What Do Meter Readers, Utilities, Do?
A meter reader is an essential part of providing utilities for homes, businesses and properties. A meter reader reads the consumption meter for specific utilities, such as gas, electricity, water and steam. By doing this, the utilities company can decide what a person’s bill should be, whether a meter is broken and if a meter has been tampered with by vandals.This position is not considered to be a part of a growth industry. Recent numbers project a 19% decline in positions as a utilities meter reader by 2022. However, there is still expected to be an average of 1,010 job openings per year during the same time frame.
Meter Readers, Utilities, Skill and Abilities
There are certain skills that utilities meter readers need to employ to be successful. In this position, you will need to have skills relating to operation monitoring, customer service, active listening and time management. You will also need to be well versed in sound judgment and decision making strategies. Information ordering, problem sensitivity and coordination are all essential abilities that can help make you an effective a meter reader.
Meter Readers, Utilities, Duties
Meter readers are tasked with many day-to-day duties. First and foremost, they must read utility meters. You must walk or drive from house to house or building to building in order to read the meters. You must also be able to compile your data, upload data to a computer system, verify meter readings, report problems and inspect meters. Additionally, customer relations are a big part of this position. As a meter reader, you must be able to answer customer questions, update information and collect past-due bills from customers.
Meter Readers, Utilities, Tools and Technology
There are a few different tools associated with a career as a utilities meter reader. Cars, computers and cameras are all essential to the process of reading meters and documenting abnormalities or vandalism. You must also use gas gauges, should you work for a gas company. Technology for this position is largely concerned with different types of software. Software programs related to billing, charting, data base reporting and map creation are all beneficial to a career in this position.
Education and Training for Meter Readers, Utilities
For this position, a high school diploma or equivalent is generally considered a requirement. Recent numbers indicate that 43% of all utilities meter readers possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Another 33.6% have completed some college courses, but haven’t completed a degree. Less than 5% of all meter readers have less than a high school diploma. Additionally, work experience isn’t necessarily a requirement, but could be requested by certain employers. Short-term on-the-job training is typically mandatory for this position.
Meter Readers, Utilities, Salary
In the United States, utilities meter readers can expect the median annual salary to be around $37,600. That is the equivalent of $18.07 per hour at 40 hours per week. The highest average salary, which is earned by the top 10% of meter readers, is $62,200 per year. The lowest 10% earn, on average, $21,900 per year.
Meter Readers, Utilities, Jobs by Geography
The best states to find a position as a meter reader are Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Alabama. These five states employ more than 5,000 meter readers all together. However, the highest average salaries for utilities meter readers can be found in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Delaware and Alaska. Connecticut has the highest paid employees, with an average salary of almost $44,000 per year. This shows that finding the best place for you is a balancing act between where you want to live and how much you want to make.