Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path? (6 Best Paying Jobs)


Yes, public utilities is a good career path to follow with a lot of opportunities for advancement.


What are Public Utilities?

Public utilities are establishments or companies that provide public services. These services may include water production, distribution, and management, telecommunications, electricity, gas, road and transportation services, among many others.

In most cases, public utilities are regulated by the government, and this affords them the opportunity to employ several individuals for the purpose of providing said services to the people. In fact, public utilities are the largest employer of labour in many countries. Jobs in public utilities also offer up more flexibility than those found in the private sector.


If you are thinking of etching out a career in public utilities, this article will provide a guide for you. Here, in this article, you will see the benefits and the demerits of having a career in public utilities, the number of jobs available in public utilities, and the best-paying jobs in public utilities.

Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path


How Many Jobs are Available in Public Utilities?

There are several jobs that can be found in public utilities. They include:

  1. Plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, electricians, and pipe-layers, all operate in the construction and extraction industries.
  2. Electricians—people who maintain, install, and repair substations, relays, and other electrical and electronic equipment.
  3. First-line managers and supervisors of installers, repairers, and mechanics
  4. Power lines installers and maintainers
  5. Industrial machinery workers
  6. Office assistants and meter readers
  7. Customer service employees
  8. Entry-level managers and supervisors
  9. Administrative Personnel
  10. Bookkeepers, auditors, and accountants
  11. Production: Gas plant operators
  12. Power plants operators
  13. Computer professionals
  14. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians


Due to the fact that it provides the general public with essential services, the public utility sector is crucial to society. People who are interested in the rapidly expanding sector of public utilities have a variety of possibilities. In actuality, visiting a career fair or searching online are the greatest ways to locate a job in the public utilities sector.


People prefer working in government-run utilities because they can find stable employment with excellent perks. Jobs in engineering, maintenance, customer service, and other fields are all available at public utilities.

Additionally, employment with a public utility offers many advantages, including paid time off for vacation and sick days. Public departments that offer public utility openings include:


Electric Power Utilities Sector

Electric Power Utilities Sector

An absolute necessity in modern society is electricity. It powers all of our workplaces, residences, and factories.

Through a public utility system, most countries have access to power. It is essential that governments ensure that consumers receive electricity services that are dependable and affordable.

Currently, the electric power sector contributes significantly to the global economy and provides work for millions of people around the world. From the production process of electricity to its transmission and its usage, people are needed to ensure that the process is fluid.

Public utilities are provided by a number of large corporations in this sector, all of which are vying for a larger market share. Some big electricity corporations include Exelon, Florida Power & Light Co., and Southern California Edison, Inc.

Water and Sewage Utilities Sector

Water and Sewage Utilities Sector

Sewage removal is yet another significant industry for the public utility sector. There are numerous businesses in this industry, and they all specialise in gathering wastewater from residences and businesses, treating it, and then releasing it back into the natural environment.

Maintaining the cleanliness and health of our water resources depends on this procedure.

This industry offers job opportunities to thousands of people. Apart from developing and maintaining wastewater treatment facilities as well as gathering and disposing of wastewater, they also make sure that laws are obeyed and that the general public’s health is safeguarded by collaborating with local governments.

The sewage removal industry is continually changing as a result of new technology and stronger regulations.

Businesses are always seeking methods to enhance their processes and lessen their impact on the environment.

Natural Gas Utilities Sector

Natural Gas Utilities Sector

This sector is in charge of giving locals and businesses access to natural gas, which is used to power factories and heat houses.

With more people becoming aware of the advantages of using natural gas, the industry has been expanding quickly in recent years. The usage of natural gas according to various industries is listed below:

  1. Natural gas is employed in the electric power industry to create valuable thermal output in addition to electricity. The thermal output from natural gas-fired facilities can be used for industrial heating, including district heating and water heating.
  2. The fact that natural gas is a wonderful fuel for process heating is one factor contributing to this high consumption. Customers use it to heat both big and small spaces since it burns cleanly and effectively. Natural gas can also be utilised to power turbines, boilers, ovens, and other machinery in industrial facilities because it is a flexible fuel.
  3. Natural Gas can be used in residential buildings. It is effective for heating buildings, water, cooking, and drying clothing. Additionally, natural gas burns cleanly, which means it emits less air pollution than other fuels like coal or oil.
  4. Natural gas is frequently seen as a fuel for household heating, but it also has a wide range of commercial applications. It can also heat water and provide electricity for use in cars. In addition, it is utilized in industrial manufacturing and other activities.

ExxonMobil and Chevron are examples of the top oil and natural gas producers in the world. The average salary for a public utility worker in a year is $80,000. This figure is dependent on the worker’s experience, their degree of education, and years of service.


Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities

A utility worker does general maintenance tasks, typically in a public space or a facility that manages a public utility like electricity or water.

These tasks typically include lifting and doing physical labour and depending on the business, they could also involve using specialised equipment or vehicles.

Cleaning, mending, and maintaining equipment are examples of typical tasks. Utility jobs with good pay include:

1. Water Resources Specialist

The annual salary ranges from $61,000 to $292,500.

A water resource specialist monitors local or regional water sources to ensure that no contaminants are present and that measures are being made to conserve water.

By monitoring any potential issues with a community’s water supply, experts in water resources aim to maintain public health. Water resource specialists must also inform the public about issues like recycling, water safety, and conservation.

2. Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer

The annual salary ranges from $73,500 to $172,000.

A nuclear criticality safety engineer conducts studies and analyses various methods of handling, storing, and moving nuclear material in order to prevent mishaps like nuclear reactions.

As a nuclear criticality safety engineer, you must research and examine studies on the characteristics and computations of nuclear fuel. You will also conduct an analysis of the fuel storage and transportation plans provided by nuclear power reactors.

Finding potential risks and spots in a nuclear plant that might be violating the law, thinking up novel ways to move or store nuclear waste, preparing proposal papers that detail your recommendations, and submitting these reports to the government review board are some of your other duties.

3. Nuclear Engineering Licenses

The annual salary ranges from $66,500 to $145,500.

One of your many responsibilities as a nuclear licencing engineer is to assist nuclear energy plants in obtaining the necessary licences and permits. Additionally, you must confirm that the machinery and systems are operating properly.

To adopt new codes and keep the business compliant with regulatory standards, you collaborate closely with regulatory employees and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

To ensure that all technical requirements are completed, other activities include creating design and licencing documentation, safety analysis reports, and regulatory assessments.

You must also correctly complete NRC submittals, communicate effectively with NRC inspectors, and swiftly address fresh compliance issues. You will need to research and exchange technical and legal knowledge about plant design and licencing. Some jobs demand that you be available within an hour to assist in an emergency.

4. Director of Utilities

The annual salary ranges from $62,500 to $142,000.

Public utility managers conduct audits to make sure that utilities for consumers and companies are as affordable as feasible. You are in charge of the facilities that offer residents of a city, town, or area necessary services.

You might be in charge of facilities that handle water, produce electricity, or facilitate communication, for instance. Maintaining sewage, water, or electrical systems is one of your responsibilities.

You inspect the buildings, ensure sure the infrastructure is current, and, if necessary, place maintenance and repair orders. Additionally, you need to search for solutions to reduce expenses or boost service quality while coordinating with response teams in the event of an unanticipated shutdown.

5. Power Plant Engineer

The annual salary ranges from $96,500 to $136,500.

A power plant engineer is responsible for conducting operational tests on the power plant, maintaining machinery, inspecting thermal systems, and collaborating closely with other plant employees.

For this position, you must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Many engineers obtain a more specialised degree in chemical, electrical, or nuclear engineering depending on the industry they work in.

Additionally, a power plant engineer should have previous teamwork experience, effective communication skills, and excellent analytical abilities.

6. Power Engineer

The annual salary ranges from $87,500 to $135,000.

Power engineers monitor the electrical and utility systems in a manufacturing or commercial establishment. It is your responsibility as a power engineer to follow all protocols, repair and maintain equipment, and adhere to safe operating practices.

You are in charge of the entire building’s electrical system, which includes all power-generating equipment including lighting, air conditioning, water treatment, and other systems.

You consult and collaborate closely with the other engineers in your organisation to ensure the boiler systems, electrical systems, and other power transmission systems in your building function properly.

Working for a public utility might not be for you if you dislike competing for positions and dealing with bureaucracy. But you shouldn’t be frightened to try your hand at public utilities if you believe you can handle fierce competition and cumbersome regulations.


Benefits of Having a Career in Public Utilities

The benefits of being a public utility employee are mouth-watering, benefits that private sector employees can only hope for. These benefits make a career in public utilities a wise choice.

1. High Certainty of Employment and Job Security

This is most likely one of the factors that make people want to work for a public utility. People who work for public utilities are much more likely to keep their jobs than those in the private sector.

Public utility staff can work for years without fear of being laid off. Private sector employees, on the other hand, can be sacked at any time without prior warning.

They are not protected from termination. If a public utility employee was fired, it would be because they had committed a serious offence. However, if an employee, in this case, had valid defences, they might appeal the decision to terminate them.

Furthermore, the certainty of finding a job in the public sector is very high, especially when you consider the private sector. Most companies in the private sector consider qualifications and experience while those in the public sector are more forgiving.

2. Little to no prior Industry Experience is required.

Because the public utility sector has a lot of space for growth, young persons without prior industrial experience can find employment there.

Even for middle-level or higher-level employment, the majority of public utility institutions accept applications from those without experience.

Only a tiny percentage of positions in the public utility sector require candidates to have specialised training or work experience. Since there are no discriminations with work experience, it makes it easy for newbies to prove themselves in the field.

3. Assurance of Career Advancement

You will not advance your career in public utilities if you do not want to do so. As long as you wish to gain more experience and qualifications, the system is designed to help you out.

The public sector has a mechanised system that advances the pay and status of employees as long as certain qualifications, most times in the form of an examination, are met.

Also, the longer you stay in the system, the more you can achieve. In the public sector, age requirements or years of service are the two considerations that can stop a person from advancing their career further.

If you work for a public utility for a long period and engage in professional development activities, such as completing an advanced class or earning a degree relevant to your job title, you may be eligible for a special bonus or pay increase.

4. Rewards and Additional Pay

Most employees of public utilities are qualified for a variety of incentives and/or benefits. Award leave, pension, special allowance, paid leave, and special bonuses are a few components of these perks and/or bonuses.

The value of these benefits can sometimes be determined by the length of time they have been employed there, varying in percentage terms from employee to employee, depending on the length of service.

A worker in this situation will receive a bigger percentage bonus based on years of service than a worker with fewer years of service based on years of service.

5. High Pay

Although there are many factors that affect income, it is obvious that many employees of public utilities receive higher pay than those employed by the private sector.

Your degree of education and the specifics of your job title, among other factors, may have an impact on your compensation as a public utility employee.

An employee with a higher degree may be able to earn more money than a co-worker with a lower degree if a high level of education is required for a particular public utility position.

Public utility positions that appear more demanding on the surface may pay more according to the job title. The key takeaway is that a worker for a public utility is likely to earn more than a worker in the private sector if they have the same job title, level of education, and experience.

6. No Gender-based Pay Disparity

Public utility professions don’t pay differently based on gender, which is one reason why both men and women are interested in them. Some jobs in the private sector pay men more than they do women.


Demerits of Having a Career in Public Utilities

1. The Competition is very High

The majority of the good employment in public utilities is very competitive, which means that you must be very good at your job to advance. While your employees may not be terminated if you remain stagnant, you will surely be left behind by colleagues, both junior and senior, if you refuse to partake and succeed in the competition.

2. Lack of Innovation

There is little left to the imagination as a public utility employee. The job has been done several times by people before you. Therefore, you might want to avoid the public utilities sector if you have the fire of creativity in you and are thrilled by the adventure of new things.

3. The Mechanical System

The public utilities sector is heavily constrained by mechanisms of bureaucracy and monotony. This can be particularly frustrating as you have to go through a long chain of command before you get things done in the public utility sector.


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