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Topic Title: Freelance electrical design
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Created On: 08 July 2014 01:23 PM
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 08 July 2014 01:23 PM
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Avatar for spud28.
spud28

Posts: 95
Joined: 01 November 2006

What do you need apart from the expected competence, to carry out electrical design for others. Ive got all the quals and experience to do the work but dont get that much chance to do use my skills anymore in my day job. Was wondering about insurances and liability etc.

Cheers
 08 July 2014 06:58 PM
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Zs

Posts: 2983
Joined: 20 July 2006

Hello Spud,

Clients who use design services will normally ask you for a certain amount of Professional Indemnity insurance in accordance with their policy. But yes, you need PI and PL.

What have you got already Spud? At what level?

From one who knows, it is a hell of a career change and it is a tough one. Very intense and the software you need to prove a license for the use of is wrenchingly expensive. So much more than a 2396, believe me. That is a misnomer and as hard as it was, that was just an exam about adiabatic equations and not even the half of it. A completely different world. My first job...well, I nearly climbed out of the toilet window and ran away. Such was the sudden awareness of my level of incompetence. But the toilet did not have a window so I had to stay.

I still like my days on the tools and I sometimes wonder what got into me. It was the desire to stay in this industry as I grow too old for pulling cable in truth. And to wear nice shoes to work sometimes. But then I discovered that engineers aren't really very well dressed and was quick to revert to the old favourites. However, they do all look at your shoes when they are talking to you, so maybe not a bad call to buy those Ugg wedges?

There are agencies for us geeks though Spud. That is where I would start, and indeed that was where I did start.

this is what you need:


Mentor
PL
PI
Amtech
Auto Cad
Relux
Hevacomp
And soon, Revit.
Text books that you actually read
Google
This forum
Shoes
Instinct

A word to the wise though. I do not have a husband/wife or children. I could not do this job if either of the above were the case. 18/7 and only 18 because I insist upon getting enough sleep and playing a guitar.

Does that help?

Zs
 08 July 2014 07:18 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19759
Joined: 23 March 2004

What do you need apart from the expected competence, to carry out electrical design for others.


An aptitude for mind reading would be a big bonus - I've just come out of a design presentation, which, whilst well received, has now finally started to get the client engaged and in a position to at least tell me what they don't want - it'll take a while yet before they can tell me what they do want - I give them something, they say no, I modify it, they say no again, I change it again, they say maybe, I give them the first design re badged with a new title block and they say fantastic - just what we wanted, thanks for responding so clearly to the brief

Iteration rather than changing your mind !!

And Zs is spot on regarding shoes - you can tell the extrovert engineers as they are looking at your shoes when mumbling, rather than thier own shoes

Get plenty of PII - design failures can be brutally expensive when a contractor is pricing them

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 10 July 2014 08:14 AM
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spud28

Posts: 95
Joined: 01 November 2006

Thanks for the replies, sorry im a little late responding....
Basically, i currently legally do a bit of house bashing to top up my 9-5 wages. Legally as in a small fortune paid to a provider, insurance, tax etc.
My registration ends in august and i wont be renewing as tbh its not worth it for the amount of jobs i get through.
So..., i have been thinking that as i hold 2391, 2396, and am pretty good at CAD and Amtech - that my time maybe better spent carrying out small designs for local electrical contractors, developers etc.

Looking at the replies, I think its something that I will definately look into.
I understand that it will be a steep learning curve but I hope that in the long run it will make me a better engineer.
Zs - what agencies? Do you mean recruitment type agencies??

Thanks Again
 10 July 2014 08:27 AM
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IanLloyd

Posts: 63
Joined: 17 April 2002

Might even be worth a visit to your bank as some of them have lots of help and info. on starting up a small business.
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