Choosing a career path is one of the most crucial decisions in life.
And it’s not always easy!
Because too many factors come into play when picking a career path. For instance, what’s your passion, what are you good at, and what income level are you targeting?
So, with so many career choices to pick from, is public utilities a good career path for you? And again, the answer varies depending on the angle you look at it.
Let’s dive in and see if the public utilities sector makes a good career path…
Public Utilities: a good career path?
In short: Yes, public utilities is a good career path to pursue.
Public utilities provide essential services like electricity, water, and gas, making it a vital sector with consistent demand. A career in public utilities offers stable job prospects, opportunities to positively impact communities, and the potential for growth through technical advancements. For those with problem-solving abilities and a desire to contribute to society, public utilities can be a rewarding career choice.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 960k+ people employed in the public utilities industry in the US as of 2023. (source)
However, as with any career path, you have to research the specific industry and job you’re interested in to ensure it’s a good fit for your skills and interests.
Why is public utilities a good career path?
The followings are the factors that make this an ideal career path:
- Serving communities: A career in public utilities allows you to contribute directly to the well-being of your community, ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of necessary resources.
- Diverse opportunities: The industry covers various sectors such as energy, water, and waste management, providing a range of career options to match your interests and skills.
- Green initiatives: With increasing emphasis on sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, a career in public utilities allows you to contribute to the transition towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.
- Competitive compensation: The public utilities sector typically offers attractive salaries, benefits, and job security compared to other industries, recognizing the critical nature of the work.
- Technological advancements: Public utilities are increasingly adopting smart technologies, offering opportunities to work with cutting-edge innovations in the field.
Now, we can’t just not talk about the cons of the job and move ahead. Let’s take a look…
Cons of public utilities jobs
While the career in public utilities can be rewarding, it also has its downsides.
- Bureaucratic challenges: Public utilities are often heavily regulated and may involve working within strict government guidelines, which can be frustrating for some individuals who prefer more autonomy and flexibility.
- Infrastructure challenges: The aging infrastructure in many parts of the public utilities sector can lead to difficulties in delivering services effectively and efficiently, potentially impacting job satisfaction and morale for employees.
- Shift work and demanding schedules: Certain roles within public utilities may require working long hours, odd shifts, or being on-call to address emergencies, which can affect work-life balance.
Top skills required for the job
Here are some top skills that are commonly required for public utilities jobs:
- Project management
- Knowledge of industry regulations
- Technical expertise
Best paying jobs in public utilities sector
Like any other job out there, the satisfactory level might depend on the type of public utilities job you choose. Here are some of the best-paying jobs in public utilities you can consider:
|Job Role||Average Salary|
|Gas Controller||$121,875 per year (*)|
|Nuclear Licensing Engineer||$90,271 per year (*)|
|Pipeline Controller||$86,700 per year (*)|
Keep in mind that the salary range can vary widely depending on the location, the size of the company, the specific role and responsibilities. And also, these are high-paying jobs that usually require a significant amount of experience and expertise.
Average annual salary of public utilities jobs
The average annual salary for public utilities jobs varies greatly depending on the role and industry.
Public Utilities jobs encompass a wide range of positions in industries such as gas, water, and electricity. Median salaries for common jobs such as customer service representatives and administrative assistants range from $45,000 to $80,000 per year in the United States. More senior positions such as project managers, engineers, and executives can earn salaries upwards of $110,000 or more per year. — (source)
Companies like SoCalGas, Dominion Energy, Constellation Energy Partners and many more have multiple positions with some awesome remuneration.
Explore other interesting career paths:
- Is Energy a Good Career Path?
- Is Real Estate Investment Trusts a Good Career Path?
- Is Finance a Good Career Path?
Whether or not public utilities is a good career path depends on your individual skills, interests, and goals. But as a broad field that encompasses many different industries and job opportunities, the path offers diverse options for those with Project management and Adaptability skills.
Additionally, it can provide job stability, career progression, and the potential for growth and advancement. However, always keep in mind that public utilities jobs can also have some cons like Bureaucratic challenges, Infrastructure challenges, and Shift work and demanding schedules as compared to other fields like Energy, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and Finance.
Ultimately, it is important to do your research and carefully consider your own strengths and interests before pushing a career in public utilities.
- Utilities – Fidelity. 10 May 2023, https://www.fidelity.com/sector-investing/utilities/overview.
- Thomson, Jim. “2023 Power and Utilities Industry Outlook.” Deloitte United States, 11 Nov. 2021, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/power-and-utilities-industry-outlook.html.
- Conrad, Roger. “Utilities Will Beat Inflation In 2022.” Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2022/01/19/utilities-will-beat-inflation-in-2022/.