How to become a smart meter installer
Smart meter installer jobs… did you know?
A Smart Meter is a small electronic device which keeps track of how much energy you’re using in your home. It then sends that information to the gas or electricity company who supplies your power, which they use to monitor usage and make sure they bill you the correct amount.
Smart Meters are great for these companies, because they can use them to get more accurate information on exactly what energy is being used when – and charge different prices for different times of day or different seasons. They’re also good for the customer (you!) because they can help you to keep track of your energy use and potentially change your habits to reduce how much you pay. They also mean you’ll only ever pay for what you’ve actually used – no estimated bills, which lots of people have been complaining about in recent years. Finally, they’re great for the environment. One study suggested that having a Smart Meter cuts down the amount of energy a household uses by 3-5% on average.
Smart Meter Installers do exactly what the name suggests: they fit these meters in customers’ homes and workplaces. Smart Meter installation is what is known as a “green collar” job. This means any job that is connected directly to a line of work that helps the environment by managing energy use, waste or pollution. So you’ll know that while you’re earning a living, you’re also taking a positive step for the planet!
Industry: Energy, water and sustainability careers
Smart meter installer job trends
How much money can you make as a smart meter installer?
£13,000 – £30,000 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £13,000 and £30,000 a year as a smart meter installer in the UK.
Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Salaries vary a lot depending on how much experience you have. When you start out, your salary is likely to be around £13,000 – £16,000, especially if you’re being trained on the job. But qualified and experienced Dual Fuel (gas and electric) Smart Meter Installers can earn around £35,000.
What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?
You don’t necessarily need any experience to get started, but if you have got existing skills or training in things like gas or electricity installation, you’ll have an advantage. You can train to become a Smart Meter Installer in several different ways:
School, college and training
A Level 2 Diploma in Gas Installation, Electrical Installation or Dual Fuel Smart Meter Installation is a great way to get started. You’ll need good English skills and number skills, so GCSE English and Maths are important to get a place on the Level 2 course. You can take these as an adult, through a part time or evening course, if you didn’t get the qualifications while you were at school.
An apprenticeship is a scheme where you train while earning a small amount of money (around £250 – £300 a week.) Apprenticeships usually last between a year and 18 months, and anyone aged 16 or over can apply. Sometimes you are guaranteed a job at the end, but even if you’re not, having done an apprenticeship makes you much more attractive to other employers.
Most apprenticeships now will be in Dual Fuel Meter installation, as these are becoming more popular. You’ll usually need some GCSEs, including English and Maths, to be accepted onto an apprenticeship.
You can search for current Apprenticeship options through Find An Apprenticeship.
Degrees and University
You do not need a degree to become a Smart Meter Installer and going to University won’t necessarily help you get into this line of work. If you’ve got a degree and want to retrain or do something different, though, there’s no reason not to!
Once you’ve got plenty of experience, you could move up to be a team leader or manager, in charge of a team of installers. If you’ve got an entrepreneurial streak, you could even set up your own installation business! Working in a manual trade lends itself well to being self-employed, so if you fancy being your own boss that might be where you want to aim!
You can also take more training or higher level qualifications later on, and move into engineering – for example as a gas or electricity engineer with an energy company – or even go into consulting on energy efficiency.
What experience do you need for smart meter installer jobs?
It can help your application if you’ve done any work experience that shows you’re good with your hands. You might have a work experience background in building and construction. Then again, you might be able to put on your CV that you have proven skills in repairing machines and tools.
Examples of relevant work experience include:
- Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
- Work placements in a company
- Work experience placements on a college or university course
Volunteering and extra-curricular activities
Any volunteering will show you’re proactive and help your CV stand out to employers. If you did volunteering to repaint a community centre, plant a community garden or even if you help maintain the family car and garage at the weekend, it will all show employers you have a practical way of going about things!
What skills do you need for smart meter installer jobs?
Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for jobs like this one include:
Knowledge of building and construction. Your training will teach you this, so don’t worry if you’re starting from scratch.
Be good with your hands! You’ll need to learn how to use, repair and maintain all different kinds of tools, so having good manual skills is important.
Maths knowledge, usually at least to GCSE level. If you didn’t get a Maths GCSE at school, look into an evening or short course at your local college.
Good attention to detail. When you’re dealing with things like gas and electricity, a small mistake can be costly or time consuming, or even dangerous. You’ll need to be meticulous!
The ability to think analytically, solve problems and use your initiative. Things can go wrong, and you’ll need to be able to think on your feet to deal with them.
Leadership skills if you want to go into a management position later on.
Be calm and unflappable, including in stressful situations or when something goes wrong. Resilience is about learning from mistakes and hard times. It’s a skill, not a weakness.
Basic IT and digital skills – you’ll need to use email and you might need to use a computer to fill in forms, maintain customer records, and log any sales or maintenance.
Good people skills. You’ll be dealing with customers at their homes or places of business, so you need to be friendly, approachable and give excellent customer service.
A driving licence. This might not be essential in all roles, but your employer is likely to want you to be able to visit clients on site independently, which means being able to drive. In some jobs you’ll use your own vehicle and your company will pay you for the mileage, and in others they will provide you with a vehicle to use for work.
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
What does a smart meter installer do?
You are likely to travel around a lot, visiting clients at their homes or workplaces. You’ll need to be happy to work outdoors in all weathers, and possibly work in cramped conditions sometimes.
Examples of things you might do as a Smart Meter Installer:
- Removing old meters and disposing of them safely
- Fitting a new Smart Meter
- Testing the new Meter to make sure it is working
- Showing the customer how to use and read their Meter
- Doing routine maintenance on Meters, tools and equipment
- Fixing Meters when they break
Your first steps into smart meter installer jobs
Smart meter installer jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:
- Trainee support worker
- Trainee recovery worker
- Trainee support officer
- Apprentice support worker