What is an electric meter technician? Electric meter technicians install and maintain electric meters and related equipment that measures and tests electricity. All homes have electric meters attached, usually on the outside so that the meter can be read. An electric meter reader reads and records electric meters, whereas electric meter technicians install, test, and repair electric meters.
Demand for electric meter technicians has increased relative to the lower unemployment numbers of the past couple of years. However, competition for good paying, technical jobs is always fierce.
How To Become An Electric Meter Technician
One does not need a bachelor’s degree to get a job as an electric meter technician. The following are the traditional steps to take to qualify and learn this craft.
- Graduate high school or earn a GED (general equivalency diploma).
- Either: Earn an Associate’s degree (AA) in electronics or enter into a three-year internship or apprenticeship program with the company for whom you want to work.
- Acquire additional training post-apprenticeship and/or continuing education training.
Electricity can be dangerous. “Caution: High Voltage” may be a sign you have read posted on or near electrical equipment and transformers. Electric meter technicians complete safety protocols and continue their training in safety, both for the benefit of themselves and of their clients, in continuing education programs.
Transformer Test Instruments and Electric Meter Technicians
A trained electric meter technician works with a CT (current transformer) meter and will conduct a CT test, for example. They will test equipment through transformer test instruments and energy testing equipment. They conduct meter testing, transformer testing and work on transformer test instruments.
Electric meter technicians use transformer test instruments to test equipment through ratio, ratio with burden measurements, and dead site testing.
- Ratio testing is a direct concurrent measurement of amplitude and phase error measurements.
- Ratio with burden added measurements is performed in addition to a CT circuit. The “burden” refers to the additional stress in order to analyze when the circuit becomes too burdened.
- Dead site testing is a transformer test that measures direct concurrent measurements and discharges extra current, or a load boost, to the CT.
An electric meter technician is not an electric pole lineman, although the two are sometimes confused. An electric powerline can be rated anywhere from 400,000 to 750,000 volts. That’s a lot of voltage. In contrast, the power in our homes is rated from 110 to 250 volts, which is miniscule compared to the voltage in overhead powerlines.
An electric meter technician is a valuable asset to the economy of electricity and electronics.