Geeta Patel trained to become a Smart Meter Installer with SSE. Here she tells us about her experience.What did you do before becoming a SMI at SSE? Can you briefly describe your transition from your previous experience to become a SMI?
I was a self employed plumber and gas engineer for 8 years before becoming a smart meter installer. When I saw smart meters being advertised on TV I thought it would be the ideal career change as it is the same field and I thought it would be a good experience. People often think it's a man's job but I can honestly say if they can do it, why can't we. Yes, there are times when you get the funny looks but my advice would be hold your head high and be proud of what you do.
How did you find the training for the SMI role?
The training SSE provide is brilliant. From the trainers to the training centres, there are always people around to help. Being from a gas background I thought the electric training would be challenging for me, but it wasn't; the trainers were excellent and the facilities were great.
What is it like to be a SMI at SSE?
Being a smart meter installer you meet people from all walks of life and you feel you're really making a difference. Some customers are surprised to meet a female engineer, but that's a good ice breaker. When joining a new company we all question whether we are right for the job and the answer is yes. Female or male, as long as you have the talent, a positive attitude and good customer service skills, why not.
What does your typical working day look like?
I greet the customer and warn them the power will be off for a short time while I carry out the relevant safety checks then exchange the meters. Once everything is installed we can go into more detail on how the smart energy tracker works. I take a lot of pride in what I do.
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most and what the least?
I love meeting people and talking about the great ways in which this new technology can benefit them.
Would you recommend this role to a female friend/family member?
I would recommend this job to a female family member or friend, or anyone else looking to become a Smart Meter Installer.