The Best paying jobs in public utilities include power plant operators, gas controllers, and industrial electricians. Annual wages in this field range from $40,000 to over $100,000. This indicates that public utility jobs are high in demand and lucrative.
Moreso, the public utility sector is every other sector of the global economy. This is because public utility services are generally considered essential for daily life. Currently, the industry is valued at $962.5 billion, with a projected revenue of over $962.5 billion.
What Do Public Utility Jobs Pay?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for workers in public utility is $81,230. This figure covers a wide range of public utility jobs like electricians, power plant operators, and water treatment plant operators.
A water resource specialist is the highest paid in the public utility sector, with an average annual salary of over $200,000. The least-paid job in this sector might be a meter reader position with a median salary of $60,000. This is primarily because this position does not require formal education.
Top 20 Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities
Water Resource Specialist
Median Salary: $276,000
A water resource specialist examines the local and regional water supply and ensures it is safe to drink. They also create water-saving processes and educate the public about water safety, conservation, and recycling.
A bachelor’s degree in an area such as environmental science, hydrology, or a related field is normally required for Water Resource Specialists. For some positions, certain employers may require a master’s degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% increase in job growth for water resource specialists.
Median Salary: $190,000
A project manager’s job in the public utility sector is to supervise and plan the building of transmission lines and power plants.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required for the job. Also, an engineering license and six sigma black belt certification are desired.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 7% increase in job growth for pipeline controllers from 2020 to 2030.
3. Chemical Engineer
Median Salary: $150,400
Chemical engineers are responsible for ensuring the safety of food and water. They create new chemicals, utilize chemistry to solve manufacturing problems and supervise the production of chemicals or products.
A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related discipline is often required to become a chemical engineer. Some employers, particularly those in research or academia, may necessitate a master’s or doctoral degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 14% increase in job growth for chemical engineers.
4. Control Room Supporter
Median Salary: $150,000
A control room supporter manages, operates, and maintains the equipment in power plant control rooms.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for the position of utility control room operator. A control room supported is also expected to have prior experience operating electrical equipment and knowledge of electrical power distribution systems.
5. Water Treatment Plant Operator
Median Salary: $130,980
Water treatment plant operators check the quality and amount of water and test for toxins in water supply systems. They also operate chemical feeders and pumps to transport chemicals into equipment and tanks.
A high school graduate can be hired as a water treatment plant operator. Many employers, however, prefer candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in environmental science or chemistry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 7% decrease in job growth for Water treatment plant operators.
6. Nuclear License Engineer
Median Salary: $120,814
A nuclear licensing engineer ensures that the plant and reactor are operated safely and efficiently. They keep an eye on the plant’s performance, as well as its maintenance and safety measures.
To work in this field, you must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering plus years of experience. Nuclear licensing engineers are usually required to have Nuke Certifications.
The job outlook for nuclear licensing engineers is generally positive, with a projected employment growth rate of 15% from 2020 to 2030.
7. Substation Engineer
Median Salary: $119,892
The design of substations falls squarely on the shoulders of substation engineers. Substation engineers oversee the day-to-day operation of designing these substations. Also, they inspect the substations to make sure they are operating effectively.
Substation engineers usually have Bachelor’s degrees to start working in the public utility sector. However, most professionals in this field are likely to have graduate degrees in engineering with years of experience.
The job outlook for substation engineers is generally positive, with a projected employment growth rate of 3% from 2020 to 2030.
8. Radiation Engineer
Median Salary: $104,068
Radiation engineers inspect every location and piece of infrastructure in nuclear power facilities. They look out for excessive radiation and employ strategies to manage the unavoidable effects of radiation.
Most employees will only hire candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree as radiation engineers. Master’s and other relevant certifications will give such candidates an edge.
The job outlook for the radiation engineer role is positive, with a growth rate of 4% over the next five years. BLS projects it will produce many job opportunities across the United States from 2021 to 2031.
Median Salary: $101,040
Foremen usually supervise plumbers, air conditioning specialists, and electricians. They also supervise personnel who do routine maintenance on water distribution networks and waste treatment plants.
A high school diploma or equivalent is sometimes adequate to serve as a foreman. A bachelor’s degree or occupational training may be required in other instances.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for supervisors from 2020 to 2030.
10. Power Distributors and Dispatchers
Median Salary: $98,530
power distributors and dispatchers monitor the flow of electricity from generation facilities to distribution substations. They also monitor the substation’s equipment to ensure it is in good condition.
A high school diploma or equivalent is often required for Power Distributors and Dispatchers. Some organizations, however, may prefer or require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering.
The job outlook for power distributors and dispatchers role is positive, with a growth rate of 4% from 2020 to 2030
11. Pipeline Controller
Median Salary: $94,937
Pipeline controllers inspect pipelines for leaks, degradation, and repairs. They also offer preventative maintenance and modifications that may improve the pipeline systems’ safety and efficiency.
This is one of the top best paying jobs in public utilities for those who haven’t gone to college. However, most pipeline controllers have bachelor’s or associate’s degrees.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for pipeline controllers from 2020 to 2030.
12. Power Plant Operators
Median Salary: $96,864
These professionals run power plants that generate electricity for the community. They manage the turbines and generators that generate electricity for public or private firms. To understand how these devices work, power plant operators must be familiar with electrical engineering and physics.
Power plant operators need a two-year associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology to work in this sector. However, some employees hire candidates with one year of relevant experience in place of an associate degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% increase in job growth for power plant operators.
13. Electric Power Line Installer/Repairer
Median Salary: $87,500
They install or repair electrical distribution system cables and wires. Overhead linemen climb poles, while subterranean cable splicers use hand tools or cable-laying machinery to place cables beneath roadways and parking lots.
You must have a background in electrical engineering to work as an electric power line installer/repairer.
The job outlook for the electric power line installer role is positive, with a growth rate of 6% from 2020 to 2030.
14. Utility Lineman
Median Salary: $83,372
Utility linemen are responsible for maintaining and repairing power and other utility lines. They work under extreme conditions like high voltage or dangerous situations. They must also climb poles with ropes or ladders to reach their work area. They must have good knowledge about electricity, safety procedures, and climbing techniques to be successful in this job.
This career path does not require a formal education. A mere apprenticeship program is sufficient to venture into it.
The job outlook for utility linemen is generally positive, with a projected employment growth rate of 5% from 2020 to 2030.
15. Environmental Science Technicians (Except Hydrologists)
Median Salary: $80,130
Environmental science technicians take water or air samples at industrial plants to assess their environmental quality. They often focus on air, water, and soil contamination. They conduct research, and engineers and scientists use the findings to determine where to locate power and water plants.
An environmental science technician’s educational qualifications vary based on the employer and the specific job demands. Most employers, however, prefer people with an associate’s degree in environmental science, biology, chemistry, or a closely related discipline.
The job outlook for the environmental science technicians role is positive, with a growth rate of 9% from 2020 to 2030.
16. Industrial Electrician
Median Salary: $80,000
Industrial electricians construct, maintain, and repair electrical wiring in industrial plants and buildings. They may also troubleshoot electrical systems and equipment. They also design processes that aid in the safety of electrical plants.
To operate in this sector, industrial electricians must have an associate’s degree or a certificate from a recognized school.
The job outlook for the electric power line installer role is positive, with a growth rate of 8% from 2020 to 2030.
17. Electrical Engineer
Median Salary: $78,737
An electrical engineer works with electrical systems and equipment. Electrical engineers frequently collaborate with mechanical and civil engineers to construct important components of a system.
Before working as an electrical engineer, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from a four-year institution or university.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for electrical engineers from 2020 to 2030.
18. Utility Operations Manager
Median Salary: $73,570
An operations manager oversees all areas of a company’s operations. They supervise other employees are supervised, plan work schedules, and everything goes smoothly.
Most utility operation managers have a four-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree in business administration or management. Some employers prefer applicants with an MBA or M.S. degree in business administration.
The job outlook for utility operation managers is generally positive, with a projected employment growth rate of 3% from 2020 to 2030.
19. Gas Technician
Median Salary: $61,000
Gas technicians primarily work for companies that deliver energy sources such as gas, oil, or coal to consumers worldwide. They are in charge of ensuring that pipes do not leak or crack while transferring petroleum.
Gas technicians must be certified by the federal government before they can perform their duties safely on the job site.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% increase in job growth for gas technicians from 2020 to 2030.
20. Meter Reader
Median Salary: $60,000
The meter reader records the meter in order to keep a record of the power use, which includes electricity, water, and natural gas. It is one of the most visible and well-paying occupations in the public utilities sector because it assists corporations in properly billing their customers.
To become a meter reader, one must have a high school diploma or equivalent. On-job training is usually mandatory for this profession.
The job outlook for meter readers is generally positive, with a projected employment growth rate of 3.8% from 2020 to 2030.
Which Government Public Utilities Service Has The Highest Salary?
The government public utilities service job with the highest Salary is water resource specialist. Water resource specialists have an average annual salary of $308,500. Professionals in the vocation are responsible for managing a team to develop innovative solutions for water utilities. Competition in this career path is high, so obtaining the necessary education and skills to succeed in this field will be important.
Five Best Paying Entry-level Public Utility Jobs
1. Electrical Engineer
Median Salary: $70,000
Electrical engineers are in charge of designing, developing, and testing electrical equipment used in public utilities. This job is quite lucrative for an entry-level role with an average salary of $70,000.
The job outlook for the electrical engineer role is positive, with a growth rate of 3% over the next ten years.
2. Mechanical Engineer
Median Salary: $65,000
A mechanical engineer works in public utilities to develop and maintain mechanical systems and equipment. Most entry-level positions in this profession earn at least $65,000 per year on average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 4% increase in job growth for mechanical engineers from 2020 to 2030.
3. Environmental Engineer
Median Salary: $65,000
An environmental engineer is in charge of creating and implementing environmental protection and sustainability policies in public utilities. Entry-level environmental engineers earn roughly $65,000 per year on average.
The job outlook for the environmental engineer role is positive, with a growth rate of 5% over the next ten years.
GIS (Geographic Information System) Analyst
Median Salary: $50,000
A GIS (Geographic Information System) Analyst is responsible for designing, producing, and managing geographic databases and maps used in public utilities. Most entry-level positions in this profession earn at least $50,000 per year on average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% increase in job growth for GIS analysts from 2020 to 2030.
5. Utility Technician
A utility technician is in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing equipment and infrastructure in public utilities. Entry-level utility technicians earn roughly $45,000 per year on average.
The job outlook for the utility technician role is positive, with a growth rate of 1% over the next ten years.
How to Get a High Paying Job in Public Utility
Getting a high paying job in Public Utility requires some level of dedication and hard work.
Below are 5 practical steps you can employ in landing a high paying job in public utility:
1. Get the required education and certifications
While this sector provides semi-skilled employment, most high-paying jobs require a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as engineering and environmental science will land you a high-paying public utility job. Furthermore, earning relevant certifications can help you stand out as a prospect.
2. Gain relevant work experience
Internships and co-op programs in the public utilities sector can provide useful experience and help you create a network of contacts. Seek work with local utilities or companies specializing in public utility work.
Network with industry professionals through attending conferences, joining professional groups, and seeking out industry mentors. Developing relationships with professionals in the field might help you learn about career prospects and acquire insight into the industry.
4. Keep up with industry trends
The public utility sector is always changing, so it’s critical to stay current on the latest technologies, laws, and best practices. Participate in relevant online groups, attend conferences and training sessions, and read industry publications.
5. Be prepared to relocate
High-paying work in the public utilities sector may only be available in some areas. Be willing to relocate to regions where your abilities are in high demand.
Top 5 Essential Skills Needed to Get a High Paying Job in Public Utilities
There are job-specific requirements that you should consider if you want to land a high paying job in Public Utilities. In general, these soft skills are great assets to have across any job in the field:
1. Excellent communication skills
Good communication skills are a must-have in the public utility sector. Good communication also encompasses excellent active listening skills. This skill is important because it involves providing essential services to people, which requires communication.
2. Emotional intelligence
This is a must-have skill in this public utility sector. Dealing with people, especially when providing essential services, requires high emotional intelligence.
3. Ability to work independently
Most public utility jobs require little to no supervision. Thus, candidates desirous of joining this sector must cultivate the habit of working independently.
4. Leadership skills
Excellent leadership skills are required for success in public utilities. This involves the capacity to lead and motivate teams, allocate duties, and make key decisions.
5. Business acumen
Understanding the business aspects of public utilities is essential. Budgeting, financial management, and project management knowledge can help you increase efficiency and profitability in this sector.
Where to Find the Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities
As stated above, jobs in the public utility sector are in high demand. Provided you are armed with the necessary skills and certifications, finding a job in this sector is relatively easy. Below are the best sites and places to find best paying jobs in public utilities:
ZipRecruiter is a prominent job search engine for public utility jobs and employment in almost any field. The site is simple to navigate and allows you to search for jobs, read employee evaluations, and learn about pay. Furthermore, you can use a filter to get notifications for jobs with a certain wage bracket.
2. Google Jobs
Google Jobs is Google’s built-in job search engine. Simply go to Google and input keywords for the public utility job you want, such as “utility engineer job” or “plumber job,” to find public utility positions you can apply for. You can set up alerts to get notifications when such jobs are posted online.
Glassdoor is a job search site that allows you to browse and apply for jobs. This is also the perfect site to read employer and employee evaluations, view reported salaries, and more.
4. Government Websites
Jobs in public utilities are also listed on state and federal government websites. Websites like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy are good websites with job opportunities.
5. Public Utility Industry Conferences
Attending these conferences is a form of networking. Attending such conferences allow you to learn about available jobs in public utilities. Also, join professional organizations, and interact with professionals on social media.
Factors Affecting Workers’ Pay in the Public Utility Sector
Companies frequently change their market data when selecting how much to pay their employees. They look into compensation practices for similar jobs at similar organizations to determine the worth of such roles.
Top 5 factors affecting workers’ pay in public utilities.
1. Education and Experience
Workers with more education and experience typically earn more money. For example, someone with a master’s degree in electrical engineering is likely to earn more than someone with a bachelor’s degree in the same area.
2. Job Title and Responsibility
In the public utility business, remuneration might vary depending on job title and level of responsibility. For example, a manager or supervisor will earn more than a front-line worker.
3. Geographic Location
It is common for workers with similar titles but in different locations to earn different wages. This is because most employers factor in the cost of living in a region when fixing salaries. Thus, it is common to find public utility workers in New York earning more than their colleagues in Virginia.
4. Industry Competition
Workers’ pay can also be affected by industry competition. For example, a worker in an area with many electric utilities may be paid more than a worker in an area with only one utility.
5. Government Regulations
The public utility business is frequently subject to government rules, which can impact employee remuneration. Regulations requiring the use of renewable energy might create more demand for workers in such areas.
Top 10 Companies with the Best-Paying Jobs in Public Utilities
This public utility sector houses some of the biggest companies in the U.S., which is not the least surprising. The public utility sector has a market valuation of over $1.58 trillion, making it a very lucrative sector. Below are some of the top companies in the public utility field with their Salary range
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Average Annual Salary: $104,076)
- Sempra Energy (Average Annual Salary: $94,220)
- Exelon Corporation (Average Annual Salary: $93,776)
- NextEra Energy (Average Annual Salary: $85,298)
- Dominion Energy (Average Annual Salary: $82,110)
- Duke Energy (Average Annual Salary: $81,919)
- National Grid (Average Annual Salary: $81,386)
- Southern Company (Average Annual Salary: $80,132)
- Xcel Energy (Average Annual Salary: $79,673)
- American Electric Power (Average Annual Salary: $75,161)
Conclusion: 25 Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities | Top 25 Jobs
Professions in public utilities will always be in high demand. Basic necessities like keeping the lights on in our towns, the water flowing, and ensuring that we have heat all boil down to this profession. There you have it, the top best paying jobs in public utilities! The good news is that you start some of the jobs outlined here with little education and training.