Like any trades, electricians are often the subject of many common misconceptions. Some of the misconceptions and stereotypes aren’t too kind either, in this post we’ll be looking at 4 of the most common stereotypes about electricians.
Electricians are all male
Like a lot of stereotypical trades, the job of an electrician has long been thought of as very much a “mans job” – however, these stereotypes are being ridiculed and rightly broken down. The majority of tradespeople are men, however there has been a stark rise in the number of women working across all trades in recent times.
Research from Direct Line suggested that there were an estimated 33,000 female tradespeople in 2019, which was a 120% rise from 2009’s figure of 15,000 female tradespeople. The electrical trade in particular saw 8,000 female electricians when compared alongside the 230,000 male electricians in 2019. This meant that roughly as little as just 3% of all electricians were female. There clearly is still a significant gender gap in this specific trade, however the overall situation is improving, and there are steps being made in relation to creating more avenues into the industry and meeting the goal to diversify the trade further. Some of the more clear steps involve college courses as well as apprenticeships.
Electricians aren’t academically educated
The route to becoming an electrician doesn’t necessarily require a university education and that is likely why there is a stereotype that electricians aren’t academic. However, there is plenty of electricians that are taking the educational route more and more. Even electricians that aren’t university educated will require a diploma that takes at least 3 years to achieve. This involving at least 1 day a week of college and at least 3-4 days of work in a practical labour role.
Electrical work is extremely dangerous
Naturally most electrical work will come with some sort of danger, as electricity will always have potential to cause serious harm to those who come into contact with it. Therefore, there are definitely risks that come along with being in this trade. However, it is important to note that as long as Health & Safety procedures are taken into consideration and they are followed correctly, many of the threats posed will be neutralised and or significantly reduced. To ensure that this happens and that others as well as the electricians themselves are protected, electricians will always be required to take part in thorough electrical safety training.
The threats to an electricians safety aren’t always exclusively electrical though, some of the most common dangers and injuries are caused by nothing related to electricity. Threats instead coming more in the form of trips over obstacles, back injury from lifting and carrying, as well as falling from height. With this in mind, it is crucial that electricians also take some time to identify and understand all of the potential threats that they will be exposed to on the job.
Also, important to note are the extra safety considerations that all trades have had to adopt into their Health & Safety practises as a result of the world wide pandemic and the implications it has had. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, electrician’s and other tradespeople must now ensure that they are wearing the appropriate PPE and maintaining safe social distances.
Electricians cannot be colour-blind
This thought would have definitely had some truth to it in the past. However, in today’s modern day climate this is not necessarily true. Up until the 1970/80's, single phase electrical wires were always coloured red (live), black (neutral) and green (earth). With this in mind, the most common form of colour blindness being with the red and green comparison, with people often misinterpreting the two for one another. It is easy to understand how difficult electricians would have found their trade.
To avoid this complication, since the 1970/80's the earth wire has been made multi coloured with green and yellow combination. From the 2000's, the live wire was made brown and the neutral wire, blue. These changes have made a significant impact on the electrician’s experience, making it much less of an issue for them. It is important to note, that despite these changes, when applying to become an apprentice you will need to undergo a colour blindness test. This will not apply for those that are funding their own training and or training as a domestic installer too.
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