What does a meter reader do?
Meter readers read many different residential and commercial meters by driving or walking along a route and reading the consumption from a hand-held tracking machine. They also regularly inspect meters and their connections to detect any damage or malfunctions and provide maintenance and repair workers with the essential information to fix the defective meters. They keep track of each customer’s average use and take note of extreme changes in volume used. They consistently monitor abnormal consumption or behavior to detect unauthorized connections. Meter readers submit their readings to the billing department for bills to be issued to customers. They may also begin service for new customers and disconnect service for customers that are moving out of a residence or for nonpayment of charges.
What kind of training does a meter reader need?
Meter readers need at least a high school diploma or GED. Some meter readers complete formal training at vocational and technical schools and a few have associate or bachelor degrees. Meter readers learn how to read a variety of meters determine consumption rates. Most employers provide on the job training where new meter readers work with experienced workers to gain the necessary skills and understand the procedures, expectations, and the designated routes. Some employers also provide first aid and dog awareness training. Meter readers must stay up to date with advancements and the establishment of new routes and they complete additional training as needed.
What are the prospects for a career as a meter reader?
Employment of meter readers is expected to decline rapidly, decreasing 10% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Companies increasingly moving to new Automated Meter Reading (AMR) systems will contribute to job decline.
Despite employment decline, there will some job openings from the need to replace meter readers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do meter readers make?
As of November 2009, the middle 50% of meter readers earn annual salaries between $29,249 and $50,637. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $58,698 (2).
A career as a meter reader is a great choice for people interested in reading a variety of meters. Meter readers must have familiarity with electronic equipment and how to properly read meters. They must be accurate, have good judgment, and have good problem solving skills. Meter readers must have good physical fitness and be able to work outdoors in all types of weather. They must be constantly aware of their surroundings and observe potential dangerous obstructions such as dogs and other animals. They must also have good communication skills and be able to work effectively independently and as part of a team.