A meter technician is responsible for the installation and maintenance of electric meters and other types of equipment used to measure the usage of electricity. Houses, for example, have an electric meter on them which calculates the amount of electricity used so the power company can properly bill the home for its power consumption. The meter technician covers tasks such as installing electric meters, repairing and testing the meters, and keeping records about the electrical equipment used by the company that employees him. To become a meter technician, a person needs at least a high school diploma, or GED, and should either earn an associate's degree or undergo a three-year apprenticeship with the company for which he wants to work.
After graduating high school or earning a GED, the interested person has two choices for becoming a meter technician. He can go into the work field to gain experience, or he may choose to go to a technical college instead. When choosing the technical college route, he will earn a two-year degree in either electrical engineering or in electronics. The specific degree name may differ between colleges.
To go directly into the work force, an interested person must first become employed by a company who will then train him through a three-year apprenticeship. He will learn how to install, maintain, and repair electrical metering devices. He will also learn about proper safety precautions to take on the job and when dealing with electrical equipment.
Once the meter technician completes his training or degree program, he'll need to pass a safety course and possibly undergo hands-on training courses for his job. Once he is allowed out into the field, he visits homes or businesses to check and repair electric meters. He'll also keep track of the equipment inventory where he works and keep careful records about the equipment in the building along with its usage.
Safety is important for meter technicians who must work around electricity and thus face a risk of electrical shock if a repair is performed improperly. The meter technician needs to have a clear understanding of safety protocols and constantly check his equipment to ensure it's functioning properly. He also performs safety inspections on equipment the company stores for future use.
Typically, the available number of jobs for meter technicians is expected to decline. Those interested in working in this field may consider doing an apprenticeship to ensure a job will be available for them upon completion. Earning a degree first, however, will allow the person to travel to look for work if no jobs are available in his area.