Career Advice on How to Become a Meter Reader for Utilities

General Career Information

Most people can’t handle the extreme physical demands of the job. Most job candidates simply can’t handle the grueling hours of physical conditioning, which is often done for hours on end without sleep. Some of the more demanding physical task can include carrying heavy logs that weight well over 200 pounds. The truth is the majority of candidates are forced out of the program due to exhaustion. Ooops, that’s the Navy Seals, no anyone can be a meter reader.
The job of meter reader is one of those very unique jobs in which the job description pretty much describes the actual job itself. Phrased another way, meter readers do, in fact, read meters. They read all sorts of sexy meters, including gas, water, the always popular electric and the exotic and mysterious steam. You will find the average meter reader, reading meters both at residential locations and at business locations. While many people may start out as meter readers it is not uncommon for them to progress on to other jobs within the utilities industry such as power plant operator and the often sought after, “guy whose cousin got him the job and now sits around working hard to look busy.” It doesn’t really fit on a business card, but it’s an accurate description all the same.

Career Facts:

Meter reading isn’t the easiest job in the world. This is doubly true in areas where the weather is rough. There is no way around it, reading meters in Barrow, Alaska in January or February is never going to be a “good gig.” Then, there is the issue of the “Mailman’s Nemesis” the North American canine. Most people are unaware that the North American canine is willing to accept the leg or posterior of a meter reader as an alternate to that of the mailman. In 2006, this hearty, unheralded branch of America’s semi-crumbling infrastructure, numbered a surprisingly robust 47,000.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Poor:

Yes, the job outlook for the meter reader is pretty grim. By 2016 the number of meter readers is expected to decrease by a borderline whopping ten percent. New fangled electronic AMR systems will allow all the monitoring to take place from a central location. There are many, many dogs out there that should be sad; they just don’t know it yet.
Job Outlook is Poor     

A Day in The Life:

Seen on meter, you’ve seen them all. For those looking for wild times, excitement and “all the chicks you can handle” you might want to try something more glamorous like fast food manager. On occasion you might have to repair a damaged or defect meter, but most of the time you are either turning off power, water, gas, etc on deadbeats, reading meters or running for your life from a chained up pit-bull.

Average Salary:

The average meter reader can earn around $30,000 a year with the highest ten percent earning almost $50,000. Now, all kidding aside that isn’t too shabby. Consider this fact; $50,000 is more than a great many teachers make in a year, and in some school districts, in a lifetime. No wonder Johnny could care less if he can read.

$30k - $50k


Career Training and Qualifications:

The ability to read numbers is quite handy. A pulse. And a high-school diploma is also a general requirement. Once again, the meter reader job may not be glamorous but it can pay surprisingly well.
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