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The Work of an Electrician 

Electricians are employed chiefly in the installation and maintenance of electrical apparatus and equipment. Electricians employed by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) engage in electrical power supply. 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.

In the past this has been primarily a male career. FÁS would like to actively encourage young women to consider this area of employment.


The trade is designated for Apprenticeship Training and as such is governed by the Statutory Apprenticeship rules which have been made by FÁS.

Entry Requirements

In order to become an apprentice a candidate must:

  • be at least sixteen years of age on the commencement date of his/her apprenticeship.
  • have at least a Grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate Examination (or approved equivalent), or satisfactorily complete a FÁS Pre-Apprenticeship Course.
  • have passed a Colour Vision Test approved by FÁS.


How to become an Electrician

The trade is designated for Apprenticeship Training and as such is governed by the Statutory Apprenticeship rules which have been made by FÁS.

You must obtain a job as an apprentice with a suitable employer who can offer you the apprenticeship in your chosen occupation and your employer must register you with FÁS as an apprentice at the commencement of the apprenticeship. Before seeking the apprenticeship you should:

  • see the type of work being done in the occupation in which you are interested.
  • consider participating in a FÁS Pre-Apprenticeship Course which helps prepare you for an apprenticeship. In particular these courses provide practical and theoretical training for women to prepare them to train and work in a traditionally male environment.
  • ask employers, qualified craftspersons or apprentices about the occupation and career opportunities available.
  • seek the advice of your parents or guardians and career guidance counsellors as appropriate.

To get an apprenticeship you should:

  • investigate apprentice job opportunities with local employers.
  • look for apprentice job advertisements in local and national newspapers as many large organisations advertise their apprentice vacancies.
  • consult with a Career Guidance Teacher or School Principal as some employers recruit through local schools.
  • advise FÁS so that FÁS can place your name on a list of those interested in apprenticeship. Such lists are made available, on request, to employers who are recruiting apprentices.


Women Apprentices

To help women to enter into apprenticeship training FÁS now offers a Bursary to employers who recruit women apprentices.

Structure of Apprenticeship Training

The apprentice is required to follow a specific course of training and to undergo a series of assessments to confirm that the required standards have been reached.

The apprenticeship consists of seven phases of training both on-the-job with the employer and off-the-job in a FÁS Training Centre or Educational College, as shown below:

Phase 1, On-the-job, is an introduction to apprenticeship, safety, the world of work and an introduction to the basic skills of the occupation.

Phase 2, 4 and 6, Off-the-job, give the apprentice full-time skills training and related education and provide time for practice of the skills.

Phases 3, 5 and 7, On-the-job, entail the practice and further development of the skills learned in the Off-the-job Phases.


Technical Training (Off-the-Job): This form of training involves learning practical skills together with the theoretical elements including maths, science, drawing and personal development skills.

Apprentices will be required to pass a series of Modular Assessments (tests) throughout this training. These will consist of practical tests, short answer and/or multiple choice knowledge tests and coursework assessments. No fees are payable to attend off-the-job training/education, which are run on a block release basis and where this necessitates living away from home, FÁS will pay travelling expenses and make an allowance towards accommodation expenses.

Practical Training (On-the-Job): This form of training is with the employer where the apprentice gets practical training and experience of doing the job. In addition to the skills and knowledge gained, the apprentice will develop stamina, confidence and the ability to perform to industrial standards. The apprentice will be assessed on the ability to perform specified tasks to pre-set standards.

Completion & Certification of Apprenticeship: On successful completion of the apprenticeship the apprentice will be awarded the National Craft Certificate which has both national and international recognition.

Normal Promotional Prospects

Opportunities arise from time to time for promotion to supervisor, chargehand or foreperson level. Many persons use an apprenticeship as a first step in proceeding to such occupations as technicians, instructors, teachers, training advisors, managers and owners of businesses. Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technological and management courses which are available in Colleges of Technology, including Regional Technical Colleges, Schools of Management, Professional Institutes, etc.

Persons anxious to advance themselves in their careers are advised to discover for themselves what opportunities are available.

Where to go for further information

Further information can be obtained from your local FÁS Office.

More detailed information on Apprenticeship, Apprenticeship Training and the Bursary for Women is contained in the brochures A Scheme that Measures Up to Your Needs—Employers, A Scheme that Measures Up to Your Needs—Apprentice Applicants and A Bursary Scheme for Women Apprentices.

Information supplied by FÁS