Since it offers such essential services to the public, the public utility sector plays a crucial role in modern society. On the other hand, public utilities are hiring at a record rate, so there are more available positions than ever before. Public utility services are an expanding industry with plenty of room for ambitious individuals. Indeed, going to a career fair or doing an internet search are your best bets when looking for a job in the public utilities sector.
This article will explain the best paying jobs in public utilities and how to obtain employment in public utilities in 2022.
What Is A Public Utility Job?
In this context, “utility worker” refers to an employee of a government agency or private company responsible for providing or maintaining a public service, such as water or electricity. Lifting and transporting heavy objects is a typical need for these jobs, and certain industries may additionally necessitate the use of specialized machinery or transportation. Duties include cleaning, repairing, and maintaining equipment.
But a person in the food service industry assists with the fundamental restaurant duties. In kitchens, routine activities include washing dishes, keeping the appliances in working order, and preparing meals. In the public sector, there is a wide variety of employment opportunities that offers the best pay.
Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path?
Yes! Working for a public utility may be quite rewarding in terms of both one’s career and one’s financial stability.
So, if you’re in the market for a new profession or just starting to think about your future, the public utilities sector is a great place to start. We guarantee you won’t be let down!
How Many Jobs Are Available In Public Utilities
The United States economy relies heavily on the services provided by public utilities. Millions of Americans rely on it every day for life-sustaining necessities including water, power, gas, and waste removal. As of July 2022, the public utilities sector employed about 675,775 people across the country. Also, between 2017 and 2022, the number of persons working in the utilities business in the United States rose by an average of 0.5% yearly. An aging populace necessitates an expansion of service delivery infrastructure as well as a rise in the use of both energy and water, driving the current expansion.
The provision of public utilities is subject to oversight by both state and federal governments. In addition, they establish norms and guidelines to ensure proper service delivery. In addition, the industry has seen a considerable transformation in recent years as technology has advanced and new competitors have joined the field. The public utility industry is still vital to the American economy, notwithstanding these shifts.
There is a lot of interest in the public utilities sector because of the attractive job conditions and generous perks it provides. Public utilities are a large employer, and fields including engineering, maintenance, customer service, and others are always hiring. In addition, public utilities are excellent places to launch a career since they provide a wide range of perks, such as paid vacation and sick days.
Let’s check out which government agencies public utilities support and the kind of positions they provide.
What Is An Average Pay Of A Utilities Worker?
Workers in the utilities industry receive an annual salary of $82,171 on average in the United States. The average weekly hours worked by a utility worker are 43. This wage range is only an estimate, as it is contingent on the worker’s experience, education, and position within the utilities business. Moreover, retirees are eligible for a wide range of benefits.
Employees need to have completed the equivalent of high school education. However, further training or certification may be necessary to work for some utility firms.
Best Paying Jobs In Public Utilities
It’s possible to build a successful and fulfilling career in the public utilities industry.
You may benefit your community by providing much-needed services, and at the same time, you can increase your financial stability.
We have listed 25 best paying jobs in public utilities that you can choose from according to your need and specialty.
1- Water Engineer
In your role as a water resource specialist, you’ll be responsible for vetting drinking water for impurities and making sure that water-saving practices are standard operating procedure. Experts in the field of water resources are concerned with protecting the public’s health by monitoring the quality of the water available to residents. Your job also includes keeping the public informed about issues like water safety, recycling, and resource conservation.
Compensation for this position can range from $59,000 to $308,500 annually.
2- Nuclear Licensing Engineer
Nuclear licensing engineers ensure the safety of nuclear power plants by checking and rechecking their systems and equipment, in addition to assisting with licensing and regulatory matters. You work in close collaboration with regulatory specialists and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to implement new codes and keep the business in compliance with applicable regulations (NRC).
In addition to fulfilling all technical requirements, you’ll also be responsible for creating design and licensing documents, writing safety analysis reports, and conducting regulatory investigations. Submittals to the NRC are filed, communication with NRC inspectors is kept up, and any emerging compliance issues are addressed promptly. You will do a legal and technical study on the design and licensing of plants and then submit your findings. In the case of an emergency, some employers want their workers to be reachable within 60 minutes.
Salaries for experts range from $66,500 to $145,500 annually.
3- Power System Dispatcher
A power system dispatcher coordinates the flow of electricity from generators to consumers. As a power system dispatcher, you ensure the highest possible efficiency of generating systems and determine the daily electricity demand. During times of extreme weather, such as heat waves or snowstorms, discretion is especially crucial.
One must also respond to requests for repairs or replacements and dispatch crews to the scene.
The average American in this field makes between $47,500 and $125,000 a year.
4- Utility Manager
Public utility audits are performed by utility managers to ensure that customers are charged the least amount possible for their services. Utility managers are in charge of the infrastructure that provides life-sustaining services to a community or area, such as water and power systems and communication networks.
One of your roles will be to oversee the operation of utilities including water, sewage, and power. You are responsible for ensuring that all infrastructure is in good working order, conducting regular facility inspections, and submitting preventative maintenance and repair requests as needed. You will need to work with response teams and look for ways to save costs or improve service quality in the event of an unexpected outage.
Salary ranges are between $62,500 and $142,000 annually.
5- Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer
A nuclear criticality safety engineer’s job is to investigate and evaluate potential risks associated with nuclear material transportation, management, and storage in order to help prevent nuclear disasters. You do research into and analysis of nuclear fuel properties, calculation papers, and transfer and storage plans at nuclear plants.
In addition, you will be expected to report any areas of a nuclear site that may be in violation of regulations, come up with innovative methods of transit or storage, write proposal papers explaining your ideas, and submit them for approval by the government.
Salary ranges for US professionals are from $73,500 and $172,000 annually.
6- Power Plant Engineer
A power plant engineer is responsible for the day-to-day management of a power plant. They are responsible for a variety of tasks within the plant, including conducting operational testing, providing preventative maintenance on machinery, analyzing thermal systems, and coordinating with other members of the plant personnel. For this role, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Many engineers, depending on the industry they choose to work in, go on to earn advanced degrees in electrical, chemical, or nuclear engineering. Engineers in charge of power plants should have good communication and analytical abilities, as well as teamwork experience and the ability to work well with others.
Between $96,500 to $136,500 per year is the average compensation for professional rangers.
7- Substation Engineer
Engineers specializing in substations develop power substation designs and collaborate with other members of the project team and interested parties to generate detailed drawings. Substation engineers are responsible for the design and documentation of substations, the determination of the appropriate size and type of cables and conduits for each substation, the facilitation of activities through the use of engineering application software, and the coordination of team efforts.
Substation engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, extensive experience in the electrical engineering field, and strong problem-solving skills.
A typical worker’s salary ranges from $91,000 to $118,000.
8- Radiation Engineer
It is the job of a radiation engineer, among other things, to test and evaluate the effects of radiation in various settings. They are tasked with providing theoretical analysis on the basis of an experimental test. Experts in this industry frequently fret over the safety of their systems, devices, and networks before and after exposure to radiation.
A radiation engineer’s contributions could include plans, parts, and designs that are effective at real-world radiation levels and report on their performance.
Radiation engineers may expect an annual salary of $73,000 to $123,000.
9- Gas Controller
A gas controller’s duties include maintaining pipeline operations to meet users’ gas and oil flow requirements. As a gas controller, you’ll work with oil and gas companies to avoid disasters, keep an eye on pipeline pressure data in real-time, and respond appropriately to unusual spikes in flow volume or other emergency readings. Gas chambers provide for control of heat, airflow, and pressure.
You monitor the entire procedure and conduct tests to ensure the machinery is functioning properly. Equipment upkeep, repair, and cleaning (or the hiring of service to do so) fall under the purview of the other responsibilities. You oversee oil and gas transportation, conduct safety inspections, and enforce laws. As a whole, employees work together to find solutions to issues.
A person’s annual salary in this industry might range from $62,500 to $120,000.
10- Power Systems Engineer
Power systems engineers are employed by energy companies. Electric metering, working for a wind power business to evaluate transmission feasibility, and designing, assessing, and managing electrical power distribution systems for utilities and substations are all examples of related fields of employment.
When you’re working on a power system, you’re responsible for every facet of it, with the end goal of making it more efficient and helping your company succeed.
You also aid the project manager in identifying prime locations for future utility infrastructure like wind farms and substations. It is also your job as a power systems engineer to determine where in these facilities controllers should be installed.
Staff members receive annual salaries of $81,500 to $115,500 on average.
11- Pipeline Controller
As a pipeline controller, it is your job to oversee and supervise the functioning of the pipeline system. It is your job to monitor pipelines for any signs of leakage, keep the flow of liquid natural gas or oil uninterrupted, plan for and implement emergency measures, and keep detailed records. Pipeline controllers often employ predetermined rules and processes to manage systems, aid in optimizing power consumption, communicate with consumers, and train new staff.
While most of their time is spent at a central control station, pipeline controllers do occasionally travel. This career frequently necessitates problem-solving, cooperation, and multitasking in order to cope with unexpected challenges as they arise.
The average salary for a professional is between $63,000 and $117,500 per year.
12- Power Transmission Engineer
Power transmission engineering is eleventh on our list of the highest-paid careers in the public utilities sector. A power transmission engineer’s major responsibility is the planning of energy transmission infrastructure. In this position, you will be responsible for maintaining and improving the reliability of the electrical grid. You’ll be looking at maps and GIS data to figure out the best path for transmission lines to take from an energy generator (such a power plant) to a consumer (e.g. street light, etc.).
To ensure safety and environmental compliance, you’ll need to plan the most efficient route possible. The construction of the power system, as well as its planning and execution, are supervised by a power transmission engineer.
Power transmission engineers may expect to make between $71,000 and $116,000.
13- Transmission Line Engineer
Transmission line engineers are responsible for the planning, design, and analysis of transmission lines used to transmit energy and information. You will be responsible for submitting bids on projects and working closely with clients to develop designs that meet the needs of the project in terms of electrical and/or telecommunications infrastructure. After thinking about the system’s electrical needs, you design it using CAD software.
One of your responsibilities will be to make sure that the design and materials used are within the client’s financial constraints. It depends on your role, however, you could be allowed to stay with the project until your proposed solution is put into action.
Wages might be anything from $79,500 to $104,000 annually.
14- Power Engineer
Power engineers oversee the maintenance and upkeep of a building’s electrical and mechanical infrastructure. Power engineers are responsible for ensuring all processes are followed, repairing and maintaining equipment as needed, and following all safety standards. Lighting, HVAC, water purification, and any other electrical loads at the facility are all under your watchful eye.
To ensure the smooth operation of the electrical systems, boiler systems, and other power transmission systems at your facility, you work closely with the other engineers in your organization.
Yearly compensation might be anything from $87k to $115k.
15- Transmission Engineer
Our comprehensive list of the highest paying careers in public utilities ranks transmission engineers at number fourteen. It’s important to note that there are two distinct types of transmission engineers. One type is employed by television and broadcasting companies, where they ensure the smooth and continuous flow of programming. The duties of this position include the upkeep of transmission equipment, the supervision of departmental employees, the monitoring of incoming feeds and outgoing broadcasts, and the quick diagnosis of any problems that arise.
The second type of transmission engineer is one who is employed by a power or utility business. They are a subset of electrical engineers who focus on the design and verification of customers’ power-generating and distribution infrastructure. Some, for instance, generate electricity by designing and manufacturing wind turbines.
Earnings potential between $83,500 and $113,000.
16- Power Systems Engineer
In the energy sector, you’ll find power systems engineers. Electrical power distribution system design, analysis, and management for a utility business or substations, electric metering, and wind power company transmission feasibility assessment are all examples of occupations in this field.
Your job is to optimize the effectiveness of the power system as a whole in order to help your company achieve its goals.
You’ll also be involved in project planning, working with the project manager to identify prime locations for things like new wind farms and electrical substations. Engineers in the field of power systems are also responsible for determining where in these facilities controllers should be installed.
Annual salary is between $81,500 and $115,500.
17- Substation Operator
Substation operators are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of electrical substations, which is essential to the delivery of electricity to customers. In the course of your duties, you will be responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and monitoring various pieces of equipment, such as voltage transformers, power converters, and circuit breakers. The ideal candidate will have worked in an electrical substation for at least a year.
Most businesses nowadays offer some sort of internship or apprenticeship program to help new hires get up to speed quickly. Another option is to earn an associate degree in a field like power plant technology at a community or technical college. This is one of the highest paying public utility professions and also requires many skills such as communication, problem-solving, and many others.
Annual salaries can be anything from $32,500 to $98.500.
18- Power Distribution Engineer
As a power distribution engineer, your primary responsibilities will be the planning and upkeep of electrical distribution networks. You will be responsible for developing site-specific electrical processes, giving technical guidance for wiring systems, overseeing the whole functioning of an electrical system, checking that applications are in compliance with all applicable regulations, and providing technical assistance to a wide range of employees.
Expect to also set timetables, write up reports, estimate costs, establish quality standards for testing, and help roll out innovative engineering practices. Maintaining installations and machinery requires constant communication with a wide variety of third parties, including manufacturers, service providers, consultants, and independent contractors.
Starting salary of $79,500 and increasing to $110,500
19- Radiation Safety Officer
Twenty on our list of the highest-paying positions in the public utility sector is the role of RSO. As a radiation safety officer (RSO), it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all regulations and legislation related to radiation exposure and its effects on people and the environment. Radiation safety officers regularly train other workers about ALARA (as low as reasonably attainable) and ensure that workers are exposed to radioactive materials in a safe way.
When working as a radiation safety officer, it’s common to have a colleague with similar training to cover for you when you’re absent. The duties and responsibilities of a radiation safety officer necessitate effective communication skills and the ability to enforce all protocols when working with or near radioactive materials.
Typical salaries fall between $58,500 and $95,000 annually.
20- Journeyman Lineman
A journeyman lineman is a person responsible for installing and maintaining the electrical grid. A great deal of senior-level experience is required for this position. In this role, you will be responsible for the construction, maintenance, and repair of both overhead and underground power transmission and distribution infrastructure. You’ll need to be able to climb poles and move heavy equipment frequently, so strength and a head for heights are also important qualifications.
Some of the tasks include operating aerial and digging equipment, identifying and fixing system issues, and installing transformers. Reports and records of all activity must be meticulously documented. Apprentices can be taught, too. The ability to work in all types of weather, as well as a high school diploma and Department of Labor Journeyman certification, are other necessities.
The annual salary might be anything from $70,500 to $95500.
21- Energy Efficiency Engineer
As an energy efficiency engineer, you’ll be responsible for providing technical expertise and advising customers on the creation of energy-conservation initiatives across many sectors, including manufacturing, commerce, and households. Finding the best method to improve your client’s energy systems is the most important part of this process.
You do an energy audit, establish the most cost-effective means of powering any given application, and use simulation tools to ascertain whether or not solar panels would be useful in a certain building. The vast majority of your clientele is interested in lowering their monthly energy bills, so you suggest greener alternatives like Energy Star-compliant appliance installations.
The salary range is between $67,500 and $90,000.
22- Water Superintendent
The water purification process relies heavily on the efforts of the water superintendent. In this role, you will oversee the process through which raw water is piped into the city’s water treatment plants. One of your responsibilities will be to devise and monitor plans for obtaining water for a city’s water treatment facilities from sources like lakes and rivers.
It is also the municipality’s responsibility to oversee the sewage system. A water superintendent’s responsibilities include supervising a workforce according to the territory’s population. Whereas in a smaller community there may only be a handful of employees, in a larger city there may be hundreds. Public reports and press releases related to the city’s water system may also fall within your purview.
An annual salary of $55,000 to $94,500 is possible.
23- Power Distributor
One who distributes electricity is responsible for the systems that generate and transmit it. Every day, people run, maintain, and control the electrical equipment that creates electricity. In your role as a power distributor, you’ll need to monitor consumption and make calls on whether to release extra power to generators.
You should be aware of what to expect on typical days as well as during extreme weather (such as heat waves or freezing temperatures) in order to plan accordingly. In the event of a power outage, it is your responsibility to off power to the affected area so that repairs may be made to the power lines.
The annual salary might be anything from $33,000 to $85,500.
24- Wind Turbine Engineer
A wind turbine engineer’s primary responsibilities include developing turbine designs and mechanical operation plans for wind farms. As part of the licensing process, you will also investigate the surrounding area to see if it has the necessary infrastructure to sustain the wind farm’s operations.
Blade design, testing, and order, as well as the development and implementation of energy production systems and electrical infrastructure, are all areas in which you might specialize if you have the appropriate qualifications. Depending on your area of expertise and the various moving parts involved in constructing these systems, your specific duties and responsibilities may differ.
Starting salary is $36,500 and the ending salary is $87,500 per year
25- Power Lineman
As a power lineman, you’ll help keep utilities running smoothly by installing and repairing cables. As part of your occupation, you may work on a construction crew to fix or replace lines, transport tools to reach problem areas, and instruct an apprentice to finish the job.
You also find broken parts of the system, inspect and test the power lines and equipment, scale poles and transmission towers, and work in all kinds of weather. In the event of a disaster, such as a storm or an earthquake, you may be asked to work extra hours.
Annual Salaries Between $59,500 and $88,000
How To Get A Job In Public Utilities?
Those seeking employment have various options in the public utility sector, and the remuneration is often competitive.
There are certain steps you may take to improve your marketability if you’re seeking a job in this industry.
Get informed before making any decisions
Find out what kinds of degrees and work experience are required for various public utility professions.
There is a direct correlation between your level of expertise in a field and your ability to secure a job in that field.
Do Your Homework and Get the Best Education Possible
To work for a public utility, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, and often a master’s or higher is preferred.
Get the training you’ll need to land the position you want.
Experience working with public utilities is helpful but not necessarily essential for certain positions.
Spend some of your free time helping out a public service organization or interning there.
You may expand your knowledge of the field and create useful contacts with this opportunity.
There are many rewarding careers in the public utilities sector, but you’ll need the necessary credentials to be hired.
It’s possible to make a decent living and enjoy a wide range of benefits in this line of work. Think things out, make connections, and go.
Acquire the Necessary Permits and Certifications
To operate in the public utility sector, you might occasionally need to prove your competence by obtaining the appropriate licensing or certification.
To find out if this is a prerequisite, contact the firm you want to work for directly.
Meet people who work in public utilities and let them know you’re interested in a job there.
Participate in networking opportunities and events, and offer your time and skills as a volunteer. More personal connections equal greater job prospects.
Don’t limit yourself in terms of potential careers
Various occupations exist within the realm of public services.
In other words, don’t limit yourself to just one type of job but rather explore the full range of possibilities.
You never know what you’re going to find.
There are many rewarding careers in the public utilities sector, but you’ll need the necessary credentials to be hired.
It’s possible to make a decent living and enjoy a wide range of benefits in this line of work.
Volunteer At Public Utilities
Volunteering at a utility firm is a great way to break into the public utilities industry.
This is a great opportunity to get relevant experience and network with like-minded professionals.
Internships are also a fantastic method to obtain experience in the public utilities sector.
Internships are available in many fields and may be a fantastic way to get experience and even land a job.
We hope this list of the best paying jobs in public utilities will help you land your dream career, whether you’re ready for a new challenge or just want to earn more money in the same profession. All of the roles here come with competitive pay, solid benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Don’t delay in applying for the highest-paying positions available.