An electrician apprentice position could be your gateway to a great, well paid, career in South Africa. To become a qualified electrician not only takes practical work but long hard hours of theory, so be prepared.

So how do you go about getting your foot in the door?

You can train to be an electrician (or electrical contractor) through an accredited training facility. An electrician apprenticeship is part and parcel of electrician training. Your training, and apprenticeship can be arranged through the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa – ECA(SA) will assist with:

  • The arrangement of a formal apprentice position with accredited electrical contractor, who is also approved to offer apprenticeships, in your area.
  • “Registration of apprenticeship contracts with the Sector Education Training Authorities” and,
  • Free practical apprenticeship under the CETA Training Contract”

Tips from electrical contractors who started as apprentice electricians:

So that you don’t walk into your apprenticeship completely ‘green’, and with the right ‘wiring’ from the get-go:

  • Be prepared to do what you are told, exactly as you are told – no matter what it is, or how ‘menial’.
  • Be prepared to carry stuff and do the ‘grunt- work’. As an apprentice, you must start at the bottom and work your way up. This is how you’ll learn – well!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Repeat them – until the answers give you the knowledge and the confidence that you’ll need to make the most of your apprenticeship.
  • Do whatever homework / theory work or tasks your ‘boss’ gives you. They are giving it to you for a reason.

Anyone can become an electrician apprentice (You must be at least 16 years old with a Grade 9 Certificate, although some employers prefer higher qualifications) – as long as they are dedicated to the process. You will need three years of hands-on experience working as an apprentice electrician before you can take your trade test. The trade test will give you professional electrician accreditation – and then you are set!

Put in the time and hard work, and three short years as an electrician apprentice will get you on your way to a fulfilling and financially rewarding career as an electrician.