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  1. Default Temp Meter Reader

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    I am currently employed in SC as a Premise tech not a horrible job but, not what I really want to do. I also have somewhat of an electrical background from my previous employer. I have been trying to get in with a utility company for about 3 years now. I have tried with SCANA and Touchstone energy for along time with no luck. I dont have time or money to go to tech school for electical engineering. My dad is currently employed as a substation electrician with Allegheny energy. I got offered a position as a temporary meter reader for Allegheny. I am really thinking about quiting at&t and taking the job. I really want to get into this line of work eventually would like to work on the lines. My question is does anybody think this is a good or bad idea? Is this a good way in? I know they just merged with First Energy any employees that currently work for first or allegheny and can give me some good advice would be great. Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2


    I don't work for either company, so take my advice for what it's worth. A foot in the door is better than being locked out of the building. A friend of mine that is a Foreman with a large utility started out as a greens keeper with that company. Very few lineman with smaller utilities like to read meters. The job is often looked down upon, even though that little device is what pays the wages and can decide the raises. For what it's worth, do a good job at it, and you very might well move up the ladder. To what floor the ladder takes you is up to your ambitions.
    Climb High - Dive Deep - Everyone Goes Home!

  3. Default

    Thanks for the response. I'm just a little nervous to leave a full time position for temporary but, I think im going to do it. This is really what I want to make a career out of and sometimes you have to take risk to get what you want. Again thanks for responding to my thread Any more responses is appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    southern wisconsin


    ridenj37,I would echo what divemaster said. I started out as a laborer, retired as a lineman.

  5. Default about that temp meter reading job

    If I were you, I'd pass, but that's just me. I work for worst energy and when they say "temp meter reader" that's what they mean. We have temp meter readers in my shop and they've been temp meter readers for going on 7 years, maybe more. One guy wanted to get into line work. Forget it. Worst energy has a psi program and that's the only way in for the most part. They have hired contractors when they really, really need linemen. Worst energy is coming out with smart meters and the rest is history. You'll probably have to supply your own vehicle and insurance according to what worst energy dictates. Bennies....forget it. I really don't want to be the messenger of bad news, but the union folks in allegheny energy will soon experience the wrath of worst energy. Really, think long and hard before you give up your job for this one. Check into PPL or other utility companies. Go to a line school or substation school. The old days are gone.

  6. Default

    I really hate to hear that. I've been reading alot of bad things about first energy I hear the name worst energy alot. My dad who works for allegheny seems to think its a good time to come in. He keeps hearing that first is saying allegheny is under staffed and going to be doing alot of full time hiring. I was really wanting to take this and try to get on full time. Is first energy really that bad? How hard is it to get into that psi institute? i have read a little bit about it but not alot. When you say guys have been working as a temp for 7 years what do you mean, do they keep just bringing them back after there 6 months term. What are smart meters is that suppose to eliminate the meter reader position full time. Again any response is appreciated.

  7. #7


    I work for first energy, am in meter meters will eliminate the need for meter readers......I was told by someone in management that the smart meters will start being installed in the next 2/3 years. New hire meter readers drive their own vehicle......there is talk here in PA of changing the meter readers back to the days of PRE first energy......doing single phase disconnects and reconnects and final reads......freeing up our time to concentrate on other work. I hear that will not happen overnight either and is just a proposal at this point.

    It is my opinion that the meter readers are the worst treated employees in the company. They are pushed and pushed to do an amount of work that is physically impossible for a person to do, also an amount of work that compromises their safety due to work load/time involved. Meter Reading was listed this year as one of the top ten worst jobs in the US....due to working conditions and longevity of job. It is your decision, but I think you should have all the facts.

    Moving to other departments such as line dept, electrical equipment or meter services used to be common......but do not see it happening at all these days, if you are a meter reader that is where you stay for the most part.

    Once the meter readers are done away with due to technology it is anyone's guess what will I said.....tough decision.....but just a little info to help you with that decision.

    The agony of working for FE here in PA has eased up a bit in the last year due to a new president who seems to "respect" the employees and want to work with them vs work against them......It has not always been that way.....It has been a tough road for Penelec employees who were gobbled up by FE.....but it seems to be a bit less bumpy these days.....we have a long way to go.....but........all companies do. Good luck with your choice.
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Chicago Illinois

    Default He keeps hearing that first is saying allegheny is under staffed and going to be doin

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    Seems like everyone is understaffed. Goes back to deregulation. I would try to get in a line school, if that is what you are interested in. If you stay healthy, that will probably news close to guaranteed life time employment as you can get.

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