What Does a Meter Reader Do? (With Salary and FAQ)

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A meter reader is sent to gather data for meters that cannot automatically, electronically report back their usage data to a company. Most meter readers enter usage data into a handheld computer device and also ensure the meter is in good working order. For any meters that seem damaged, they would report the issue.

Becoming a Meter Reader

How to become a meter reader

Here is the process to become a meter reader:

1. Pass drug and background tests

Many companies require candidates to pass drug and background tests before they are hired, so keeping a clean record can help you become eligible for the job.

2. Hold a drivers license

A meter reader may have to drive from one address to another along their route, so most jobs require you to hold a valid local drivers license before applying. You may also need to keep a clean driving record to be hired.

3. Earn high school diploma or GED

Most meter reader jobs dont require a high school diploma or GED. However, most people who work as meter readers have achieved this level of education, so having this can make you a more competitive candidate for jobs.

4. Complete on-the-job training

Depending on where you work, you may receive on-the-job training. This usually involves shadowing a more experienced meter reader to learn how to do the job. You might also have instruction on how to respond to aggressive dogs, how to input information into the equipment, how to troubleshoot problems with the meters and how to identify irregular use.

What does a meter reader do?

A meter reader reads electric, gas, water or steam meters so that a utility company can charge the user for the amount that theyve used. Meter readers usually work for utility companies or local government. Here are some duties that the job can include:

Skills for a meter reader

Here are some skills that a meter reader uses in their work:

Salary and job outlook

Here are some common questions and answers that might help you decide whether you want to become a meter reader:

What can a meter reader do next?

A meter reader might advance to a managerial position within the utility company or local government branch where they work. The experience they gain working with meters on the job may also prepare them to be a technician or become a journeyman electrician.

Does a meter reader stop at every house or business along their route?

A meter reader stops only at buildings where the meter cant be read remotely. Some cities install meters that can be read remotely. Some of these meters send the information directly to the city. Other types of meters can transmit the usage information and the meter reader can drive by and pick up the reading with a radio receiver in their vehicle.

Do you need a college education to work as a meter reader?

No. Depending on the location, most jobs dont require a high school diploma or GED either.

How often do meter readers do their routes?

Most cities or companies read meters each month since thats how often they issue utility bills. The meter readers schedule may shift with different weather conditions and routes, but they usually read each meter once a month.

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