There is a growing demand for electricity in our world today. The International Energy Agency reported a 5% increase in electricity demand in 2021 and estimates a 4% increase in demand for 2022. As the demand for electricity surges, careers in Electric utilities central are expected to rise consequently.
In the United States, about 3000 electricity utility companies currently exist, servicing over 150million homes and businesses with a power capacity of over 2000 terawatt per hour. These companies are responsible for providing jobs to over 172,000 individuals in various units.
The shift from traditional power generation using fossil fuels to more sustainable power generating methods has become a reality that has led to the invention of more sophisticated technology and machinery capable of expanding the workforce in the industry.
Our world is changing quickly. There is an increasing demand for renewable energy sources, and consumers are now demanding more control over their generation and consumption of power. Some may see these changes as problematic. But there are many ways that this can be beneficial to our planet and society overall.
If you have a knack for the physical sciences, a future in engineering, or an interest in power plants then you should certainly consider the field of electric utilities central. Keep reading this article to find out if it is still a good career path for you.
What is electric utility central?
Electric utility central is a career path concerned with generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity. Electric utility service workers make up a large part of those who work in this field. They are responsible for the monitoring, maintaining, inspecting and repairing of power plants and power lines.
Electric utility companies generate power using coal, natural gas or hydropower. In recent times, more sustainable power-generating forms are being explored with great results. These are solar energy, wind energy and nuclear energy.
Types of electric utilities central
There are 3 major types of electric utilities central institutions that have been listed and explained below.
1. Investor-owned utilities
Also known as IOUs, these are independently owned companies that offer electricity and natural gas services with the intention of making profits for investors. The profits can either be distributed to stockholders or they can be reinvested for higher profits.
A public utility commission, with some customer input, is responsible for determining and controlling rates. IOUs own their own generation facilities and acquire power through contracts. They have the biggest form of electric utility with a complicated mix of consumers.
2. Public-owned utilities
These types of utilities are non-profit organizations mostly controlled by the municipal or local government. Their goal is to offer electrical services to communities in a way that covers costs and generates additional revenue for investing in new facilities.
Even though public utilities generate revenue, they also give the extra funds generated back to customers via lowered rates and improved effectiveness of operations
The utility’s governing board or the city council decides on rates while locally elected individuals or civil servants are in charge of running the facilities. Public-owned utilities either run their own power generation plants or purchase power via agreements of which the majority of them are tiny to mid-sized.
3. Electric cooperatives
Just like other cooperatives, Electric cooperatives are non-profit utility companies owned by the customers. The company is governed by an elected board and is responsible for offering electrical services at cost.
This type of utility is common in remote communities where there are no investor-owned or municipal utilities that can provide electricity.
Two versions of electric cooperatives exist. Distribution cooperatives deliver electricity to their customers while generation and transmission cooperatives generate or purchase electricity wholesale to deliver to distribution cooperatives.
Advantages of a career in electric utilities central
1. Job security
Electricity is something that has come to stay and will most likely stay for a long time. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, the need for electricity increases. This could mean that jobs in electric utilities will always exist.
This provides a sense of security as it is believed that there will always be a job in the electric utility sector for potential and interested professionals.
2. Opportunity for growth
Many of the jobs in electricity utilities do not require a bachelor’s degree. These include jobs as a linesman or plant operator. With a high school diploma, you can start a career in the power sector and get on-the-job training that will help you grow in your career.
3. Attractive salary
Workers in the power sector enjoy attractive salaries. What makes it even more interesting is that jobs in this field mostly offer salaries that are as high as that of other highly educated demanding jobs even though some of these workers only have a college degree.
You just have to be ready to meet up with the high demands of the job if you want to tow this line.
4. Industry flexibility
Every industry and company has a little or a lot of dealings with electricity. This is one perk of working in the electric utility sector. As with most service jobs, you can work in any industry or company as an electrician and be responsible for maintaining and repairing any electricity-related issues in that company.
5. Technological advancement
With the growing demand for renewable energy, the power sector has developed technologies that industry professionals can work with. The industry offers training to its workers on how they can use these improved technologies to make work easier and less hazardous.
This development help workers improve their skills and keep up with the dynamics of the industry.
Disadvantages of electric utilities central
1. Physically demanding
Jobs in the field of electric utilities can be quite stressful and physically draining. This is because it sometimes requires long hours of work and can require some level of flexibility that can seep into your rest time.
Emergency outages and disasters could mean that you’ll get to work all weekend. This can be demoralising when you already have your weekend planned out with family and friends.
2. Heavy regulations
The industry has heavy regulations that are always changing, making the workers subject to regular adaptations. These regulations could also affect job security if you do not build your skills or adhere to these standards.
3. Hazards and risks
Accidents involving high voltage can be very fatal. This makes professions in the power sector high risk. Line workers may be required to work on powerlines with active current which can be very hazardous.
Working in the power industry requires a lot of skills and technical know-how. It is also important that you understand and adhere strictly to safety measures. For some, this can be very tasking but hey, you don’t want to get roasted while doing your job, do you?
How much can you earn in Electric Utilities?
Electric utility central workers earn attractive salaries however, their salaries vary based on many factors such as the job position, the company and the location of the job. The Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that Power engineers earn a median pay of $108,960.
Other workers in the industry also earn attractive wages. You can be sure to earn a minimum of 40,000 dollars annually in any unit of the sector you end up in.
What jobs can you have in electric utilities?
1. Powerplant operator
The job of a power plant operator is to control, operate and maintain power-generating machinery. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, Powerplant operators in the electrical utility sector had the highest number of employments and accounted for 5.32% of jobs in the industry.
These set of workers play an equally vital role in ensuring that electricity is delivered to consumers including industries, homes and businesses. They work at the control centre using a set of computer consoles to manage power grids while maintaining constant communication with other crew workers.
Energy workers in this sector also earned the highest pay after natural gas plant operators with an average annual pay of $85,920 in May of 2021.
2. Transmission and distribution linemen
Linesmen are responsible for installing and maintaining power lines. While transmission linesmen deal with the higher voltage power lines, the distribution linesmen deal with the lower voltage lines.
Working as a linesman does not require a degree however, it is important that you acquire the necessary skills required for the job. You can gain these skills through training or while working on the job.
3. Power engineer
Also called electrical engineers, power engineers research, design and develop electrical systems and equipment. They also supervise the manufacturing and installation of these equipment, components or systems which can be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
Electrical power engineers are one of the highest paid in the electric utility sector. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree before you can begin a career in this field.
4. Transmission planner
Transmission planners have the responsibility of planning any upgrades or expansions to the electric grid in order to ensure that future demands can be reliably met by the grid.
5. Power trader
A power trader is a salesperson in the electric utility industry. They are tasked with the buying and selling of energy. They also analyse markets in order to identify available power sources and their costs. In addition, power traders monitor energy levels to determine and report excesses or shortages.
6. Utility manager
The utility manager oversees tasks including customer billing, keeping track of sales, and buying supplies for staff employees that interact with customers directly.
7. Nuclear and radiation engineer
Though different, nuclear and radiation engineers perform similar functions which are linked to safety. A nuclear engineer conducts research and analyses safe methods for the transportation, management, storage and use of nuclear materials to avoid accidents.
A radiation engineer on the other hand conducts experiments used in analysing the impacts of radiation in an environment.
Both of these careers are important in the power sector, especially with the use of renewable energy forms like nuclear energy.
Is electric utilities central still a good career path?
Considering the advantages and financial benefits highlighted in this article in contrast with the cons, we can say that Electric utilities central is a good career path.
You have lots of opportunities to grow on the job while earning attractive pay to go along with it. If you have a great passion for your job, you will also have the extra benefit of enjoying job satisfaction.
How to get a job in Electric Utilities
Most people get a job in this field through education and training, but there are also some training programs designed specifically for the electric utilities major industry.
You can become an electric utility service worker through an apprenticeship program. This is usually a two or four-year program that allows you to earn good pay and benefits while learning on the job. An alternative option is to enter the field of power plant operations. This is typically done by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
To begin a career in electric utilities central, you can follow these steps.
- Acquire the necessary training and skills. You can achieve this by getting a bachelor’s degree or attending apprenticeship programmes.
- Improve your skills through training or volunteer jobs.
- Prepare yourself adequately by understanding safety standards and regulations in the energy sector.
- Start applying on career platforms. You can start applying by preparing an attractive CV.
The electric utilities central sector is vital in our world today. Companies, industries, schools and hospitals all require electricity to function optimally. Even in our homes, we have become so dependent on power that there would be chaos if electricity suddenly seized to exist.
To avoid such a scenario, it is important that qualified professionals exist to help the world maintain important operations of the power sector.
You can confidently start and maintain a career in electric utilities with the right training and enjoy all the perks that come with the job. This is one sector that will surely thrive for a really long time.