I've been a meter reader for over three years. It's a great job to have while you are in school or tending to some other part of your life. Most positions are part-time, around 25 hours. I would make around 20k a year after taxes, which isn't bad while going to school full-time.
Each day you are assigned a route, which can range from 100 to 800 accounts (apartments, mobile homes, condos, or single homes). Meter readers will avoid entering your yard at all costs, but if we need to access your property to get to the meter, we will. Half the time we are entering because customers have inadvertently blocked our meters, a.k.a., our line of sight. We need to see the dial glass to read the meters.
I've been a meter reading for three years and have never hit or maced a dog, but I feel confident with my approach to dogs. After a while, you can tell when a dog is just barking to bark and when it's barking to want to kill you.
When you accept gas from a gas company, you are agreeing to allow us safe access to the meter at all reasonable hours. Your meter reading schedule is posted on your bill and on the website. Most meters are read between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. You have a responsibility as a customer to provide safe access to the meter. While your home may be your property, the gas meter is the gas company's property. If you are unsure how the gas company reads your meter, call and ask. Customer service will explain to you how your gas meter is read and you can provide information to help us obtain your gas meter and/or avoid encountering your dog.
If we are required to enter your yard, and we deem your dog aggressive, we will need proper and confirmed confinement. If we cannot read your gas meter outside your yard or get proper confinement, we will skip your meter. If you block your meter, we will skip your meter. We have anywhere from 100 to 800 accounts to go to, and we have our deadlines to adhere to.
Meter readers will enter your yard if they cannot read your gas meter from outside your yard. If you have a dog that is not deemed aggressive, we will enter your yard, but with caution. We do our best to keep our distance, but our motto is "if it has teeth, it can bite."
I'm 5'3, 120 pound female. I've been doing this job for three years. It's tough. When I first started, I thought to myself, walking? How bad could it be? But you are exposed to the elements, dogs, crap in people's yard, fences falling apart. You are constantly bending, dipping, walking, standing on your tiptoes, pushing and pulling everything around you. When you first start, you will pass out every day after work for at least a week.