Today, the electricity demand is growing in our world. The International Energy Agency has reported a 5% increase in electricity demand in 2021 and 4% in 2022. As the electricity demand grows, a career in the energy sector is expected to grow.
About 3,000 electric utilities currently exist in the US, serving more than 150 million homes and businesses with more than 2,000 terawatts per hour. These companies are responsible for employing over 172,000 people in various divisions.
- Advantages of a Career in the Energy Sector
- Disadvantages of a Career in the Energy Sector
- How Much Can You Earn in the Energy Sector?
- Jobs in the Energy Sector
- Is Energy A Good Career?
- How to get a job in the Energy Sector
- Tips on How to Start a Career in the Energy Sector
The transition from traditional electricity generation using fossil fuels to more sustainable energy production methods has become a reality, leading to the invention of more sophisticated technologies and equipment that can increase the workforce in the industry.
If you have an aptitude for the physical sciences, a future in engineering, or an interest in power plants, you should definitely consider electric power in the spotlight. Keep reading this article to see if this is still a promising career for you.
Advantages of a Career in the Energy Sector
There is a growing demand for renewable energy, and consumers are now demanding more control over their energy production and consumption. To some, these changes may seem problematic. But there are many ways in which it can be beneficial to our planet and society as a whole. Here are some Career benefits in the energy sector.
1. Job Security
Electricity is something that has come and is likely to stay for a long time. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the need for electricity increases. This may mean that jobs in the power industry will always exist.
This gives a sense of security since it is believed that there will always be work for potential and interested specialists in the electric power industry.
2. Growth Opportunity
Many jobs in the electric power industry do not require a bachelor’s degree. These include jobs as a line foreman or plant operator. With a high school diploma, you can start a career in the energy sector and receive on-the-job training that will help you grow in your career.
3. Attractive Salary
Workers in the energy sector have high wages. It is even more interesting that jobs in this field generally offer the same high salaries as other highly educated and demanding jobs, even if some of those workers only have college degrees.
4. Industry Flexibility
Every industry and company deal with electricity to some extent. This is one of the benefits of working in the power industry. As is the case with most service jobs, you can work as an electrician for any industry or company and be responsible for maintaining and repairing any electrical-related issues at that company.
5. Technological Progress
Due to the growing demand for renewable energy sources in the energy sector, technologies have been developed that industry professionals can work with. The industry is offering its workers training on using these advanced technologies to make work easier and less dangerous. This development helps workers improve their skills and keep up with industry dynamics.
Disadvantages of a Career in the Energy Sector
1. Physically Demanding
Working in the Energy Sector can be quite stressful and draining. This is because it sometimes requires long hours of work and may require some level of flexibility that can leak out during your vacation.
Blackouts and natural disasters can mean you have to work all weekend. It can be demoralizing if you already have weekends planned with family and friends.
2. Strict Rules
The industry has strict rules that are constantly changing, forcing workers to adapt regularly. These rules may also affect job security if you do not develop your skills or do not meet these standards.
3. Dangers and Risks
High-voltage accidents can be very fatal. This makes professions in the energy sector very risky. Line workers may be required to work on active current power lines, which can be very dangerous.
Working in the power industry requires a lot of skills and technical know-how. It is also important that you understand and strictly follow the security measures. This can be a very daunting task for some, but hey, you don’t want to get fried while doing your job, do you?
How Much Can You Earn in the Energy Sector?
Electricity central workers receive attractive salaries; however, their salaries vary depending on many factors such as position, company, and location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that energy engineers earn an average of $108,960.
Other industry workers also receive high wages. You can be sure that you will earn a minimum of $40,000 per year in any division of the sector in which you work.
Jobs in the Energy Sector
1. Power Plant Operator
The job of a power plant operator is to manage, operate and maintain power equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Power Plant Operators in the electricity sector had the most jobs and accounted for 5.32% of jobs in the industry.
This set of workers plays an equally important role in ensuring the delivery of electricity to consumers, including industry, homes, and businesses. They work in the control center, using a set of computer consoles to control the electrical grid while maintaining constant communication with other team members.
Energy workers in the sector also earned the highest wages after gas plant operators, with an average annual pay of $85,920 in May 2022.
Linemen are responsible for the installation and maintenance of power lines. While line operators deal with higher voltage transmission lines, distribution line installers deal with lower voltage lines.
However, you don’t need a degree to be a linesman. It’s important that you acquire the necessary skills needed for the job. You can acquire these skills through training or the job.
Construction workers help maintain power lines
3. Energy Engineers
Also called electrical engineers, electrical engineers research, design, and develop electrical systems and equipment. They also oversee the manufacture and installation of this equipment, components, or systems that may be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
Electrical engineers are among the highest paid in the electric power industry. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree before you can start a career in this field.
Transmission planners are responsible for planning any upgrades or extensions to the electrical network to ensure that the network can reliably meet future needs.
5. Electricity Trader
An electricity merchant is a seller in the electricity industry. They are tasked with buying and selling energy. They also analyze markets to determine available energy sources and their costs. In addition, electricity traders monitor energy levels to determine and report excess or shortage.
6. Utility Manager
The utility manager oversees tasks such as billing customers, tracking sales and purchasing supplies for employees who interact directly with customers.
7. Nuclear and Radiation Engineer
Despite their differences, nuclear engineers and radiological engineers perform similar safety-related functions. A nuclear engineer conducts research and analyzes the safe methods of transporting, managing, storing, and using nuclear materials to avoid accidents.
On the other hand, a radiological engineer conducts experiments to analyze radiation’s effects on the environment.
Both careers are important in the energy sector, especially using renewable energy sources such as nuclear power.
Is Energy A Good Career?
Considering the advantages and financial benefits highlighted in this article versus the cons, we can say that energy is a good career path.
You have a lot of room to grow at work while earning an attractive salary. If you have a great passion for your work, you will also get the added benefit of enjoying your work.
How to get a job in the Energy Sector
Most people get jobs in this field through education and training, but some training programs are designed specifically for the mainstream Energy Sector.
You can become an electrical service worker through an apprenticeship program. This is usually a two or four-year program that allows you to get good pay and benefits while you train on the job. An alternative option is to enter the sphere of operation of power plants. This is usually done by earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Tips on How to Start a Career in the Energy Sector
- Get the necessary training and skills. You can achieve this by earning a bachelor’s degree or attending apprenticeship programs.
- Improve your skills by studying or volunteering.
- Prepare appropriately by understanding the safety standards and regulations in the energy sector.
- Start applying on career platforms. You can start applying by preparing an attractive CV.
The Energy sector is vital in today’s world. Companies, industries, schools, and hospitals require electricity to function optimally. Even in our homes, we have become so dependent on electricity that it would be chaos if it suddenly stopped. To avoid such a scenario, it is essential that skilled professionals help the world to support the critical operations of the energy sector.
You can confidently start and maintain a career in the electrical industry with the proper training and enjoy all the perks that come with the job. This is a sector that will undoubtedly prosper for a very long time.