrician involves effort but affords the flexibility and opportunity to chart your own path. Gain the tools and practical experience needed—your electrician business can electrify from there!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments