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Pat Testing - Is It Still A Viable Business In The Uk?
Over the last 10 years an entire industry has sprung up in the UK, and many thousands of engineers earn their living going to customer's premises to test their equipment.
Recently, however, the market has shrunk - partly due to the number of businesses closing down due to the recession, and because those businesses which have survived so far are drastically cutting their costs. A large number of people are going into the industry as they see PAT testing as a way to make some quick money.
10 years ago it was possible to set up in doing PAT testing, and soon you would find yourself with a big order book filled with lucrative work.
The good news is that, despite all the negativity about the economy and the state of global business, there is still a growth in the industry. Every day, new companies start up, and companies which previously haven't bothered to have their equipment tested realise they need to get it done.
Thankfully, there are still lots of customers out there who do need their equipment PAT tested.
I would certainly not advise anybody to attempt to break into the large multi-site contract work (big name retailers, big industrial clients etc) because this is just too competitive at the moment. However, there are still plenty of small and medium companies (SME's) who need PAT testing carrying out, and who are still prepared to pay a realistic amount to have it completed properly. These include Hairdressers, Web Designers, Joiners, Builders, Carpenters, Accountants, Coffee Shops, Restaurants and Hotels, amongst many others. The old adage still stands - if it's got a plug on, it needs testing! Thankfully, there is still a good living to be made, providing the PAT testing engineer is prepared to work hard.
There are many PAT testing courses available - the most popular are one-day courses run by specialist companies. Some colleges offer training courses, and you can also get home-study packs.
In order to carry out PAT testing work you will need some equipment, but this is easy to get hold of, and PAT testers start at approx £200 + VAT.
Tim James runs PAT Testing Expert Ltd, and organisation dedicated to providing support to people working in the PAT testing industry. He has been working in the field of PAT testing for over 20 years.