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In the first part of our series we looked at all the steps you would have to go through to become a professional, registered electrician. The second part took you through what you needed to do to get your Wireman’s License from the Department of Labour. In this, our third and final part of the series, we take a look at how you can leverage your Wireman’s License to register as an electrical contractor with the DOL and really kickstart your career.

With your DOL registration you will be able to do electrical installation work, either working for a company that you like, or you can even start your own business. It opens doors and opportunities, and it is a very valuable certification in a market that’s desperate for qualified, skilled electricians. 

To get your DOL certification you will need to have the following:

  1.       The relevant trade qualification or degree
  2.       Your Wireman’s License or employ someone with a Wireman’s License
  3.       Pass the trade test
  4.       NQF Level 3 minimum with a Technical Senior Certificate
  5.       passed the SANS 10142-1 national exams – the Installation Rules exams

In our second blog post we go through all the education institutions that offer electrician or electrical engineering training. If you are starting at the beginning of the journey, read our blog to find out more about the training and the costs in your location. The same post goes into great detail around what steps you should take to receive your Wireman’s License so you can move towards getting your DOL and the steps outlined below.

It is worth noting that, if you wish to start your own electrical contractor company, you do not need to have your own Wireman’s License.

What you DO need is someone with this license. You will need their registration card as part of the DOL application process to offer services as an electrical contractor. This doesn’t mean that you can now start doing electrical tasks – you have to be qualified – but you can start a business.

Passing the trade tests, the NQF Level 3 examinations and the SANS 10142-1 national exams are all done through accredited organisations and these qualifications are affirmed by an ESETA assessor as part of getting your Wireman’s License. That step is one of the most demanding and will take up most of your time – up to five years in some cases. 

Now it is time to submit your application to the Department of Labour (DOL).

You can find the DOL application form right here. Fill it in, submit all the paperwork, and pay your application fee using the correct account reference information. Currently, this is R120 for one year, but you may apply for up to three years. There can be significant delays at the DOL and you want to ensure your contractors registration remains valid.

The paperwork you need to submit includes:

  • A certified copy of your qualification
  • ESETA letter proving your completion of the unit standards and their certification
  • Two copies of your ID, certified
  • The completed application form from the DOL
  • Proof of payment to the DOL for the three- or one-year certification
  • Proof of Installation Rules pass and certification
  • Two certified copies of your Wireman’s License
  • Refer to EIR Annexe 3 for a comprehensive breakdown

 

This step can take 24 hours or several weeks, but once it is completed you will be a registered electrical contractor

You can visit the following organisations to invest into further professional development, to get insights into the process, network with fellow electricians and expand your skills. 

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. You can find a complete list of the most recent COC courses on offer from ECA here and you can find out more about the support that the organisation offers right here. The ECA also offers assistance and training when registering as a contractor or a wireman. 

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. 

In our next piece, we will talk about the difference between the wireman’s license and registration with the DOL and what this means for your future. 

5. The Renkalec Training Centre
This website offers a neat and informative description of the phases that an electrician can register for during their Wireman’s License application.