Pasco Woman Becomes First Journeyman Meterman For Franklin PUDPosted: Updated:
PASCO, Wash.-- Franklin PUD says the power is yours, but this time the power is hers. Andrea Sell is the first woman to hold the title of journeyman meterman. A job that didn't come easy.
"I started out going to school for a year before i got the apprenticeship, and it's three years of schooling and once you have the apprenticeship you have to have over 6,000 hours on the job," said Sell.
After work she would drive back and forth to Wenatchee to go to meterman school, because Tri-Cities doesn't have one.
A weekly four hour class was sometimes a struggle for the Pasco native, especially during her first year, while she was pregnant.
"I would drive at night and then drive home, and still get home at midnight and got to work the next day," said Sell.
Andrea says her teacher was also a woman journeyman meterman, who didn't go easy on her.
"I mean sometimes you took 12 hour tests," said Sell.
Andrea started working with Franklin PUD back in 2000, as a meter reader, but now she can do more.
"We write our own programs, we program the meters, we wire up jobs, we work hot," said Sell.
Andrea says she's the first in her family to follow this path, one she knows is a male dominated field.
"I work with all guys linemen, and they treat me like an equal, I mean they've been nothing but supportive the whole way," said Sell.
Support she's also got from her husband and family.
"It was hard, but worth it in every way," said Sell.
What started out as a summer job has now turned into her passion, and she says making over $33 an hour it's hard to beat.
Even though she is the first woman in this craft for the Franklin PUD, the title hasn't been switched to meter woman.
Andrea says she doesn't really mind the title, because after all the work it's taken her to get there, she's just glad she's doing what she loves.