Providing a pat testing business can be an extremely profitable activity for anyone with an interest in the electrical safety of workplace equipment. It is often a stepping stone for an electrician looking to become self-employed, or for someone with no previous qualifications who wants to create a secondary income from a skill that they can easily learn.

However, it can be a difficult business to break into, as many potential customers will attempt to play PAT testers off against each other in order to win the work at a bargain price. This is not only damaging to the industry, but it can also lead to poor workmanship, as it becomes impossible to do a proper job for the money being offered.

Starting a PAT Testing Business: Tips for Success

A good way to avoid this problem is to target the right type of customer. Rather than trying to take on the large supermarket chains, who will insist that their entire store must be shut down for 20 minutes whilst their equipment is tested, concentrate on smaller companies such as schools, hotels and sole-traders. By doing this, you can ensure that the client understands that the work will require their equipment to be switched off and that any disruption will be kept to a minimum.

A PAT tester is a handheld instrument that allows the user to perform electrical safety tests on portable appliances (often referred to as ‘PAT’ devices). They can test for things such as an appliance’s insulation resistance, earth continuity, and lead polarity, and some can even detect dangerous faults such as cracked casings and frayed cables. Ideally, you should aim to invest in one that has an internal memory that can store test results for later download, but if this is not possible then a basic model will still be perfectly adequate for the majority of customers.