An electrician is a tradesman specializing in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment.
Where to study Electrical Technician In South Africa?
You will need to have good results in maths and science to start your electrician diploma. If you haven’t achieved amazing results, you can go to:
College SA – they provide a bridging course along with levels N1, N2, and N3 training.
Intec College – they offer N1, N2, and N3 Electrician courses
You can attend TVET college and gain an electrician diploma:
South West Gauteng Technical and Vocational Education and Training College
The Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology
The College of Cape Town
You can study at any one of South Africa’s leading universities:
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Pretoria
University of Johannesburg
University of Cape Town
What subjects are needed for an electrician?
Some programs require specific high school coursework, typically at least one year of algebra. Other programs have no specific requirements but suggest classes that give apprentices foundational knowledge that is useful to electricians. Such classes include math, physics, mechanical drawing, and industrial arts.
For electrician requirements in South Africa, Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended:
• Physical Sciences
• Information Technology
• Electrical Technology
How do I become an electrician in South Africa?
To become an Electrician you’re required to complete a traineeship or apprenticeship, then apply for an electrical license to work unsupervised.
What Are The Duties Of An Electrician?
Electricians install, connect, test and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including lighting, climate control, security, communications and electronic controls for machines. They work in homes, businesses, factories, sports stadiums, skyscrapers, and power stations. When installing electrical systems, electricians work with blueprints, which indicate where circuit boards, power outlets, and load centers need to be placed.
Their tasks can range from transporting data along with fiber-optic cables to programming computer-controlled ‘intelligent’ buildings and factories. They can also work with renewable technology, such as wind turbines or photovoltaic systems that turn the sun’s energy into electricity. Depending on the electrician’s area of specialization, tasks might include:
- reviewing current systems
- installing power systems, lighting, fire protection, security, and data-network systems
- checking systems regularly to make sure that they are working efficiently and safely
- building and installing control panels that operate the electrical systems inside buildings
- repairing and maintaining electrical motors and other machinery like transformers
- installing and maintaining street lighting and traffic management systems.
Electrician Assesment In South Africa
Now you need an EWSETA accredited assessor to assess you
A registered assessor will determine whether or not you are able to do the job. They will ask you to perform specific tasks and prove that you can correctly evaluate a CoC (certificate of compliance) against an existing electrical installation. This is incredibly important as only a qualified, registered electrician is able to issue a CoC and the assessor’s job is to ensure that you know what you are doing.
If EWSETA is happy with your work and you’ve passed all the relevant tests, then they will issue you with a letter that you will need to submit to the DOL as part of your application for a Wireman’s License.
According to the Department of Labour, your educational requirements need to be relevant across whichever registration you are applying for.
Know what the registrations are and how these affect your application
An electrician can register across three specific categories, each one allowing for them to work on different phases of installation with regards to electricity.
Phase 01: A single-phase electrician who usually works on homes and electrical supplies of 220 volts. This is the most relevant one if you want to install prepaid meters.
Phase 02: Installation electrician who can handle both single and three-phase installations, but isn’t qualified for specialized installations
Phase 03: A master installation electrician who specializes in hazardous locations and specialized electrical installations.
Once you have received your ESETA Letter and achieved your qualifications, you can now submit your application for your Wireman’s License to the DOL. You can find the form right here, and a list of contacts to chat to if you need help right here.
You will need to follow the following steps to get DOL’s attention:
- Have a trade qualification that includes electrician, electrical engineering, construction electrician, and other diplomas, degrees or qualifications that focus on the role of the electrician (Chemical, construction, mechanical et al).
- Pass the trade test, have an NQF Level 3 minimum with a Technical Senior Certificate and pass the Installation Rules Paper 1 and Paper 2 which can be written at a FET or TVET college.
- Documentation and certified proof of the qualification.
In our next piece, we will talk about the difference between the wireman’s license and registration with the DOL as an electrical contractor.
Be prepared to wait and use this time to keep learning and building your career
The following organizations are committed to providing you with support and insight into your DOL:
1. The Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (ECA)
The ECA helps people to prepare what they need to get their DOL and they offer ongoing training courses to help you expand your skills.
2. The Department of Labour (DOL)
There’s an array of supporting documents on the Department of Labour’s website designed to help you learn more about your registration and the paperwork required. However, this can be out of date with the paperwork asking for one thing, but the person behind the desk asking for another. In our next article we will go into more detail around the exact route you need to take for your DOL, starting with your wireman’s license. If you are stuck, take a look through this list of contacts to see if you can get hold of someone in your area.
3. Forums and publications
There are numerous publications and forums that often provide insight into the challenges of being an electrical contractor and getting registration right. Consider reading through ESI Africa, the ECA publication Wired, and Sparks Electrical News.
4. The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers
You can find support and training insights on this site dedicated to this rewarding career.