The job market in the public utilities industry is diverse and offers a wide range of opportunities for those looking to start or advance their careers. There are currently over 3.5 million people employed in the public utilities field.
One of the most in-demand positions in this field is that of a utility lineman. These skilled people are in charge of keeping power lines in good shape, fixing them when they break and putting in new ones. They often work in challenging outdoor environments and must be able to climb tall poles and work at great heights.
What is public utilities?
Public utilities are businesses that provide essential services to the public, like electricity, natural gas, water, and phone service. These services are thought to be important to the public, so the government often regulates them to make sure they are provided in a safe, reliable, and affordable way. Most utilities that serve the public are owned and run by the government or non-profit groups, but some are privately owned and regulated.
Some examples of public utilities include:
- Electric power companies that generate, transmit and distribute electricity to homes and businesses.
- Gas companies transport and distribute natural gas to customers for heating, cooking, and other uses.
- Water and wastewater companies that provide clean drinking water and manage sewage for communities.
- Telecommunications companies that provide telephone and internet services.
Public utilities are important to our everyday lives because they give us the energy and services we need to run our homes, businesses, and communities. They can also play a big role in our economy and job market.
5 Highest paying jobs in public utilities
1. Utility Engineer
Utility engineers are responsible for designing, planning, and overseeing the construction and maintenance of public utility systems. Most of the time, they have a strong background in engineering and know the rules and standards that apply to their field. They often earn a salary ranging from $80,000 to $120,000.
2. Power Plant Manager
Power plant managers are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of power generation facilities. They need to know a lot about the technical and operational parts of making electricity, as well as how to run a team. They often earn a salary ranging from $100,000 to $150,000.
3. Energy Trader
Energy traders buy and sell energy on behalf of utility companies or other businesses. They must have a strong understanding of the energy market, as well as the ability to make quick, informed decisions. They often earn a salary ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.
4. Senior Electrical Engineer
Senior electrical engineers are in charge of making plans for and overseeing the construction of the electrical systems for public utilities. They need a strong background in electrical engineering and a deep understanding of the rules and standards of the industry. They often earn a salary ranging from $90,000 to $120,000.
5. Director of Operations
Directors of operations are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of public utility companies. They must have a strong understanding of the industry and experience managing a team. They often earn a salary ranging from $120,000 to $200,000,
Is public utilities a good career path?
Yes, a career in public utilities can be a good choice for those who are interested in working in an essential industry that provides critical services to the public. The field offers a wide range of job opportunities, from hands-on technical roles to customer-facing positions. Many jobs in this field are also thought to be “recession-proof” because they provide essential services that are always in high demand, no matter how the economy is doing.
Some of the benefits of a career in public utilities include:
- Job stability: As public utilities provide essential services, they are less likely to be affected by economic downturns.
- Diverse job opportunities: There are many different types of jobs available in the public utility field, including those in engineering, operations, customer service, and more.
- Advancement opportunities: Many public utility companies offer training and development programs that can help employees advance their careers.
- Competitive pay: Many jobs in public utilities come with competitive salaries and benefits packages.
- Impact on society: Public utilities are an important part of maintaining the infrastructure and services that make our communities work.
How many utility workers are there in the US?
In the USA alone, there are over 90,000 workers in the public utilities industry in 2023.
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