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4 Years
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In Summary

An Electrician is involved in the installation, commissioning, testing and maintenance of various wiring systems and services in domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Mark Maguire, Electrical Apprentice, Design Group

The work of an Electrician ranges from wiring of domestic houses, offices and retail units to more complex systems involving instrumentation, process control and maintenance in industrial plants, hospitals and power stations.

Electricians also service, maintain and repair electrical equipment, both domestic and industrial.

Click the photo above to view the Electric brochure.

Electricians employed by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) engage in electrical power supply and distribution.

Electricians employed by electrical contractors are usually engaged in the installation of lighting, heating and power equipment and the repair of existing equipment and appliances.

Those in industrial employment are generally engaged in the maintenance and repair of factory plant, machinery and generating equipment.

Video: Emmett Grogan, Assist Electrical Services Ltd. 

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To view full details of this occupation, view information from our Careers database for the following occupation: Electrical

Entry Requirements

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.

The minimum educational requirements are:

Grade D or "Achieved" in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,


The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course,


Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable.

You must obtain a job as an apprentice in your chosen occupation. Your employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment.

In this apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Physics
  • Construction Studies


Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks)

Course Content:

  • Induction Electricity 1
  • Installation Techniques 1 (Domestic)
  • Installation Techniques 2 (Industrial)
  • Panel Wiring and Motor Control
  • Related Theory 

Phase 3: With Employer

  • Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational College (11 weeks)

Course Content:

  • Electricity 2
  • Power Distribution 1
  • Electronics 1
  • Related Theory 

Phase 5: With Employer

  • Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational College (11 weeks)

Course Content:

  • Automation Control
  • Access Control and Alarm Systems
  • Electricity 3
  • Power Distribution 2
  • Electronics 2
  • Related Theory 

Phase 7: With Employer

  • Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft - Electrical.

Training is provided by the following institutions:

This list is up to date as of June 2019.

Apprenticeship training takes place in various locations around the country. The list above is by no means exhaustive and training providers are subject to change. Please check with your local Education and Training Board (ETB) to get more information about specific training locations for this apprenticeship. To check your local ETB use this link and select your county.

Skills & Qualities

As an Electrician you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Electrician must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate eff ectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness

Core Skills

  • Selection, procurement, safe use of, and storage of craft-related tools, equipment and materials
  • Selection and utilisation of fixing devices
  • Assessment, interpretation and implementation of ETCI wiring regulations, installation inspection and testing procedures
  • Utilisation of electrical test instruments
  • Installation of steel conduit wiring systems 
  • Installation of plastic conduit wiring systems
  • Installation of steel trunking cable systems
  • Installation of plastic trunking cable systems 
  • Installation of cable tray and ladder systems
  • Installation of industrial cable systems
  • Installation of sub-distribution boards and protective devices 
  • Installation and maintenance of lighting, heating and motive power systems and controls
  • Installation and testing of overcurrent and earth leakage protection systems
  • Installation of earthing and bonding systems
  • Interpretation of circuit schematics and architectural drawings which incorporate IEC symbols 
  • Interpretation of technical data and manufacturing standards
  • Interpretation of equipment assembly, disassembly and adjustment procedures
  • Completion and updating of job-related documentation

Specialist Skills

  • Installation of wiring systems and equipment in hazardous environments
  • Assembly and wiring of motor control panels
  • Installation and maintenance of emergency lighting systems 
  • Installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems 
  • Installation and maintenance of intruder alarm systems
  • Installation and maintenance of standby power and battery systems 
  • Installation of lightning protection systems 
  • Installation and maintenance of HT transformers and switchgear
  • Installation of metering systems 
  • Installation of power factor correction systems

Common Skills

  • System fault analysis skills
  • Interpretation of electrical/electronic schematic diagrams 
  • Interpretation of flow, function and ladder charts
  • Soldering and desoldering skills 
  • Testing, removal and replacement of electronic components/PCBs 
  • Installation and programming of PLC systems 
  • Installation and calibration of sensors and transducers 
  • Installation of electro-pneumatic systems
  • Installation of data communication cable systems

Personal Skills

  • Communications
  • Customer relations
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Ability to work independently
  • Initiative
  • Problem solving
  • Planning
  • Information gathering
  • Quality
  • Language
  • Report Writing

Work Activities

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence.
  • Working with and learning from experienced Craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Understanding and using physics
  • Working with electricity or electronics
  • Being accurate with numbers in counting, measuring and arithmetic
  • Completing detailed tasks that require accuracy and careful handling
  • Working with technical drawings and diagrams
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand tools, power tools and equipment
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Being physically active
  • Bending and Kneeling
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn

Career Progression

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Opportunities arise from time-to-time for promotion to supervisor level. Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

People anxious to advance themselves in their careers are advised to discover for themselves what apportunities are available.

Following successful completion of your Electrical Apprenticeship you can get an exemption from Year 1 of a Level 8 Electrical Engineering Degree. 

Did you know ...

Qualified Electricians who are finished their Apprenticeship training can immediately earn up to €43,000 per annum. There is significant demand for Electricians across the Pharmaceutical and Technology sectors. Companies in these areas employ large numbers of Electricians.

The trade is also very transferable across industry sectors as well as being valuable internationally.

For top-level apprentices with a desire to advance, potential career progression routes include:

  • Site Supervisor
  • Project Manager
  • Contracts Manager

For those with entrepreneurial flair, setting up your own business is a desirable next step.

Where apprentices and crafts persons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technological and management courses which are available in institutes of technology, schools of management, professional institutes, etc.

Getting an Apprenticeship

In order to secure an apprenticeship, you must first secure a contract with an employer. You must apply directly to an employer rather than the training provider. Once you have found an employer to take you on as an apprentice, your employer must then register you as an apprentice with SOLAS.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.

ABEC are currently recruiting two apprentice electricians based in Fermoy, Co. Cork (as of June 2019). Click here for full application details. 

Note: Electrical Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.

Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.

Finding Vacancies

Finding an employer or registering your interest with an official Coordinating Provider is one of the first things you need to do to start an apprenticeship.

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Online Jobsites

Here are some direct links to employment websites that frequently list apprenticeship vacancies.
Note: These websites may include vacancies that are not QQI accredited Apprenticeships.

Current Apprentice Electrician Jobs (Where Available)

Apprenticeship Courses

Search for Apprenticeship Electrical courses.

Pay & Fees

The employer pays the apprentice while s/he is being trained on-the-job. A training allowance is paid by the local ETB while the apprentice is attending the off-the-job training, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Generally, the rates of pay are based on a percentage of the fully qualified rate for the occupation:

  • 1st Years – 33.3%
  • 2nd Years – 50%
  • 3rd Years – 75%
  • 4th Years – 90%

Training Allowances

A training allowance is paid by the local ETB to apprentices while attending off-the-job training. In some cases, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs may be paid if deemed eligible. The sector the apprentice's employer is engaged in will determine the allowance payable. These allowances are calculated on the gross wages paid by industry in each sector. The amount the apprentice gets will generally be less than that, as it is based on the net take-home pay of the relevant sector. The weekly gross wage norms for different industries can be found here 

Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is charged to students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology (IoT). Apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. For further information, click here.

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