Electrician career path

Hi there, I am a nearly fully qualified electrician to 18th edition with level 3 NVQ 2357. As I approach completion I am now wondering what to do next as I would quite like to progress further as I did quite well in college and feel I am capable. My question is basically what would be a good route to take: 2391 followed by the 2396 design course, or is the building services (electrotechnical) HNC a good option? Any advice would be massively appreciated, thanks

  • Jack, I think I replied to your query, (or one with the same query on FB). 2391 is very good, and is a must do. I disagree with Lyle about that, I think you should do 2391 as soon as you get a chance, then you will have a far better understanding of inspection and testing, and note, it isnt testing, it is I&T, and the smaller part is the testing in my opinion. A good working knowledge of installations may help, and, I think what Lyle means, for example,you may not have come across 3 phase DBs with fuses and pyro cabling, so a practical knowledge of many types of installations, especially older ones, may help during the course, and younger people may be at a disadvantage as they havent been taught about the installations from the 60's/ 70's and 80's.

    2396, I found that very time consuming, and the exam was far harder than expected. I've also remembered, I think a lot of prior knowledge comes in handy with 2396, and as a youngster in the trade, there will be some things that you are not aware of, so I do agree with Lyle on that point, even though the 2396 exam was open book, I think it was the experience of many years of site work that got me through the exam, rather than having the books at my side.

  • . I disagree with Lyle about that, I think you should do 2391 as soon as you get a chance

    Bear in mind that you have to be very slick in the practical exam or else you run the risk of running out of time. 

  • I think that Lyle might be hinting at that some of the things you see are "Oh heck what? I didn`t think anybody would do that"  or " Wow that`s different, is it correct though?" or " Blimey I`d never thought of that one" or a mix of such, some of which you have got to see to believe , some good, some bad and some downright daft in the extreme. You tend to , sometimes, get something like a sixth sense but actually it`s not, it`s experienc. Eventually not that much actually surprises you anymore.

  • Don't forget that the first bit of 2391 (2394 as was) is initial verification, so the practical installation is properly done. For me, 2395 was the same installation, but there was a bank of switches which allowed the assessors to introduce a couple of non-compliances. IIRC, some bar steward had inserted a resistor into the ring.

    The photographs bit was fun.

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