What Does a Meter Reader Do?
Meter Reading isn’t as easy as just reading meters all day. Yes, accurately reading electric, gas or water utility meters is the most important part of the job, but getting to and from the meters can be a chore. Depending on the route, a meter reader’s job can get pretty challenging. Meter readers need to be proficient in a certain set of skills to get the job done right.
Meter readers need to find a way to get to every meter no matter the obstacle. Private residents won’t always be ready for visitors, and you can’t expect them to go out of their way to make it easy for you. You may have to work around shrubs, plants or other backyard obstructions to reach a utility meter. You must be able to climb, lift and even balance to get access to every utility meter you come across.
A meter reader will typically read about 500 meters a day. It takes a lot of walking, body contortions and concentration to get to every meter and read them perfectly. While you don’t need to be an Olympic sprinter to do the job, you need to be lithe and flexible enough to physically handle any situation you’re presented with in the field.
Customer Service Skills
Private residents don’t have to be home in order for meter readers to do their job, unless meters are indoors or blocked off by locked fences or gates. Meter readers will sometimes be required to announce their presence upon arriving at a new location. Oftentimes, the homeowner will be there, and the meter reader must act professionally, representing the company well and treating the customer fairly.
Customers aren’t always happy. Some will question meter readers about the accuracy of bills or voice complaints meter readers aren’t prepared to answer. Meter readers need to be able to diffuse the situation quickly refer the customer to the utility’s customer service team to address their questions.
Troubleshoot and Check for Damage and Defects
Meter readers need to be able to identify inconsistencies in analog meter readings, such as very high and very low readings of electricity, natural gas or water usage. If there is a suspect reading, meter readers must be able to find the source of the problem or leak. Meter readers must recognize the red flags and know how to handle the situation.
Beware of Protective, Aggressive Dogs!
Of course, the number one concern for most meter readers is the ever present threat of territorial dogs. Many dogs will do anything they can to protect their owners. Meter reader employers incorporate dog bite protection into their training programs, and encourage (or require) meter readers to carry an umbrella, dog stick or dog spray.
Not all homeowners will keep their dogs on a leash. Meter readers must prepare for the worst and protect themselves.
Make 100% Accurate Readings Every Time with Meter-Pro Training Program
Of course, the biggest part of the job is reading utility meters with 100% accuracy. Without the proper training, meter readers can make errors and prompt re-reads, a huge killer to revenue.
Using the Meter-Pro meter reading training program, meter readers get a straightforward methodology for reading meters, and, with adequate practice, they will never miss another reading. The Meter-Pro training system makes meter readers 100% accurate, eliminating human error and minimizing the cost of reading analog utility meters.
Give yourself a leg up on the competition—prepare yourself for a career in meter reading by participating in the Meter-Pro meter reading training system.