CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 15, 2014
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How to Become an Electrical PAT Tester

Electrical PAT Tester

PAT testing is a crucial part of an individual or a company’s responsibility to health and safety. It is concerned with the routine testing and inspection of portable appliances for conformity to the set standards and safe conditions for continuous use. Electrical PAT testers perform these tests to prevent users from harm. This career is ideal for individuals who are able to pay close attention to details.

What Do Electrical PAT Testers Do?

Depending on the environment and the type of appliances, electrical PAT testers perform tests at various regular intervals. Their other duties include but are not limited to:

  • Checking cables for suitability, signs of damage and correct anchorage
  • Checking appliances for burn marks, discoloration and overheating
  • Removing plug tops on rewireable plugs to inspect their connections, wiring, cord grip and fuse rating
  • Testing polarity on appliances’ cord sets
  • Performing functional testing on appliances to make sure that the appliance works properly
  • Performing load testing on appliances to find the elements that are open circuit

Salary

Earnings for electrical PAT testers depend on the number of appliances tested, their employer and the location. However, with proper awareness, these professionals are able to make a generous earning. Below is the summary of the average annual earnings of electrical PAT testers according to their level of service:

Low

£ 21,000

Average

£ 25.703

High

£ 31,965

Source: Total Jobs

Skills

To carry out their trade well, electrical PAT testers are required to have the following skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of electricity
  • Capability to tell whether it is safe enough to continue with various electrical activities
  • Have a proper understanding of the hazards that may come up and the necessary precautions to be taken
  • Have an adequate understanding of the system that is being worked on as well as practical experience of the class of the particular system
  • Have sufficient experience in the field of electricity and electrical work

Qualifications

Typically, there are no set qualifications for individuals undertaking electrical PAT testing. However, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 simply demand that electrical appliance testing and inspection must be performed by a competent person. Usually, a large number of managers expect electrical PAT testers to secure City and Guilds Qualifications (2377) as a show of competency. To demonstrate competency, you need to:

  • Be certified
  • Undertake a practical demonstration of electrical basic skills
  • Pass an exam

Therefore, PAT testers do not necessarily need to be electricians, have a background in the electrical field or pursue an electrical training course. Additionally, you need to have a copy of the Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment as well as the City and Guilds 2377 Exam book for reference. Individuals who take career progression programs are open to more career opportunities as well as better earnings.

Career Prospects

There are many job opportunities in PAT testing since the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that equipment need to be maintained to prevent danger. Generally, most clients prefer their appliances to be tested annually, which is a plus to electrical PAT testers.

Investing in PAT testing equipment is a good way to go since it makes your work easier, manageable and enjoyable. Prices for these equipment ranges from £300 to over £1,000 with various capabilities. The choice of your equipment depends on the PAT testing activities you want to carry out. This career is ideal for individuals who enjoy working for various clients since it involves a lot of traveling and has a fairly flexible schedule especially for self employed electrical PAT testers. 

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