Vital statistics

Name: Donna Lister

Company: ATB Electrical

Location: South London

Why did you become an electrician?

I worked in an office for years, and wanted a complete change. I was always interested in Physics at school, so decided to retrain as an electrician.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Being self-employed is brilliant, but when it comes to the actual work I like the combination of manual labour and having to use my brain. Compared to office work it is also really satisfying to actually see what you’ve done in a day, rather than feeling like you’ve just shuffled some paper around.

What’s the most interesting job you’ve worked on?

Every job is interesting, because they’re all different. I really fault finding (especially where a previous tradesperson has made a mistake). Another project I always like working on is garden lighting. It can seem like such a simple job, but getting it right is much more complicated than it looks.

What are the biggest challenges you face day to day?

Keeping the customer happy!

What technology still causes a headache?

LED still has a long way to go – especially when it comes to compatibility. Dimming LED is often much more complicated than it needs to be, particularly when you just want to install one extra control point on a circuit, or retrofit a circuit to LED. Other than LED, wireless has its challenges, but again it’s a new technology and it will improve in time. As an electrician, it’s better to get to terms with technology as it happens and be ahead of the curve, rather than behind the times.