Is Electric Utilities Central a Good Career Path?
The best-paying jobs in electric utilities central attract a lot of people every year. In fact, the energy sector, and electric utilities in general, have experienced steady growth in the past decades. With the need for the power grid to be modernized and with a switch to renewable energy sources, the need for more power engineer positions is likely to skyrocket. In fact, the energy sector is expected to keep growing in the upcoming decades.
A part of the reason for this growth and some of the best jobs being in electric utilities are also the decentralization of energy production. As any US home can now power itself by means of solar panels, a wind turbine, or other renewable energy sources, the need for a power engineer or a representative of the electric utilities to set up the entire system keeps rising. In fact, the electric utility industry is also expected to keep growing due to the increasing energy demand of every single person on the planet. For this reason, even the best-paying jobs in electric utilities central also offer a lot of perks.
What is an Electric Utility?
With this in mind, your local electric utility may be one of the best employers in the area. An electric utility is a company that transmits electric energy to your area. Their job is complex, as they have to ensure that the power grid is up and operable at all times. The grid is used to transfer electricity from its production site, the power plant to your home.
On its way there, electricity has to pass the transmission, transformation, and distribution phases before hitting the dial of your energy meter. The transmission phase is a high-voltage transmission from large power plants to entire cities and areas. In the transformation phase, the energy is transformed from a high-voltage current to a low-voltage current.
Once transformed, the power is distributed to the local area you live in. In fact, this low-voltage current can only supply a single neighborhood, a town, or a large factory at once. In reality, there are many such smaller sections of the low-voltage grid that power large areas, such as cities. Each neighborhood usually has its low-voltage grid and a transformer. For safety reasons, they are usually enclosed in buildings, which is the reason you may not see this vital part of the electrical system all around the place.
Available Jobs in the Electric Utility Central Industry
There are many job openings in the energy and utility sectors. In fact, as one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and the one offering some of the best paying jobs in electric utilities central, the need for highly educated workers and engineers is as high as ever. A single power engineer in the past is now substituted by at least two engineers, despite a high level of automation, many more workers are needed to make up for the increase in energy jobs.
Required Skills & Training
However, not everybody can take up jobs in electric utilities. Namely, despite these jobs being some of the best-paying jobs in electric utilities central, they also need high qualifications. A lot of these jobs can be done with a corresponding high school degree, while some demand a University degree.
The skills needed to work in electric utilities are the following:
- Technical skills, since the field is very technical by nature. Being able to understand and operate complex machinery is a must, and so is understanding safety procedures and protocols;
- Regulatory knowledge and skills,
- Business management skills, and
- Project management knowledge.
Technical skills are needed because the electric utility and its operations are very technical by nature. Working in electric utilities means operating with or on complex machinery. Basic knowledge and the ability to work with these machines in a safe way are a must, so choose your degree correspondingly.
Regulatory knowledge is another must. Despite energy service being deregulated in large portions of the US, there are a lot of regulations that need to be followed. These regulations concern safety and energy-guaranteed energy delivery, as small mistakes in the electrical system, can build up and the energy and utility industry may suffer – ultimately leading to homes with no power.
Business management skills are necessary, because energy generation, transmission, and distribution is, in fact, a business. Energy is bought and sold, just like any other commodity on the market. Energy services are also bought and sold. Power plants and electric utilities work in a wholesale energy market. For this reason, business management practices should be mastered by those who would love to work in the management of electric utilities.
Finally, project management skills and knowledge are necessary to be able to work in electric utilities. In fact, the electric utility will usually have several ongoing projects at any given moment. The fact is that these projects need management, overseeing, and control to ensure safety and that the projects are carried out as planned. Power systems, any power plant, wiring systems, and other hardware that the energy and utility business relies on have to be designed, constructed, maintained, operated, and monitored at all times. This is why large project management skills are so crucial.
The average salary in the electric utilities central is high and provides a stable income, as all the positions are in high demand. In fact, the average salary in the field falls between $71,000 and $88,750 with the range of salaries being between $45,000 and $120,000. Besides the salary, electric utilities offer perks: a power distribution engineer can expect a healthcare plan, retirement contributions, etc.
Benefits of Working in the Electric Utility Central Industry
As the electric utilities central workers are in high demand, it comes as no surprise that they are one of the best-paying jobs out there. In fact, these job positions also offer a number of benefits, which is one more reason that jobs in electric utilities are sought after. Some of the benefits of working in electric utilities include:
- Adequate payment,
- Job security, and
- High demand for workers.
Although they are some of the best-paying jobs out there, working for electric utilities also comes with other perks of a high-paying job. These include:
- Retirement plans,
- Healthcare plans,
- Paid vacation days,
- Paid sick days, and
Electric utilities can offer high job security. The fact is that in times of a good economy, the grid and electric services grow on their own. In times of economic recession, energy jobs are stimulated, as cheap and available energy helps run the economy up. For these reasons, jobs in electric utilities are very secure and the contracts signed in the field are signed as long-term contracts.
The high demand for an educated and skilled workforce makes electric utilities some of the best employers out there. High-paying jobs in electric utilities always need a fresh influx of workforce. This is because entire economies run on energy, which is the moving force behind any economy. In fact, some of the new trends in the field create an even higher demand, with countries such as Singapore even passing legislation to ensure they can import ‘brains’ to work in the field.
Some of the changes in the energy and power systems sector that demand a new workforce include:
- The switch to renewable energy,
- The switch to decentralized energy production,
- The switch to smart meters,
- The decarbonization of existing power plants and dirty industries, and
- Other changes in the energy and utility sectors.
Best Paying Jobs in Electric Utilities Central
The best-paying jobs in electric utilities central include jobs concerted with electrical engineering and power distribution in most cases. However, there are many more jobs in electric utilities that can provide you with a good and steady income and perks that many other positions do not include. Some of the best-paying jobs in the field include:
- Nuclear Licensing Engineer,
- Utility Manager,
- Power Engineer,
- Radiation Engineer,
- Substation Engineer,
- Hydroelectric Plant Operator,
- Power Lineman,
- Transmission Engineer,
- Power System Engineer,
- Gas Regulators,
- Power System Dispatcher,
- Pipeline Controller,
- Power Quality Analyst,
- Project Manager,
- Field Service Representative,
- Network System Administrator,
- Water Resources Engineer,
- Electrical Engineer,
- Maintenance Technician, and
- Utility Warehouse Associate.
Nuclear Licensing Engineer
A nuclear licensing engineer is in charge of engineering, operating, and overseeing the nuclear power plant they are employed in. A nuclear licensing engineer also provides the technical expertise needed to ensure that nuclear power plants operate in coordination with the highest safety protocols and that local, state, and federal requirements and regulations are met. They frequently work with a nuclear criticality safety engineer, to ensure no mistakes in the design or execution are made.
A utility manager is also on the list of the best-paying jobs in the utility market. Jobs in electric utilities have to be overseen and safety, fair distribution, and a high system uptime have to be ensured. All this is the job of a utility manager. Utility managers are not only in charge of electric utilities, but they also need to take care of water delivery and wastewater collection, treatment, and management. In larger cities, this job is entrusted to multiple people.
Power systems need heavy overseeing and management. Besides this, regular maintenance, operations, and other actions required to successfully run and maintain a power plant or any of the parts of the energy delivery system are entrusted to a power engineer. Dealing with a more technical aspect of energy generation, they are in charge of maintaining reactors, boilers, turbines, and generators, as well as, partially, planning for future expansion of energy-generating capacities.
A radiation engineer deals with both theoretical and practical aspects of power generation and radiation levels that may appear and/or influence energy generation in various settings. They are typically employed in the energy and technology industries. Your phone’s radiation levels, for example, could be assessed and measured by a radiation engineer before the device is released for mass production. A radiation engineer’s work overlaps to some extent with that of a nuclear criticality safety engineer.
A substation engineer is a type of power systems engineer who deals with substation design and maintenance. They are in charge of designing and operating such electric systems that exist as breakpoints on the way between the power plant and you, effectively securing energy transmission and distribution. A substation engineer is also called a power distribution engineer.
Hydroelectric Plant Operator
One of the best-paying jobs in electric utilities central is that of a hydroelectric plant operator. This is a very responsible job, as it deals with hydroelectric electricity production. Every power plant technology is complex and knowing how a hydroelectric power plant functions, and how it is maintained and operated are just some of examples of the knowledge that an operator should know. Far from technical support, an operator should always be able to optimize the workings of a power plant in relation to:
- The current pricing of energy,
- The current energy demand in the electric utility industry,
- The weather and its extremes, and
- The manpower available (although this is a diminishing factor, as automation increases).
They should also be able to monitor generating systems, usually in cooperation with power engineers.
Electrical engineers and power plant operators are not the only people who work in the energy industry. The utility construction career necessitates a power lineman as well. A power lineman is one of the essential workers in the energy industry and an indispensable worker when it comes to:
- Power line installation,
- Power line operation,
- Power line maintenance,
- Power lines reestablishment after ice storms, felled tree accidents, traffic accidents, etc.
This is a good, stable career path in the utility sector. They should not be mixed with power engineers, whose job is to design power lines and substations. A power systems engineer, on the other hand, is there to take care of the entire grid system, or significant portions of it.
A power transmission engineer workforce is in lower demand compared to operators and other workers employed in the energy industry. In reality, a power transmission engineer oversees the design of and the transmission systems to deliver high-voltage power directly from power plants and to larger areas, before it is sent to transformers for voltage reduction and further transfer to the electrical power distribution system.
Power System Engineer
A power system engineer can deal with a multitude of tasks during the design and construction phase of building a power plant. The electric utilities central industry comprises many elements all of which should work as a unified system. It is within this system that every new power plant, be it powered by water, nuclear fuel, or gas. A power system engineer, therefore, takes care of all the systems, interconnections, and generators within a power plant.
Believe it or not, gas regulators are also a part of the transmission systems, especially in countries such as the US, which get a lot of their electricity from liquid natural gas. Gas or electric industries rely on this fuel source to produce either heat or electricity. Gas regulators maintain the gas pipes and the entire system to ensure that gas and oil companies can deliver gas to power plants regularly. Oil and gas transportation is not a naive job and it takes a lot of expertise from a gas controller to ensure a good and stable supply.
Power System Dispatcher
Almost synonymous with a power system operator, a power system dispatcher’s job is to ensure that the electrical grid, even the local one, is not overwhelmed by the influx of energy from any particular plant. A power system dispatcher works closely with all other engineers and operators in the system to ensure that the power system receives just enough energy to keep the demand at bay.
A pipeline controller works with a gas controller to ensure that power plants and residential natural gas users can receive enough gas for all their needs. The thing is that gas, be it in liquid or gas form, needs a good, leak-proof piping system to deliver gas to all the users. A system like this is difficult to maintain because the piping is prone to leaks as it is. For this reason, a pipeline controller is in charge of inspecting and maintaining the gas pipes.
Power Quality Analyst
As power grids are complex systems, operating and maintaining them could be a complex task. For this reason, the power quality analyst takes care of small issues before they accumulate and become much bigger issues. In fact, many power quality analysts employed by the electrical utility companies delivering power to your home anticipate issues that could happen on the network and prevent them instead of fixing them.
A project manager in power generation and power transmission systems is a wide term that can cover several jobs that need to be done:
- Power plant construction project managers,
- Large-scale maintenance works project managers,
- Powerline expansion project managers, and many more.
As this is a responsible work position, it goes without saying that a good project manager should have great skills when it comes to blueprint and technical documentation reading, assessing safety (both short and long-term) and that they should be able to coordinate larger groups of people efficiently and cost-effectively. As construction projects of this size are often overdue and the estimated costs are overrun multiple times in the construction phase, choosing underqualified workers for the position can prove to be more headache than it should be.
Field Service Representative
A field service representative is another essential worker in the field of energy generation and selling. In fact, a field service representative is a person in charge of resolving issues in the field, usually in the low-voltage part of the grid. Whenever there is an issue with the meter or other similar equipment, it is their job to deliver repair and other services to establish a reliable energy supply. They are also in charge of switching out your meters and other similar equipment.
Network System Administrator
As it goes, grids are very complex systems, and having good and timely communication between all the elements making up this system is essential. So, power plants need to communicate with utilities and substation managers, etc. In addition to this, all the elements of the system need to regularly (usually in real-time) report to the overseeing bodies, such as ERCOT and other similar institutions who need to ensure that fair play is in place across the grid.
Water Resources Engineer
Engineering and technical careers are among the most sought-after careers in the field. Among these is the water resources engineer. Their responsibilities are wide and include:
- Designing wastewater treatment plants,
- Designing supply systems,
- Maintaining water resource utilization plans,
- Designing desalination plants in water-scarce coastal regions,
- Designing pipes and connection types for residential areas,
- Analyzing a community’s water needs, and
- Analyzing the quality of water in the water supply system.
The degree in electrical engineering is probably the most versatile on our list, at least in regard to possible employment. Namely, an electrical engineer can work in any factory or design studio that deals with electrical equipment of any kind. In utilities central, an electrical engineer can deal with designing energy-generating equipment, transformers, and all other parts of the grid that rely on electronics to function and deliver power to you. Power generation equipment is just a part of what these engineers can design.
A maintenance technician is also known as a maintenance electrician. They are responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of a building’s electrical system. This includes the mains board, the meter, and the connection between these. Maintenance technicians can also work on the upkeep of general wiring, power outlets, and all other wirings (such as LAN, cable, fiber optic networks, etc.) and outlets or connectors around your home or a larger commercial or industrial building.
Utility Warehouse Associate
Wherever there is a large turnover of materials, such as wiring, electrical poles, etc. there is also a utility warehouse associate. Their job is to maintain the warehouse, and the goods that are in it, to issue the goods and materials whenever there is a need for them, and to keep materials lists available. Some of the skills they should have include operating machinery, such as forklifts and other mobility equipment.
As these are some of the best-paying jobs in electric utilities central, it is necessary to consider their salaries. Here is the average annual salary in the electric utilities central:
Power Plant Engineer
Besides these, there are more job positions in the energy field. Another electric utility job is a power plant engineer. They are in charge of designing power plants of various kinds and are there to ensure that the construction phase is carried out according to the plan.
Annual Salary of Jobs in Electric Utilities Central
|Job Title||Annual Salary|
|Nuclear Licensing Engineer||$76,000-145,000|
|Hydroelectric Plant Operator||$35,000-52,000|
|Power System Engineer||$85,000-95,000|
|Power System Dispatcher||$45,000+|
|Power Quality Analyst||$60,000-70,000|
|Field Service Representative||$45,000-65,000|
|Network System Administrator||$90,000-102,000|
|Water Resources Engineer||$67,000-75,000|
|Utility Warehouse Associate||$70,000-85,000|
Is Electric Utilities Central a Good Career Path?
Yes, electric utilities central is a good career path for anyone who can deal with technical and legal research. People in the central utilities central should also operate machinery, and understand complex (electrical) systems. They should also be able to deal with the design, operation, maintenance, and logistics of working in a power generation, transmission, or even work as a substation engineer.
Working in the energy field is a prospective career path. With a plethora of work and job positions that you can assume, you will be sure to find a stable and good workplace and a stable income for years to come. Having a degree in the field is a big plus, but not a necessity, especially as a lot of the positions enable even high school graduates to work in the field.