How to become a smart meter installer (with job FAQs)
Updated 25 May 2023
Smart meters give customers the ability to monitor and adjust their energy use in real-time, allowing them to save money by restricting the amount of electricity they use. Smart meters also help utility companies to monitor power grids so they can make repairs as needed, reducing outage times and improving reliability. If you're interested in working with smart meters, knowing how to get a job as a smart meter installer can be useful. In this article, we look at what a smart meter installer is, explain how to become a smart meter installer and list relevant jobs.
What is a smart meter installer?
Smart meter installers are professionals responsible for installing electronic devices that can communicate information about power or gas usage between homes and utility companies. They're also responsible for setting up the systems that allow customers to monitor their own power usage and manage their accounts online. The installation process typically involves connecting a smart meter to the customer's electrical or gas system and then connecting the meter's data wirelessly to a central server where it's accessible to utility companies. The installer ensures this process works properly. They also test the systems to ensure that they meet safety standards.
Related: How to become an electrician
How to become a smart meter installer
Here are the steps involved in becoming a smart meter installer:
1. Complete training on how to instal smart meters
Training is necessary to become a smart meter installer. Such courses give aspirants the opportunity to learn how to use the standard equipment, the procedure for the correct setup and the qualifications to perform checks. These courses also cover the safety precautions to take when installing smart meters and working with gas and electricity. This knowledge is essential because it helps you learn how to protect both yourself and your customers when working on these projects.
There are several options for courses that teach smart meter installation, such as a level 2 diploma in gas installation, a level 2 diploma in electrical installation or a T level in building services engineering for construction. Another option would be to complete an apprenticeship as a dual fuel meter installer or to apply for trainee positions at electricity and gas companies. College courses, apprenticeships and trainee employers typically require between two and five GCSEs, including maths and English.
2. Practise installing smart meters on a dummy circuit box
Practising on a dummy circuit box is an example of how a smart meter installer in training can become familiar with installing a smart meter. By doing this in their own time, they can become well-acquainted with the technology involved at their own pace. The more familiar the installer is with the fitting process, the more likely it is that they can complete this task successfully when installing smart meters in customer homes.
3. Acquire smart meter certifications (optional)
Following training, you have the advanced option to sit the relevant smart meter electrician exam and become certified. This is because certain bodies want to ensure that you understand the job and how to be successful in this field. Certification can help in both confidence and career development, as it helps smart meter installers to stand out to recruiters when applying for jobs.
It shows they have the skills necessary to perform smart meter fittings accurately. Certification can also help customers to feel more comfortable letting fitters work in their homes. The certification process often occurs jointly through an employer and a training provider.
4. Study the latest smart meter technology and its applications
It's beneficial for qualified smart meter installers to study the latest smart meter technology and its applications. This is so that they can stay up to date on any updates in the field. For example, by studying the latest smart meter technology, you may discover that there are new methods or approaches that are more efficient to use. You can then include them in your service offerings, which gives you a competitive advantage over other installers who don't know about these updates.
It's also helpful for candidates to read up on any recent developments before they sit for an interview. This is because such knowledge allows them to showcase their proactivity to recruiters, meaning that they immediately stand out from other candidates. It also shows employers they're interviewing a dedicated, motivated individual who wants to learn more about their profession and seek new ways to improve their skill set. This can improve a candidate's chances of successfully getting the job.
Jobs related to smart meter installation
Here are some examples of similar jobs which involve installing smart meters or using them:
National average salary: £28,903 per year
Primary duties: A maintenance technician's job may involve installing smart meters, checking that they're working or repairing them. This is because their primary responsibility is to ensure that the building they're working in is in good condition and safe for people to use. They do this by cleaning, repairing and maintaining equipment. This can include anything from servicing smart meters to fixing a broken light fixture. A maintenance technician also helps when there's an emergency. A maintenance technician's job can be dangerous because they're often working with heavy machinery, hazardous materials such as chemicals, and electricity.
National average salary: £30,881 per year
Primary duties: A dual fuel meter installer is the person who installs, maintains and repairs gas and electricity meters. This means that they're responsible for installing the meters and sending the readings to your utility company. They also instal new meters, including smart meters, for both gas and electric appliances. They do this by connecting the devices together so that they can read both types of meters at once. The difference between a smart meter installer and a dual fuel meter installer is that the former specialises in installing smart meters, whereas the latter can instal other types.
National average salary: £30,275 per year
Primary duties: An energy consultant might recommend installing smart meters because they can help customers save money on their utility bills. This is because smart meters can automatically track and report on the amount of electricity or natural gas your home uses so that customers always know how much they're spending. This is helpful when creating a budget, for example.
Energy consultants may also recommend installing smart meters as they allow customers to compare their usage against publicly available data from other homes in their area, which is another way of helping them identify ways to reduce their usage and save money. The role of energy consultant is a career progression option for smart meter installers.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about smart meter installers and their answers:
How much do smart meter installers earn?
Salaries for a smart meter installer largely depend on their skills, qualifications, experience, and additional certifications. It may also vary based on whether the employer is a public or private entity. The national average salary for a smart meter installer is £32,928 per year. The national average salary for a senior installer is £36,666 per year. This reflects a typically 40-hour work week, though sometimes as a smart meter installer you may work on weekends.
What skills do smart meter installers require?
The primary skills of a smart meter installer are the ability to remove old meters and instal smart ones. This could be in a customer's home, a commercial building, industrial site or anywhere else with access to electricity and gas. They also benefit from having certain soft skills, like customer service, communication, critical thinking, patience and problem-solving. Manual dexterity and knowledge of mathematics are also key abilities in this role.
Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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