Meter Readers, Utilities Job Description video

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Homes and businesses use utilities such as electric, gas and water. Consumption is tracked by meters. The people responsible for monitoring usage are Utilities Meter Readers. While their main function is to record the amount used to ensure accurate billing, they also look for unusual fluctuations. Meter readers inspect the units for damage, sending reports back to the home office to order repairs. They also check for unauthorized connections. Meter readers can turn off service for suspected tampering or for unpaid bills Handheld microcomputers are often used to speed the job and increase accuracy. Readers may be responsible for downloading data and reviewing the reports before they're sent for billing. Many people see these workers as the public faces of the utility company. They wear uniforms and carry ID and tend to work alone. Readers are outdoors in all kinds of weather. The physical demands include a lot of walking and stair-climbing. It's not uncommon for meter readers to be menaced, chased, or even attacked by overprotective dogs. A high school education or its equivalent is expected of new hires. Some public utilities require that you be at least 21 years of age and a licensed driver, and pass a drug test and background check. You may start out as a part-time worker and train with a more experienced reader. In many areas, meter readers are members of a utility workers' union. As automated meter reading systems are phased in across the country, the traditional role of meter readers is changing. Many opt for additional training to advance to higher-level technical or service positions.

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