How to Become a

Meter Reader

The complete career guide to be a Meter Reader: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $40,900
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -18.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

Meter readers are hired by different utilities companies to read and record meter connections such as industrial, commercial and residential consumers’ use of water, gas or electricity on assigned routes.

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What is a Meter Reader?


The duties of a meter reader include the following functions:

  • Walk or drive a truck to assigned routes for the purpose of reading electric, gas, water, or steam consumption meters.
  • Closely monitor meter dials for signs of defects, tampering and unauthorised connections, for the purpose of reporting maintenance problems to supervisory staff.
  • Respond to queries from customers about services provided and clearly communicate relevant policies or processes of the concerned department.
  • Insert recorded information during meter rounds, from hand-held computers/route books into office computers for data storage.
  • Turn on meter services for new customers and turn it off for those who are late on payment of services rendered.

Day In The Life

A meter reader spends most of his or her days checking meters at different properties. Whether it is regarding electric, steam, gas or water consumption, it is up to the meter reader to connect or disconnect a utility and use an electronic device or route book to record the data until the end of the collection route.

You can expect to be traveling to various locations by driving or walking for gathering relevant information from customers, and ensuring that there is no defect or tampering with any of the meter dials. If you notice signs of utility theft, you will immediately inform senior personnel for further action. You will also report other issues such as inconsistencies with the meter reading or not being able to read them clearly.

Being approachable and friendly towards customers is an important part in this type of role. You might face situations where a customer is upset or anxious about their utility service, e.g. they have not paid the bills and you have come by to disconnect their service, they have moved to a new location and there were delays in setting up their utility connection, etc. It is a meter reader’s job to direct clients to customer centers via telephone and supply them with responses where possible.

Work Schedule

As you can tell, a meter reader’s work involves spending a lot of time outdoors, going from one assigned place to the next for the purpose of reading meters. This results in regular working hours and communicating frequently with customers as you go about your work. Further, you must be very aware of your surroundings at an unknown property to keep away from other obstacles like aggressive dogs. Disconnecting utilities can be an emotionally demanding situation, where you will require focus and increased attention to handle a distraught customer efficiently.

Growth Of The Job

As a meter reader, you may soon become a supervisor with sufficient experience. Meter reading as a profession can also help you create the foundation for better-paying and lucrative job opportunities in the future. If you are interested in an alternative career path, you can attend community college or a vocational school to gain knowledge of a trade first-hand, such as working as an electrical contractor or as a maintenance worker for air conditioners, refrigerators or the heating.

Typical Employers

A meter reader typically works for companies that provide various utilities or related services to customers. It is up to them to commute to different assigned locations in residential or commercial areas, to read the data from meters regarding how much of the utilities were used on a month-by-month basis. You could choose to work for gas, electric, and water companies, e.g. US Water Services Corporation, National Fuel, Grid One Solutions, Bermex, Avangrid, AmeriGas Propane, etc.

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How To Become a Meter Reader

The role of a meter reader is considered as an entry-level position which will require only a high school diploma. You might increase your job prospects by completing some vocational training or gaining similar job experience through an applied course or a short internship. Employers usually provide you with the basic skills on the job via necessary information and guidance. You should also possess a driver’s license and be willing to work in unpredictable weather conditions like ice, snow, rain and mud when required. Since you will be going to customer sites such as their backyard, you should also be comfortable engaging with them to meet their needs, and establish a professional relationship.

Meter Reader Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Meter Reader salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Meter Reader's can make an average annual salary of $40,900, or $20 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $28,000 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #513 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Meter Readers

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 1%   Masters
  • 9.8%   Bachelors
  • 7.5%   Associates
  • 30.2%   College
  • 47.4%   High School
  • 3.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Meter Reader job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -6,800 jobs for a total of 30,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -18.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #780 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Meter Readers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 16,600 -2,600 -3%
Electric power generation, transmission and distribution 6,800 -1,900 -2%
Other support services 4,700 -600 -1%

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