"The smart meter rollout has created thousands of job opportunities for existing tradespeople who want to skill up in this area but also for new entrants looking for a change in career."
Under a government initiative to ensure the UK becomes more energy efficient, around 53 million smart meters, which monitor both gas and electricity usage, are to be fitted in over 30 million homes and businesses in the UK by 2020.
The project needs around 11,000 qualified engineers to fit the meters but a significant skills gap in the sector has resulted in a shortfall, with leading trade course provider ECTA Training estimating that up to 6,500 smart meter engineer jobs are still available.
Becoming a smart meter engineer has few pre-requisites and previous industry experience is not needed to undertake the training needed to qualify, making it a viable option for those looking for a new job or a career change.
Qualified smart meter installers can expect to earn between £16k and £40k per year and even be supplied with a van to get to jobs. Many employers also offer attractive pension and Sharesave schemes, with some also offering to refund training fees.
Once qualified, the basic role of a smart meter engineer will be to safely remove existing energy meters and to install and test smart meters. Engineers will also need to educate the property owners on how the smart meter works and how to use it effectively.
Dave Berry, director at ECTA Training, said: “The smart meter rollout has created thousands of job opportunities for existing tradespeople who want to skill up in this area but also for new entrants looking for a change in career.
“But a lack of communication around the benefits of this job, and investment into the training of new smart meter engineers, has resulted in a shortage.
“Given the scale of the demand for engineers, starting packages tend to be generous and the career offers increasing job security as the skills are highly transferable within the utilities industry. However, more needs to be done to encourage people and businesses to invest in smart meter training courses if the government is to hit its ambitious 2020 targets.”
For more information on the smart meter rollout and the courses ECTA Training provides, please visit http://www.ectatraining.co.uk/