Hi! My name is Tammie. I am Mom to 5 awesome kids, ages 15 to 23. I live in Calera, Alabama which is 20 miles south of Birmingham and have a job that I absolutely love! I am a GIS Technician for a local electric utility company. I would like to share with you what my job is like.
What is Geographical Information Systems?
So, what is a GIS Technician? GIS is an acronym for Geographical Information Systems. GIS is a way for companies and industries to analyze and interpret geographical data. At my company, we input data in geographical locations using software that can give us results like maps that display our equipment that you see everyday (poles, lights, transformers) and things that you can’t see (underground wire).
What is your Daily Routine?
My day is usually spent at a computer, entering the necessary information as it comes in from the field. If someone builds a house, our engineers will draw a blueprint showing how they will add wire and equipment to get electricity to that new house. After the work is physically performed in the field, we get that information to add to our database. The database is ever changing, with equipment being added and removed every day. It’s a technical sort of job, but you don’t have to be a programmer. My Associate’s degree in CADD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design) is a plus. Others here have Geography, Engineering, and Business degrees. It helps to know how to use a variety of common software, especially Microsoft Office.
When Do You Go Out into the Field?
Some people have found this job to be boring, but I really enjoy it. I have learned so much about electrical equipment and how an electrical system works. There are a lot of opportunities to learn and keep up to date about the industry that I work in and the software that I use on a daily basis. I attend software conventions. I visit my “customers” within the company that is in different areas of the state. But my favorite way of learning is actually going out into the field!
Unfortunately, one of the only times for me to get out into the field is for our customers to be without electricity. But my co-workers and I are deployed to help the company get the electricity
Once the lines are assessed, then a plan can be made to getting our customers lights back on. I enjoy this part of the job because I get to use the knowledge that I have learned and use it in real life. I also enjoy it because I get to meet our customers. Sometimes they are understandably upset, but we assure them that we are doing our best to get things fixed. Mostly, they are happy to see us working for them.
What Do You like the Most About Your Job?
All in all, my days at work are spent with great co-workers and we are doing work that serves our company’s customers. Best of all we are providing information that informs other employees and in part keeps them safe. If you have any questions about GIS and how it works, or how to get into the field of GIS, feel free to contact me anytime.