City of Palo Alto Meter Reader - Hourly (Administrative Specialist I - H) in Palo Alto, California

Meter Reader - Hourly (Administrative Specialist I - H)



Meter Reader - Hourly (Administrative Specialist I - H)


$22.90 - $28.13 Hourly


Palo Alto, CA

Job Type

SEIU Hourly


Utilities Department

Job Number



4/30/2018 10:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits


The Position

A part-time Meter Reader reads between 500 and 1,200 water, gas, and electric utilities meters daily over a predetermined route. Ensures the accuracy of readings entered into a handheld data entry terminal. Interacts with customers to gain access to their premises and answers questioned as required. Assists Customer Service Representatives with routine customer service clerical tasks as required and as time away from primary meter reading duties permits. Performs minor water meter maintenance tasks. Reports abnormal or suspicious meter conditions or usage patterns to Supervisor or to Lead Meter Reader.

Note: This is a SEIU Hourly position, budgeted to work no more than 999 hours per fiscal year. Typically a candidate in this position will work 8-40 hours a week, Monday-Friday.

Essential Duties

  • Drives a City­ owned vehicle to, from, and to various locations along the day's route.

  • Walks along a predetermined route of varying length (typically eight to 10 miles per day, with occasional routes of up to 12 miles) reading water, gas, and electric meters, both analog and digital.

  • Resets electric Demand Meters as required.

  • Enters meter readings, access information, trouble codes, and other data into hand­held computers designed specifically for meter reading tasks.

  • Performs occasional minor water ­meter maintenance tasks and digouts (e.g., meter glass replacement and cleaning).

  • Reports hazardous circumstances (e.g., dangerous meter locations, vicious or dangerous animals, abnormal utilities especially natural gas ­ consumption patterns, gas odors, exposed electrical wiring, open or broken water or curb gas meter boxes, etc.) to Supervisor so that condition can be remedied.

Other Duties:

  • Reports non­standard meter conditions (e.g., apparently inoperative meters, meters which appear to have been tampered with, etc.) to Supervisor so that condition can be remedied and accurate billing rendered to the responsible party.

  • Answers customers' questions regarding billing or other utilities ­related subjects to the best of his or her ability and refers customers to proper office to obtain answers when questions require information beyond scope of the Meter Reader's knowledge. Relays such questions to Supervisor when appropriate.

  • Maintains at all times a high level of politeness and professionalism in dealing with customers.

  • Provide backup support on a time­ permitting basis to Customer Service Representatives in the Customer Service Center.

Perform related duties and responsibilities as required

Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:

  • Completion of a high school academic, vocational, or business program and

  • Two years of work experience in a position involving facility with numbers, a basic mechanical aptitude, and personal public contact.

  • A valid California Driver's License, without any DUI convictions.

  • Sufficient physical stamina to walk long distances at a moderately rapid pace in all weather conditions, to lift moderately heavy objects for short periods, and to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently throughout the day.

  • Vision correctable to 20/30 in both eyes.

  • Ability to interact with dogs without fear or hesitation.

  • A professional and business­like appearance.

Special Conditions:

Because Meter Readers work outside the office, they must possess a high degree of independence and motivation. Physical stamina is a necessary asset because Meter Readers may walk between 8 and 12 miles daily, depending upon the route being read. Meter Readers must be able to carry the hand­held computer, a rod for opening meter covers, a flashlight, and other equipment. They must also be able to bend, stoop, and kneel frequently and regularly to lift meter covers that may weigh between 3 and 25 pounds. Strong eyesight is also a requirement since meters may often have to be read from a distance. The ability to confront dogs without fear or hesitation is important when entering the private backyards of residents. The capability to learn rudimentary data entry tasks is another necessary requirement as readings are entered into hand­held computers. To get to the day's route and to various locations along it, Meter Readers must drive City vehicles. As a result, possession of a clear California Driver's License is a requirement. Because their duties take them onto citizens' property and occasionally into their premises, it is absolutely essential that a Meter Reader has unimpeachable honesty, a high level of regard for customers' privacy, and a significant degree of politeness. Oral communication skills are important as well, since Meter Readers often receive questions about utility bills, rates, meter reading accuracy, and other subjects from the customers whose meters they read.