Become a Utility Meter Reader
Utility meter readers monitor the usage of such resources as electricity, water, and gas. Readers typically walk or drive a specified route and record information that they read visually or digitally from indoor or outdoor utility meters. They must maintain high standards of accuracy. Meter readers may occasionally be hampered by poor weather conditions or unfriendly animals. They have some customer interaction, such as answering questions about service charges.
|Education Required||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Experience||Meter readers are often hired with no previous experience, though some companies prefer to hire experienced workers|
|Key Skills||Ability to interact with customers and work independently, verbal and written communication skills, time management skills; physical stamina and manual dexterity; ability to read and operate meter reading equipment|
|Additional Requirements||Valid driver's license|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$38,510|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET Online, CareerBuilder.com job posting (November 2012)
Step 1: Meet Basic Job Requirements
Companies that hire meter readers typically require candidates to have at least a high school diploma or to have earned an equivalent credential. Meter readers typically drive to the areas where they'll be reading meters, necessitating both a valid driver's license and a clean driving record. Some employers also require meter readers to use their personal vehicle while on the job.
Step 2: Search and Apply for Jobs
Online job boards often have listings for meter readers, but aspiring meter readers might also want to contact local utility companies and governments directly to find out if they're hiring. Some utility companies contract with staffing agencies to hire meter readers, so job seekers should also contact local staffing agencies to find out if they have any open positions.
Step 3: Training and Advancement
Employers usually provide on-the-job training. New hires work with experienced meter readers until the individual has the experience and confidence to work on a route of his or her own.
Meter reading can be a stepping stone to other, more lucrative utility-related careers. Community colleges and vocational schools often provide training in related trades such as electrical contracting or the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) trade.
When considering a career as a utility meter reader, remember that these individuals need a high school diploma, a driver's license with a clean driving record, and the ability to accurately read, record, and report data. This type of work requires the capability to work independently after a training period and to endure various types of weather on a day-to-day basis.