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Meter Readers, Utilities
SOC Code: 43-5041.00

Read meter and record consumption of electricity, gas, water, or steam.

Sample of reported job titles: Field Technician, Fieldman, Meter Reader, Meter Reader Inspector, Meter Reading Clerk, Meter Technician, Utility Service Worker, Water Inspector, Water Meter Reader, Water Use Inspector


  • Read electric, gas, water, or steam consumption meters and enter data in route books or hand-held computers.
  • Upload into office computers all information collected on hand-held computers during meter rounds, or return route books or hand-held computers to business offices so that data can be compiled.
  • Walk or drive vehicles along established routes to take readings of meter dials.
  • Inspect meters for unauthorized connections, defects, and damage, such as broken seals.
  • Verify readings in cases where consumption appears to be abnormal, and record possible reasons for fluctuations.
  • Report to service departments any problems, such as meter irregularities, damaged equipment, or impediments to meter access, including dogs.
  • Leave messages to arrange different times to read meters in cases in which meters are not accessible.
  • Connect and disconnect utility services at specific locations.
  • Answer customers' questions about services and charges, or direct them to customer service centers.
  • Update client address and meter location information.
  • Perform preventative maintenance or minor repairs on meters.
  • Report lost or broken keys.
  • Collect past-due bills.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Billing software
  • Charting software - Graphing software
  • Data base reporting software - Meter reading software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Map creation software - Mapping software
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Automobiles or cars - Passenger vehicles
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras - Digital still cameras
  • Flashlight - High-power flashlights
  • Gas gauges - Gas consumption meters; Steam consumption meters
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS devices
  • Laser fax machine - Laser facsimile machines
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles - Utility trucks
  • Mobile phones - Smart phones
  • Multi gas monitors - Multi-gas testers
  • Multimeters - Digital multimeters
  • Nut drivers - Nut wrenches
  • Photocopiers - Copy machines
  • Pocket calculator - Portable calculators
  • Portable data input terminals - Dataloggers
  • Power blowers - Gas powered blowers
  • Power meters - Electricity consumption meters
  • Radio receivers - Radio frequency RF meters
  • Remote automatic meter reading system - Automatic meter reading systems
  • Screwdrivers - Multipurpose screwdrivers
  • Shovels - Garden shovels
  • Slip or groove joint pliers - Groove joint pliers
  • Tablet computers
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Water meters - Water consumption meters
  • Water pumps - Gas powered pumps


  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.


  • Interest code: CR
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 62% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 32% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Contact With Others - 45% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 36% responded “Very important results.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 35% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 24% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 41% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 29% responded “Extremely serious.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
71%High school diploma or equivalent
17%Some college, no degree
9%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.86 hourly, $39,240 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 35,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 2,300

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