Currently, there are more than 675,775 jobs available in public utilities. The number of employees in the public utilities sector increased by 0.5% every year between 2017 and 2022. The public utilities market employs more than 500,000 people as of 2022, making it a major booster of the US economy.
What are public utilities? Public utilities are services provided by corporate organizations to the masses and regulated by the government. In another scene, public utilities are services the government provides to its citizens to make the environment more friendly.
Overview of the Public Utility Job Market
In the United States, public utilities play an important role in the economy. It supplies essential services to millions of Americans, like water, electricity, natural gas, and sewage removal. The public utility sector employs over 675,775 people nationwide. In addition, the number of persons employed in the utility industry in the United States increased by 0.5% every year in a decade.
Both the state and federal governments regulate public utilities. They also establish standards for providing quality services. While technology might have impacted the Public Utility Job Market, this sector remains crucial to the US economy.
Sectors in Public Utilities
Natural Gas Utilities Sector
In 2020, the United States utilized over 30.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, making this sector important. Natural gas utilities provide 35% of America’s electricity generation and heat homes. This sector has recently grown rapidly because many people have discovered the benefits of using natural gas.
This sector provides 9.8 million job opportunities in the US, covering approximately 5.6% of the country’s working population. Examples of some natural gas industry factories are Energy Transfer, Exelon Corporation, and Duke Energy Corporation.
Water and Sewage Utilities Sector
This is one of the largest and most important industries in the US, which is not the least surprising. This sector is responsible for sewage removal and water purification. Officials in this sector collect wastewater from houses, purify it and release same into the water distribution system.
This industry employs thousands of people and is regulated by the local government. Danaher Corporation, Ecolab, and Kemira are the most popular companies in this sector.
Electric Power Utilities Sector
The power sector is possibly the largest in the United States and focuses on electricity generation. Households and organizations use electricity. This sector thus ensures that all citizens have access to power. They also ensure that the entire utility system is not affected by power spikes or outages.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 1.3% increase in job growth in this sector. It will provide 7.5 million job opportunities across the United States from 2021 to 2031. Some popular Companies in the Public Utilities Field in the United States are Southern California Edison Company and American Electric Power.
What is the Utility Job Description? Job Description of Public Utilities Workers
Job descriptions of public utility workers:
- Installation and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment used to provide services.
- Resource management: Public utility workers may also be involved in resource management, such as water and natural gas management.
- Customer service: Many public utility employees work in customer service, assisting clients in resolving issues and answering queries about services.
- Supervisory or management positions: Some public utility personnel may have supervisory or management positions, overseeing others.
What are the Available Jobs in Public Utilities?
The public utility sector is an important aspect of society since it delivers essential public services. Thus, the number of available in the public utility sector grows rapidly every day. Here are some of the most common jobs available in public utilities.
Top 10 Government Jobs in the Public Utilities Industry
1. Water Resource Specialist
Average Annual Salary: $308,500
This is the best paying job in public utilities. 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.
The job outlook for a water resource specialist is generally positive. It will continue on a positive trend due to the increasing energy demand.
2. Nuclear Licensing Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $145,500
This is a good career path in public utilities. A nuclear licensing engineer guarantees that the plant and reactor are run safely and efficiently. They monitor the plant’s performance, including its maintenance and safety systems. To be in this profession, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering+ and years of experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 11% increase in job growth for nuclear licensing engineers. However, about 700 job opportunities opened across the United States despite declining employment from 2021 to 2031.
3. Utility Manager
Average Annual Salary: $142,000
Utility managers are in charge of the water supply to the power grid, ensuring that these services are without interruption. Most utility manager role requires a bachelor’s degree. Although, in rare cases, GED might suffice. A utility manager must possess analytical and interpersonal skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 7.1% increase in job growth for utility managers. It will provide many job opportunities across the United States from 2021 to 2031.
4. Power System Dispatcher
Average Annual Salary $125,000
The power system dispatcher is responsible for the safe and efficient dispatch of all-electric, gas, and water utility vehicles and service distribution. They also ensure that all equipment is working in order properly and due safety protocols are followed.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 1.5% increase in job growth for power system dispatchers. This percentile increase will open up job opportunities.
5. Gas Controller
Average Annual Salary: $120,000
A Gas Controller is in charge of the accounting and financial management of the city’s gas, electric, and water services. They are in charge of evaluating and reporting data to ensure that all utility revenues are properly accounted for.
According to reports, the job outlook for gas controllers is expected to remain positive. This is because the sector plays a significant role in meeting energy needs.
6. Substation Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $118,000
The Substation Engineer is responsible for designing and installing the substation and distribution line equipment. Since this job requires an understanding of electrical engineering principles, a bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering is necessary.
The job outlook for a Substation Engineer is generally positive. It will continue on a positive trend due to the increasing energy demand. Moreso, there is the need to upgrade and maintain electrical power infrastructure.
7. Pipeline Controller
Average Annual Salary: 117,500
Pipeline controllers are in charge of ensuring that pipeline systems run safely and efficiently. They collaborate with engineers who design pipelines and equipment to guarantee that the system operates at peak efficiency. You need the right training, experience, and certifications to be a pipeline controller. Also, the ability to adapt to changing industry standards is a plus.
The job outlook for Pipeline Controllers is positive and will stay like that for a long time. Provided the energy demand continues to increase, this career path will naturally be in high demand.
8. Power Transmission Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $116,000
Power Transmission Engineers are in charge of the planning, designing, and constructing transmission systems. They work on various projects ranging from short-term building to long-term maintenance contracts. To succeed in this profession, you must have a good engineering background and experience in the field of power transmission.
Generally, the job outlook for Power Transmission Engineers is positive. We will continue to witness this positive trend because of the need to upgrade and maintain the electrical power transmission system.
9. Power Systems Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $115,000
The Power Systems Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing electrical power systems. This position requires an understanding of the technical and business aspects of power systems engineering. A bachelor’s degree and experience working with electrical equipment are necessary for this career path.
Regarding job outlook, there is expected to be growth in the demand for professionals with expertise in power system management.
10. Power Plant Engineer
Average Annual Salary: $81,770
A power plant engineer ensures that the electrical system operates dynamically and efficiently. They are concerned with power generation, transmission, distribution, and usage in electrical distribution networks. This career path is best for persons with science or engineering backgrounds.
The job outlook for the power plant engineer role is positive, with a high growth rate. According to BLS are, 6,700 power plant engineers employed in the United States in 2010. 2,500 of these people worked in manufacturing, while 4,200 worked in construction.
Other Jobs Available In Public Utilities
The list above provides some of the best-paying jobs in the public utility sector. Other jobs available in public utilities include the following:
- Power plant operator
- Water treatment plant operator
- Wastewater treatment plant operator
- Gas line inspector
- Utility Locator
- Cable technician
- Environmental engineer
- Energy auditor
- Electrical engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Safety specialist
- Utility forester
- Customer service representative
- Meter reader
- Dispatch supervisor
- Human resources specialist
- Financial analyst
- Marketing and communications specialist
What are the Factors Affecting the Availability of Jobs in Public Utilities
As mentioned above, there is a high demand for public utility jobs. This is because the public utility is a good career path with thousands of benefits.
Six factors affecting the availability of jobs in public utilities sector.
1. Government Regulations
The government closely regulates public utilities, and changes in rules might affect job availability. For example, if the government imposes new laws, this could affect the sector positively or negatively.
2. Technological Changes
Technology advancements can impact the availability of jobs in public utilities. The extensive use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, for example, may lessen the demand for jobs in public utilities.
3. Population Growth
Population increase is closely related to the demand for public utilities such as power, water, and sewage treatment. As populations rise, so will the demand for these services increase. In the long run, this will result in more job opportunities in public utilities.
4. Economic Conditions
The status of the economy as a whole can impact the availability of jobs in public utilities. During periods of economic expansion, there is usually a greater demand for public utility services. During economic downturns, some public utility companies might be forced lay off employees.
5. Infrastructure Investments
The amount of money invested in public utility infrastructure can affect job availability. Significant investments in modernizing or extending public utility infrastructure might result in the creation of new job opportunities.
6. Demographic Changes
Demographic changes, such as an aging population, can impact the availability of jobs in public utilities. As the workforce ages, there may be increased retirement and turnover, resulting in employment opportunities.
How to Get a Job in Public Utilities
By following these steps, you can increase your chances of securing a job in the public utility sector.
Six vital steps you can take to get a job in public utilities.
1. Choose the Career You Want:
Public utilities provide various job options, from entry-level to managerial positions. When you begin your job hunt, you should establish your desired job type and the skills and qualities required for that position.
2. Research Potential Employers
Make adequate research on hiring procedures, job postings, and career options. You can also contact industry professionals to learn more about their experiences and career options.
3. Improve Your Skills
The public utility sector demands a variety of technical and soft abilities. Consider taking courses or participating in training programs to obtain the abilities required for the job. Some common skills in this field include knowledge of electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering.
4. Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter
When applying for a career in public utilities, customize your resume and cover letter to the exact role and organization. Emphasize relevant talents and expertise, and show how you can benefit the organization.
Networking is an essential component of every job hunt. Attend business events, join professional organizations, and Network with industry professionals. This can help you discover more about potential work prospects and connect with people who can recommend you for jobs.
6. Prepare for the Interview
When you get an interview, make sure you prepare well. Research the organization, read the job advertisement and practice responses to common interview questions.
What are the Educational Requirements and Training for Public Utility Jobs?
The highly technical aspect of a public utility will require a bachelor’s degree. However, most entry-level positions in this sector do not require a formal education. On-job training and certification are usually the cruces of the public utility sector.
As mentioned above, you don’t need a degree to get into this career path. However, a degree may make you a more viable candidate for such a position.
The educational requirements you need to succeed in this sector are:
High school or GED
Getting your high school diploma or GED is the first step. Most semi-skilled jobs in public utilities will require at least a high school diploma or GED.
Since this sector is a practical one, on-job-training is mandatory. Even candidates with bachelor’s degrees might need to undergo some of this training. Because the public utility sector is heavily affected by technological advancement, one never stops learning.
Associates or tech certifications
An associate’s degree can help you develop your career in public utility. Moreso, it can provide you with experience in many fields. Explore and choose the one that best suits you.
A bachelor’s degree is sometimes required for many high entry-level roles in the public utility sector. A bachelor’s or master’s in the relevant field will give you an edge over other candidates.
Master’s or doctorate degrees
You can go from your initial entry-level position into a better-paying position. This can easily be achieved by earning a master’s or doctorate.
Training and Certifications
Not only can acquiring these certificates improve your job search, but they will also raise the value of your resume. Major certifications you should check out include the following:
- Professional Engineer (PE) License
- Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
- Water Treatment or Distribution Operator Certification
- Gas Distribution or Transmission Operator Certification
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Certifications
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
What are Skills Needed to Get a Job Public Utilities?
Some skills can help you stand out as a professional in the public utility sector. these skills will give you an edge over other candidates and make you stand out
Seven important skills you need to land a job in Public Utilities
1. Technical Skills
Many public utility jobs involve technical expertise. Understanding electrical and mechanical gas distribution systems are all examples of these technical skills. You may also be required to know data analysis and computer programming.
2. Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential in public utilities since you must speak with coworkers, consumers, and stakeholders. Effective communication skills include the capacity to listen and accurately communicate information to a diverse group.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
Those working in public utilities are frequently required to tackle complicated challenges involving infrastructure, systems, and operations. Excellent problem-solving abilities, including the capacity to analyze data, identify root causes of problems and design effective solutions.
4. Attention to Detail
Even minor errors can have major effects on the public utility sector. As a result, attention to detail is essential. Thus, professionals in this field must be able to detect and repair data, systems, or procedures flaws.
5. Customer Service Skills
Many professions in public utilities need interaction with consumers or members of the general public. Good customer service abilities, including responding to consumer inquiries and handling complaints.
6. Leadership and Teamwork Skills
Leadership and teamwork abilities may be necessary depending on the position. This involves the capacity to collaborate with others successfully, assign responsibilities, and manage projects.
7. Adaptability and Flexibility
The public utilities industry is always evolving with new technology, regulations, and customer needs. It is critical to be able to adjust to change and be flexible in your approach.
Where to Find Jobs in Public Utilities
As stated above, there is a high demand for public utility jobs. Searching for these jobs in the right places will help you land a job faster than expected.
Here are the five most promising places to find jobs in public utilities:
1. Utility Company Website
Most utility companies offer a careers section on their website that lists current job openings. Check the websites of utility providers in the area where you want to work.
2. Job Boards
Numerous job boards, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn, contain public utility job advertisements. You can look for jobs by region, industry, or job title.
3. Government Job Website
Several public utilities are owned or administered by municipal or state governments. Look for job postings in public utilities on the websites of your local and state governments.
4. Professional Association
Public utilities industry professional associations are another place to find top jobs in public utilities. Such associations include American Water Works Association and American Public Gas Association. These associations frequently have job boards or career centers that list job openings.
5. Staffing Agencies
Several staffing companies specialize in putting people in positions related to public utilities. Partnering with a staffing firm can provide you with access to career opportunities that are not widely advertised.
Networking is a vital part of any job search and is especially important in public utilities. To learn about job opportunities, attend industry events, join professional organizations, and Network with current and former utility colleagues.
Tips for Finding Available Jobs in Public Utilities
Below are some tips that should be handy when finding a job in the public utility sector.
Five professional tips to help you find a job in public utilities.
1. Research The Company.
Before applying for any positions, thoroughly investigate the firm and the role. You will want to be familiar with the company’s goals, values, policies, and employee perks. Take the time to read about the job description for the position you’re interested in so you can customize your application.
2. Create a Strong Resume
Ensure that your CV adequately shows your professional abilities, credentials, and experience with public utilities. Emphasize any technical or engineering talents that may be particularly useful for the job.
Connect with others who work in similar roles via job posting sites and online networks like LinkedIn. Make a professional profile on LinkedIn and other job search sites. Ensure that your profile is up to date and highlights your abilities and expertise.
4. Prepare for the Interview
Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer and practice your answers to typical queries before attending an interview. This will make you feel more prepared and confident while meeting with possible employers. Also, create a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your abilities and experience.
5. Follow Up
Follow up with the firm after submitting your application or attending an interview. This will demonstrate that you are still interested in the position. Following up on job applications is important, especially when applying to public utility companies.
Are public utility jobs in high demand?
Yes, public utility jobs are in high demand. Currently, there are more than 675,775 jobs available in public utilities. The number of employees in the public utilities sector increased by 0.5% every year between 2017 and 2022.
What public utility jobs are in most demand?
The public utility job in most demand is Water Resource Specialist. This is because it is one of the highest-paying jobs in the public utility sector. Water Resource Specialists manage a team to develop innovative solutions for water utilities.
What is the hardest public utility job to get?
The hardest position to get in public utility is water resource specialist. Generally, Jobs in water treatment are competitive. This is because these jobs require specialized knowledge and are critical in nature.
What are all the types of utilities?
The types of utilities are electric, gas, and water. Government entities or private corporations provide important services to the general public through public utilities.
What are the functions of public utilities?
The major function of public utilities is to provide the public with basic services such as power, water, gas, and telecommunications. These services are deemed necessary for the daily operation of households and companies. Conclusively, the end game is to ensure that these public utilities are available to everybody.
What are examples of utility workers?
Examples of utility workers are electricians, Line technicians, water and gas technicians, Telecommunications technicians, and Waste management workers.
Conclusion: How Many Jobs are Available in Public Utilities?
It is evident that public utilities is a very large sector with thousands of available jobs. The sector employs thousands of workers annually. The importance of public utilities to our daily living cannot be overemphasized. Thus, public utility workers are a crucial aspect of our economy.