November 30, 2023

Career change? Consider these 2 roles in the energy sector

Career switch to Smart Meter Installer or Domestic Electrical Installer!

Career change? Consider these 2 roles in the energy sector

If you're fancying a career change with no particular path in mind, it can be really tough to decide your next move.

You probably want a job that gives you more freedom and job satisfaction. Or maybe your new role needs to fit better around your parental responsibilities than your current day job?

Whatever the reason, ultimately you want to change career paths to build a better life whilst being paid the same, or better, for the work you do.

The great news is that the energy sector is always looking for new talent! There's currently a huge shortage of installers thanks to the UK's ambitious targets surrounding smart metering and green energy.

So, with all that in mind, here are two roles you should definitely consider for a successful career change. Plus, how you can start exploring these options straight away!

changing careers to electrical - electric energy over a rooftop

Career change potential #1: Smart meter installer

What's the role?

A smart meter installer is someone who installs, commissions, decommissions and maintains smart meters. Smart meters are digital devices that send the energy usage data of a property directly to the energy supplier, allowing for more accurate readings than traditional meters.

They're used in all kinds of properties across the UK and around 55% of all UK meters are now smart meters.

Is there a demand for installers?

The smart meter timeline has been a slow burner but the Government is now aiming for 80% of homes and 73% of small businesses in England, Scotland and Wales to have a smart meter by the end of 2025.

This is going to require the help of thousands of smart meter installers that the UK simply doesn't have right now. 

Retraining as a smart meter installer means you're in constant demand by some of the UK's largest energy providers like Ovo energy, EDF Energy and British Gas.

changing careers to electrical installation

How much money does a smart meter installer make?

According to Talent.com: the average smart meter installer salary in the UK is £32,537 per year or £16.69 per hour. Entry level positions start at £28,793 per year while most experienced workers make up to £40,816 per year.

You can expect to earn a decent wage within just 6 months of qualifying, with higher earnings achievable as you gain experience.

How can I qualify as a smart meter installer?

To become a smart meter installer, you'll most likely complete a smart metering apprenticeship. This ensures you have both the theory and practical knowledge required to make your career change a success.

As with most apprenticeships, your time is split between your employer for whom you are an apprentice, and your formal training. You'll be trained in both gas and power, safe working practices, and softer skills like communication and adapting to different environments.

Becoming qualified with a dedicated energy sector training provider like Universal Skills Group, who have strong industry connections to the companies in need of new installers, is also a huge advantage. This gives you access to working with some of the biggest names in energy, right from the start.

How long does it take to qualify?

With our Dual Fuel smart metering apprenticeship, it takes approximately 13 months for you to become fully qualified. After mastering the essential practical skills you'll need, at our Wakefield training centre, you'll be on the road and learning 'on the job' within 8 weeks.

Career progression: what's the career path of a smart meter installer?

As your experience and confidence grows, you might choose to become a team leader to help other installers. Or perhaps move into gas or electrical engineering roles (usually by taking some additional qualifications).

career change to domestic installer

Career change potential #2: Domestic installer

What's the role?

A domestic installer is someone who carries out electrical installations in domestic properties i.e. people's homes. This can be anything from lighting and smoke alarms to underfloor heating systems, electric showers and electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

Is there a demand for installers?

Yes! Whilst domestic installers are not technically electricians (which is a much longer qualification process) they are needed by many companies and individuals wanting to carry out domestic electrical work.

For example, Rated People found that 49% of electrician businesses experienced a shortage in the workforce in 2022.

So, in short, there simply aren't enough electrically skilled tradespeople to meet demand in the UK right now. Domestic installers are in high demand!

How much money does a domestic installer make?

You can expect to earn up to £40,000 a year as a domestic installer, with a higher salary possible as you gain more experience, move up in a company or become self-employed.

career changes to domestic installer

How can I qualify as a domestic installer?

Typically, you'll want to go through an accredited training provider to complete your domestic installer course and obtain an industry qualification, allowing you to work within a company or as a sole trader.

Our domestic installer course covers all the theory and practical skill set you'll need on the job. This includes 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations, how to install, test and ensure compliance of electrical installations, EV charge point installation and lots of support from our experienced tutors.

How long does it take to qualify?

You’ll complete 6 weeks of initial training, then it takes approximately 2 years to become fully qualified and join a Competent Person Scheme. 

Becoming a domestic installer is a fairly quick turnaround for anyone wanting to get their foot in the door of the electrical industry, especially when compared to a traditional electrician apprenticeship, which takes around 4 years to complete. 

Career progression: what's the career path of a domestic installer?

Upon successful completion of your training and assessments, you'll have the necessary skills and qualifications to join a variety of different companies or become self-employed.

After 2 years of qualifying you'd be eligible to apply for a competent person scheme (CPS).

And after 5 years of experience and continued development you may choose to get your Experienced Worker, which opens even more doors for your working opportunities.

plant shoots to signify fresh starts and making a career change

Am I too old to retrain or become an apprentice?

We've welcomed a huge range of ‘career changers’ at Universal Skills Group, from age 22 to 60 years old.

So if you're thinking you're 'too old to retrain' at 40 or 50, think again! Whether that's as a smart meter apprentice or domestic installer.

In our humble opinion, it's never too late to change careers. If you have a positive attitude, a bit of determination, and are prepared to learn, then you'll be able to cultivate the new skills required to succeed.

How can Universal Skills Group support you through a career change?

The Universal Skills Group is one the UK's leading training providers for the energy sector, with the industry connections and training expertise you need to get your new career off to the best start!

We pride ourselves on being there for your professional development throughout all points of your career, even after you leave our training centre.

What's more, we're an Ofsted Outstanding provider. This isn't a common level of training in our industry so we're incredibly proud of this status! 

With us, you have access to the best standard of course delivery and the incredible tutors in the UK - who are all time-served installers themselves.

Talk to our friendly training team about switching careers today

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