Residences and commercial buildings that use gas (such as for furnaces, hot water heaters and kitchen ranges) have a gas meter installed on the exterior. This allows the utility company delivering the gas to monitor and bill for usage. A gas meter technician installs these meters, as well as inspects them for proper installation and ensures that the location of meters allows safe access for manual readings. The technician also helps install any upgrades and performs repairs on malfunctioning meters. Additionally, during new construction, a gas meter technician determines the best access point for the location of a meter and install it.
In the past, many meters had to be manually inspected by sending meter readers into the field to record metered gas usage at each home or business. Most meters now relay their usage readings directly to the gas utility either by wired or wireless connection; this information also includes any malfunctions or problems and is used to dispatch meter technicians to perform repairs. The meter technician typically follows protocols for recording addresses at the sites he or she visits, as well as unique meter number identifiers. Using special tools that allow the technician access, he or she diagnoses problems with the meter and then either repairs or installs a new meter as necessary, as well as tests it for accuracy and proper reporting.
Many mechanical skills may be required of a gas meter technician. They may be required to have welding and pipefitting certifications or experience, as well as some technical knowledge with small electronic components. While practical experience and on-the-job training are part of this position, some vocational training may help a person interested in this career. Gas meter technicians typically work in the field during regular business hours, normally operating utility-branded trucks and vans to travel to job sites.