A meter reader is a person who works for a utility company. Electric, water, and gas companies are the most common types to employ a meter reader. This job requires the employee to travel a predetermined route by foot or vehicle. Being a meter reader means having to spend a lot of time outdoors in all types of weather. The reader will check a meter on all of the customer houses on his route and record how much of the energy or resources the customers have consumed. The readers are responsible for making sure consumers are billed for the correct amount of usage by the companies they work for.
In addition to recording the amount of energy consumed, a meter reader also must be on the lookout for illegal hook ups. They must record any unusual fluctuations in consumption and may be called on to investigate possible reasons for such changes. Meter readers may also need to check meters and repair any damage or report the damage to the company they work for. In many cases they will also be responsible for turning the utility services on and off for customers.
Before trying to become a meter reader, there are a few things to be aware of. This job is one of the fastest declining occupations today. This is largely due to companies using modern automated processes to read energy and resource consumption. Looking for jobs in more rural areas with smaller utility companies may be the way to go to become a meter reader. You may also have to deal with dogs, angry customers, bad weather, and frightened customers who don't recognize your uniform and think you are trespassing.
The meter reader occupation is an entry level profession. Qualifications will vary a lot from one employer to the next. Getting a high school diploma or GED is the first step to take. Mathematics, English, and Science are all important subjects to do well in. Meter readers need to have good clerical skills such as typing and filing. Having a familiarity with office machines will also be a plus. Meter readers also need good computer skills and the ability to read maps.
When applying to become a meter reader, it will help to have a good driving record. It's also always good to have a solid work history with good references. You may be able to find vocational classes that deal with the types of training needed for this profession. Any office, business, and secretarial courses you can take will make you a good candidate for this type of job. Having a familiarity with the specific service, such as electricity, will also increase your chances of being hired. You can find meter reader jobs online, in your local paper, or by going to the utility company headquarters.