Over the past three blog posts we have talked you through the steps, the hurdles and the paperwork that you need to complete in order to become a professional registered electrician. Achieving this qualification takes determination and focus but, for those who make it to the end, there is a rewarding and interesting career lying ahead.
In our first post we examined the entire process from tip to toe so if you are thinking about becoming an electrical contractor, then that’s the first place to start. In that post we give you an overview of the process you have to follow. In our second post we take you through the process of getting your wireman’s license. This is a fairly stringent process as this license allows you to test and inspect electrical installations and you need to have been competently trained to do this safely. You can only get your electrical contractor registration if you have a wireman’s license, so this is a non-negotiable step along the way.
Finally, in our third post we talk you through what you need to do to get your electrical contractor registration with the Department of Labour (DOL). You will need to have ticked all the boxes we covered in steps 01 and 02 to get this done and dusted.
Once your DOL is in your hands and you’re registered as an electrical contractor, a part of you may be wondering what happens next… It’s been a long journey and you have done your time, now it’s your chance to shine. There are quite a few choices available to you once you open that envelope and take out your DOL. You can work for someone else and get some hours under your belt, building a reputation and some on-the-job skills, or you can take your talent and build your own business.
The choice is yours
For those of you who have a more entrepreneurial mindset there are plenty of resources to help you get started. Your first port of call is to read our series of posts designed to talk you through starting and running your own successful electrical business. You can also visit the government website dedicated to providing people with help and support as they start their own businesses. Here you will be provided with links to funding opportunities, business registration pages, and small business support information. You may feel a bit like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole at first so take lots of notes as you move through the pages and you’ll soon get a handle on what you need to do.
Another great resource for budding entrepreneurs is ECA. This is the Electrical Contractors Association South Africa (ECA(SA)) and it provides you with a wealth of resources designed to help you get the most out of your qualification and career. You can use the site as a portal to networking with other people in the industry, a great way to get work or build relationships, to continually advance your skillsets with ongoing training, and to find out about upcoming tenders or opportunities. Perhaps, even more importantly, ECA will help you with some legal issues and contractual services which is immensely useful if you’re worried about a particular contract or term of employment.
Other bodies that are relevant to you are:
- The Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industries (NBCEI) – you should definitely be a member of this organisation if you have employees or if you are an employee. You need to be registered with them to pay for essential items such as pension, sick benefits and more. The agents used by the NBCEI are allowed to enter your premises unannounced in order to investigate complaints, conduct routine investigations and to register new organisations. There is a registration fee of R1, 000 and you have to complete a fairly lengthy form to get started.
- Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECBSA) – if you register with the ECB you gain access to a variety of services and support elements. For example, you can download Certificates of Compliance (CoCs) from their site, list yourself as a contractor, and source up-to-date advice and legal insights. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register. You don’t have to join this organisation, registration is voluntary.
- Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) – here you will find a wealth of insight, news and advice from experts in the industry. The CIDB also offers you the chance to find employment opportunities and upcoming tenders.
With these associations behind you and your future ahead of you, it is time for you to enjoy your career as an electrical contractor. There is so much you can do with your qualification and skills and now that you’ve ticked all the boxes and joined all the associations, you have the support you need to do it brilliantly. In fact, you can now become one of Citiq Prepaid’s trusted electrical contractors and join our thriving loyalty program, the Citiq Installation Club (CIC).
For more information on how to buy and install our quality prepaid meter products visit our website right here. You can join the CIC at the same time and find out exactly how we reward you for being a part of our family.