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Meter reader

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Summary of occupation

Meter readers check, read and record gas, electricity and water consumption as displayed on the meters of homes and businesses. They plan and prepare for their meter rounds, read all of the meters in a particular area and enter the meter readings into a hand-held computer. They report any broken seals or damage to meters, and update details of client addresses and the location of meters. They download information recorded on their rounds into computers, and report broken or lost keys, as well as information regarding specific hazards such as dogs, or damage done to properties during rounds. Meter readers work in cities and towns around the state, wherever utilities such as water, electricity and gas are available.

ANZSCO description: Reads electric, gas or water meters, records usage, inspects meters and connections for defects and damage, and reports irregularities.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Electricity Meter Reader, Gas Meter Reader, Water Meter Reader
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A meter reader needs:

  • a reasonable amount of fitness
  • accuracy and an eye for detail
  • record-keeping skills
  • self-motivation and focus
  • a friendly and reliable demeanour
  • the ability to work independently
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Working conditions

Meter readers work in and around a range of residential and commercial locations. They do a lot of walking and driving within a specific area, and are required to work in most weather conditions. They usually work regular hours, but their shifts may be less than eight hours a day. They may work on weekends on occasion. They are often required to carry some official identification and wear a uniform.

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Salary details

On average, meter readers, classified under other clerical and office support workers, can expect to earn between $680 and $799 per week ($35 355 and $41 599 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a meter reader develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Meter readers use hand-held electronic devices that catalogue and store records. They also use keys and electronic security devices to enter buildings to read meters. They use computers to download the information they record whilst in the field.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a meter reader without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, your chances of gaining employment may be improved if you have experience in customer service, maintaining equipment, and are physically fit.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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