Is public utilities a good career path? If you enjoy helping people and making a difference in their lives, you should consider working in public utilities. The industry provides opportunities in many professions, and you will not be disappointed. Most good-hearted people find it satisfying to ensure that their community lives comfortably and to be compensated for it.
Individuals working in public utilities collaborate with the government and communities to ensure the delivery of essential services such as water, gas, and electricity. Careers in this field are gratifying in terms of pay, growth/development, and job satisfaction.
In a world where work-life balance and mental health are increasingly important, your chosen career affects your quality of life. The question of how to choose a career necessitates careful consideration of numerous factors. You might find this post helpful if you want a job in the public sector or want to change careers.
What do Jobs in Public Utilities Pay?
Is public utilities a good career path? Everyone looks forward to a well-paying job after spending a significant portion of their lives in school and investing essential educational resources. Engineers, communication specialists, and managers are all employed by public utilities.
The salary of a utility operator varies depending on the job. If you are fresh out of college, Public Utilities will likely hire you for an entry-level position with a lower salary. A lower wage should not deter you, as these industries provide excellent career advancement possibilities and job security. Employees in public utilities earn approximately $47.34 per hour on average.
Public Utilities in the United States Include:
- Natural gas
- Electricity companies
- Telephone companies
- Water companies
- Sanitation and waste disposal companies
According to statistics, the utility industry in the United States employs 675,775 people as of July 2022. With an increasing demand for service provision, the number of people working in the sector has been steadily increasing. There are numerous career paths to take within this vast industry.
- Utility Operator Jobs
The utility sector employs the most people in the United States. In 2021, there will be 19,830 electrical engineers, 23,000 control valve installers and repairs, 22,280 first-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers, and 61,590 electrical power line installers and repairers in the utility sector in the United States.
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, engineers are a significant part of the utility sector and some of the highest-paid jobs, with an average salary of $100,640. (BLS). They ensure the safe generation and distribution of energy in all sectors, including natural gas, electricity, water and sanitation, and telecommunications.
Public utility engineering jobs range from entry-level to intermediate to experienced positions. Furthermore, job descriptions differ from one industry to the next. They include research, design, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance.
Engineers in this field differ in education, discipline, functions, and industry.
The types of engineers include (Is public utilities a good career path?):
- Mechanical engineers
- Computer engineers
- Telecommunication engineers
- Civil engineers
- Nuclear engineers
- Chemical engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Environmental engineers
- Material science engineers
- Aeronautical & aerospace engineers
- Industrial engineers
Maintenance, installation, and repairs are examples of other utility operator jobs. They do not need to be engineers but must have technical skills. Examples include electricians, steamfitters, pipe layers and fitters, plumbers, and mechanics. Their jobs vary depending on the industry, but some include installing and repairing equipment and infrastructure such as electrical power lines and industrial machinery.
In the utility industry, managerial positions range from team leaders to top-level executives. Manager qualifications and job descriptions vary depending on the nature of the business and the services provided. In general, managerial responsibilities include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling operations within an organization.
Every organization requires managers to boost productivity by improving labor and process efficiency and effectiveness. The utility sector’s salaries vary depending on their level and industry. Their annual salaries range from $52,000 to $170,000. Utility managers’ roles differ as follows:
- Water supply managers oversee the purification and pumping processes and the maintenance and preparation of quality and supply reports.
- Electrical power distribution managers oversee power generation and distribution systems and activities in their area of responsibility.
- Managers of natural gas supply plan and direct gas supplies to consumers, inventory, deposits, and withdrawals.
- Petroleum product distribution managers manage and supervise heating oil delivery to retailers and storage facilities.
- Waste systems managers oversee the collection and adequately disposing of solid and liquid waste, as well as the scheduling of staff training on waste handling and safety.
- Water pollution control managers supervise sewage treatment plant operations, scheduled maintenance, and write quality reports.
Utility workers Who Provide Administrative and Office Support
Is public utilities a good career path? Among other positions, customer service representatives, office workers, and administrative assistants/secretaries are employed by public utilities. Some of these positions require only a high school diploma, while others require a college degree. The higher the job’s qualification and experience requirements, the higher the pay.
Accountants are needed in every organization to assist with financial decisions. And their responsibilities may include:
- Internal and external payments are collected and tracked.
- Audits are also used to correct institutional finances.
- Preparation of budget projections
- Tax payments and returns are processed.
- Financial statements are published.
- Reconciliation of bank statements
- Accounting for profit and loss
- Ensure that monetary policies and regulations are followed.
- Experts in Public Relations, Public Affairs, and Communication
Some of the duties of communication and public relations utility workers include the following:
- Public relations and positive publicity
- Promotional materials, speeches, and other materials must be written and produced.
- Putting on events and holding press conferences
Drivers play an essential role in utility companies. Picking and dropping off specific products from one location to another is common in service delivery. Utility drivers can expect to earn $17 per hour. The driver must be able to operate various types of heavy-duty vehicles, have a commercial driver’s license, and be mechanically skilled. Excellent communication skills and dependability are also required in these utility operator jobs.
Utility drivers are responsible for the following tasks:
- Document management
- Route planning
- Product loading and unloading
What are the Highest-Paying Positions in Public Utilities?
Is public utilities a good career path? Is working in public utilities a viable career option? Your specific objectives and skills partly determine it. If you want to work in the highest-paying utility jobs, you should have high education and experience. Salaries for utility workers vary depending on the job grade. Basic workers are paid the least, with middle and upper management earning the most.
Salaries for public utility workers vary by institution and region, but here are some rough estimates.
- Basic workers are entry-level employees with an hourly wage of $16 and an annual salary of $27,000.
- Middle management utility jobs pay more, with an average yearly salary of $78,000, and require more qualifications and experience.
- Employees in upper management at public utilities can earn up to $150,000 per year.
What are the Benefits of Working in Public Utilities?
In general, jobs in public utilities require little education and experience. Even senior-level positions may not require work experience in some cases. Furthermore, most entry-level jobs do not require any formal education. Anyone can apply for these jobs and be hired if they meet the requirements.
They provide job security, and when you work in the public utility sector, you are less likely to lose your job because staff members have union bosses fighting for their rights. The industry also meets basic needs and, in some cases, is monopolistic; thus, employees are not concerned about economic downturns or the organization going out of business.
Salaries in the public sector are higher than in the private sector for comparable roles and industries. The higher the remuneration, the higher the job requirements regarding education and experience.
Because entry-level utility positions are less competitive, they are easier to obtain.
Utility jobs provide excellent salary and position advancement systems based on employee years of experience. Employees can quickly advance through the ranks through competency evaluations and educational advancement.
In comparison to other careers, they also provide good benefits and bonuses. Special allowances, pensions, paid leave, and award leaves are benefits.
Employees in the utility industry are rarely laid off unless they are found guilty of a crime. Even though innocent employees have the right to appeal their dismissal, defend their actions, and reclaim their jobs.
Finally, there is no gender parity in the salary of a utility operator. Employees in comparable positions, both male and female, are paid the same.
What are the Downsides of Working in Public Utilities?
Is public utilities a good career path? Some utility jobs, particularly those of basic workers, do not provide opportunities for advancement. A college education is also required to advance your career in the utility industry.
- Utility jobs with high pay are incredibly competitive.
- Some utility jobs, particularly in smaller companies, are less secure because they can quickly go bankrupt, as recently demonstrated.
- Most people may be put off by bureaucratic constraints and a lack of flexibility. Utility workers only work within the parameters of their jobs, which leads to boredom and a lack of motivation.
- Utility workers are frequently undervalued by society, and most of their employment is unprestigious.
In a Nutshell
Is public utilities a good career path? This isn’t a simple yes or no question. Every profession has benefits and drawbacks. Numerous utility operator jobs are available, each with its own skills and technical requirements. Only after weighing the benefits and drawbacks can you determine whether or not this industry will provide you with the satisfaction you seek.