What is the Utilities Sector?
Utility services are fundamental to modern society. They will always be essential in order for households to run in the modern way we have all got used to and to stay switched on. The utility sector covers a large range of industries, namely being companies that build and maintain infrastructure needed to provide water, gas, electricity, solar power, wind farms and sewage.
Here is an example of some of the top Utility companies globally:
- National Grid
- Duke Energy
- Dominion Energy
What Skills Do I Need to Get a Job in the Utility Sector?
The skills you will need to work in the utility sector will largely depend on which area you are looking to work in. Engineering knowledge is key to many roles that will be available, but the sector also requires people with customer service, software, telecommunication, data analytics, commercial and marketing experience.
Skills and Abilities Helpful to Careers in Utilities
Like many industries, the ability to be adaptable is always welcomed, as well as being able to be proactive, inquisitive and to have a technical mind if you are going down the route of being an engineer. The industry will also be looking for people who can work independently and in teams that are able to negotiate and influence people if they are going to be part of the telecommunication/sales force.
Educational Requirements for Careers in the Utility Sector
There will always be a demand for graduates, as well as school leavers with the below degrees/skills sets to apply for jobs:
- Civil/Structural Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Power Systems
However, each individual Utility company will have unique individual requirements, so it is always best to check the specific requirements needed for each role.
Types of Utility Careers
The primary workers in the utility industry are engineers, project planners or managers, compliance or regulatory officers, and construction crews (line crews), operators, field service crew, managers, meter readers, and customer service representatives.
Examples of specific jobs held by in the Utility Sector include:
- Energy and Carbon Manager
- Project Manager
- Energy Procurement Manager
- Utilities Site Manager
- Rural Surveyor
The Utility market over recent years has seen a large increase in demand for renewable energy to be used instead of the traditional ‘dirty’ energy that has been used previously. So there is a large movement in companies where they are ‘going green’ and offering their customers a new way in which they can fuel their homes and offices.
Innovation in this sector has created a lot of extra jobs, whilst the world becomes more aware of its carbon footprint, which means that this is a growing sector as well as being one that is constantly expanding and evolving.
Salary Guide: The Average Salary across all job types is £ 34 K a year (Salaries according to https://www.payscale.com/)
See below for an example the average salaries in the sector:
- Data Analyst – Avg. £24K per year
- Customer Service Advisor – Avg. £18k per year
- Software Developer – Avg. £34k per year
- Project Manager – Avg. £48k per year
- Software Engineer – Avg. £36k per year
- Electrical Engineer – Avg. £36k per year
- Operations Manager – Avg. £41k per year
- Mechanical Engineer – Avg. £35k per year
- Quantity Surveyor – Avg. £35k per year
Check out our salary comparison tool here.
How to get a job in Utilities?
Outside of having the standard skillset and education, there are other ways to be a strong candidate for this growing market. Here are five things experts recommend to improve your application, whether you’re working in the field already or not.
- If you are a recent graduate, then there are plenty of opportunities out there for you, with many companies having direct links on their website for you to apply through. Research the sector you are interested in and click the links to the internal job pages for graduates. The top rated companies can be found by searching here.
- Find some online courses: there are plenty out there which could end up putting you ahead of another candidate.
- Research your chosen industry. It might sound like a simple idea but plenty of candidates turn up for job interviews completely unprepared for the recruiter to ask them any questions. Up your game and employability skills but be a step ahead by researching the company and industry fully beforehand and make sure you have some questions you can ask them too.
- Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Everyone has to start somewhere and the person that shows enthusiasm and drive will inevitably do their job well. The candidate that is working towards the next step up is going to do a great job for the employee so don’t be shy of showing your ambitions.
- Read a lot. With a changing landscape and huge movements towards renewable energy and smart meters make sure you know about all the latest developments in the industry.