Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path? Experts Review - Life Beyond Certificate

Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path? Experts Review

Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path

Yes, working in public utilities is a fantastic career choice. Since the work you do in public utilities entails providing the things that people need to survive, it is a satisfying career that offers not just a decent compensation and benefits with a sense of fulfillment from your work.

Even though positions in the public utilities sector are often well-paying, secure, and opportunity-filled, choosing a profession for yourself will require more than just a broad understanding of the sector. You may learn more about the occupations themselves and other topics like different paychecks in this article, which will enable you to make an informed decision for yourself. So let’s dive in.

What Are Public Utilities

There are some highly vital products and services, like energy, water, gas, power, transport, communication, etc., that need to be produced and supplied in a timely manner, in the right quantity, and in the right quality for any society, and as a result, for an economy, to function and thrive.

Therefore, public utilities are the companies in charge of making it happen. They handle planning, infrastructure building, management, maintenance, distribution, repair, customer support, and many other tasks in order to do these things. The majority of public utilities are handled by governmental entities, but the utilities sector also includes a large number of private businesses that operate independently or jointly with the government.

Why a Career in Public Utilities Is a Good Choice

One of the largest public utility firms is Exelon Corp. Consequently, the business supports talent development and lucrative careers. If you work at Exelon, you’ll be in a position where your expertise and abilities are valued, where your dedication and hard work are recognized, and where you have many opportunities to progress. The benefits of a career in public utilities are listed below:

Growth: Any person looking for a suitable place to work must prioritize their personal and professional progress. It is a crucial quality of any good employment because it enables you to advance in your profession and learn new things. The majority of public utility businesses place a high priority on employee development.

Pay: The typical public utilities specialist salary in the United States for entry-level positions is $75,142 per year, according to glassdoor. This means that your salary will enable you to satisfy your basic necessities and live comfortably, i.e., earning enough to pay your rent or mortgage, your grocery expenses, and other monthly obligations while still leaving you with disposable income.

Employment Security: Public utilities specialists have a respectable degree of job security. When you feel secure in your position, you know that if you perform well, you can keep your job. This career is less competitive than certain others, making specialization in it more secure.

Job Categories in Public Utilities

Public Utility Worker

It would be nearly difficult to include every position available in the public utilities industry.

However, we have listed some of the more typical employment in the skilled trades below. The following list also includes occupations that are not specifically trade jobs:

Careers In Public Utilities For Skilled Workers

Advanced degrees are not necessary for these professions, but they may call for additional training or certification. Many are seen as belonging to the manufacturing industry, which can be a fascinating field for people who enjoy building and creating things.

Utility Markers and Meter Readers

If you are an introvert, these positions are ideal for you since they both involve fieldwork and frequent working alone. To ascertain how much utility usage an area has, meter readers will visit homes and businesses and read meters. To designate the prospective locations of subterranean utilities for future development projects, utility markers will be placed around the area.

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Wind Turbine operator

A wind turbine operator is one of our top choices for a career in public utilities. It is anticipated that there will be a 68% increase in employment for this developing career through 2030. A good life can be had with median wages of $55,000.

Many of these professionals have annual incomes of exceeding $100,000.

But since these vocations might expose you to some terrifying heights, you’ll need to be a little bit of a risk taker. Therefore, courageous workers should apply for these jobs. Public utilities are one of the many industries where engineers are always in demand.

Plumber / Steamfitter

There are various opportunities for plumbers, steamfitters, and other pertinent professions in the utilities industries. The two best opportunities would be working with steam or water, but they have a place in other trades as well. Looking toward the future as a utilities manager is a great step to work toward if you want to improve and expand your profession.

Utility managers are responsible for overseeing personnel management, budget creation, and the general safety and well-being of various public utility facilities, such as power plants. Most significant utility firms want skilled utility managers, therefore if you have excellent management abilities, this is a excellent path to consider within the field.

Water Treatment Plant Operator

You will become a member of the team that cleans the public water by working in these facilities. 

Operators of water treatment plants will control the machinery and keep an eye on the procedures used to make water safe to drink, use for cleaning, and take a bath in.

How Many Jobs Are Available in Public Utilities: US Statistics

Therefore, as a result of the fact that this single industry now accounts for 9.8 million jobs, or 5.6% of all US employment. The public utility sector employs around 140,000 people across jobs in the production, transmission, and distribution of public electricity, water, and sewage treatment, among other disciplines, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From recent data results, the public utility sector employed approximately 675,775 people nationwide as of November 2022, representing a 1.9% yearly increase in the utilities industry’s workforce between 2017 and 2022.

It was asserted that this growth rate was caused by the ageing population’s high need for energy and water.

Jobs in Public Utilities Industry
Public Utilities Industry

Public utilities, as previously indicated, are a very multidisciplinary industry. People employed in the utility industry therefore come from a variety of backgrounds and have various levels of competence, education, and experience. People frequently claim that the public utilities sector has something to offer everyone interested in working in it.

Let’s look at a few of the positions that are available in various public utility sectors.

  1. Water and Sewage Utilities Industry:

This industry is in charge of ensuring that there is an adequate supply of water for all societal needs. Large cities have more sophisticated water distribution, sewage treatment, and utility systems than suburban and rural areas. Nevertheless, it is a necessity in all civilizations, which leads to numerous job prospects.

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According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in water utilities are classified according to the following qualifications and median hourly wages:

  • Supervisors:$27.78/hour.
  • General and Operations Managers:$47.74/hour.
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters:$24.74/hour (Apprenticeship) and more.

Some of the top companies in water and sewage utilities include;

  • American Water Works Company, Inc.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • New Jersey-American Water Company
  1. Natural Gas Utilities Industry:

The United States consumed 30.28 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas in 2021 alone, with 37% of that amount going toward the production of power, 33% going toward industry, 15% going toward residential, 11% going toward commercial, and 3% going toward transportation.

The following are a few of the lucrative positions in the natural gas industry, along with their national average salaries:

  • Geologist: $84,955 per year.
  • Petroleum Engineer: $88,378 per year.
  • Gas Technician: $53,682 per year.

Some of the top companies in natural gas utilities include;

  1. Electric Power Utilities Industry:

Famous scientists in this sector have made it feasible to generate electricity, transmit it to our houses, and use it to light our light bulbs. But it takes a lot of labour to operate these complicated systems on a daily basis and at such a large scale. In reality, in the US, the production of electricity alone employed 172,000 people. Several of the positions in this sector of utilities include:

  • Power Plant Engineer: $100k-$143k per year.
  • Power Utility Manager: $47k-$115k per year
  • Nuclear Licensing Engineer: $76k-$145k per year

Some of the top companies in electric power utilities include;

  • Oncor Inc.
  • Fortis Inc.
  • Ameren Corporation

The information above makes clear that careers in public utilities offer a variety of work choices as well as a competitive wage. The same is true of other public utility sectors, such as telephone and transportation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Career in Public Utilities

Let’s discuss some of the positive and negative aspects that utility staff must manage. A career in business can have a wide variety of job satisfaction levels depending on your location, the type of work you do, and of course, the firm you choose to work for.


  1. Benefits: Most employment in public utilities include benefits like on-the-job training, paid time off, health insurance, travel reimbursement, and other things depending on the nature of the work.
  2. Growth: In the utilities sector, getting a job is tremendously advantageous, but so is rising through the ranks inside the business. Having just a few years of experience can lead to a successful career and new prospects for growth.
  3. Job Fulfilment and Security: Jobs in public utilities can bring job fulfilment after discovering that at a time when the majority of people are dissatisfied and disengaged with the work they do. The job also has a long-term security package for you and your salary.

Employees of Public Utilities are entitled to additional benefits

Employees of Public Utilities
  • Health coverage.
  • Education assistance for your children. 
  • Flexible work schedule. 
  • Paid leaves.
  • Bonus for good work.
  • Retirement plans


Risky:A lot of public service occupations come with a disproportionately high level of safety and security threats.

Environmental Factors:Jobs here require one to be exposed to certain weather conditions that may not be favourable for one.

Technological Know-how: Numerous technological developments in the field of public utilities have made many former employment obsolete. This could make your employment less secure, particularly if it involves physical labour.

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What are the responsibilities of a public utility worker?

Public Utility Technician

Many different responsibilities and roles are involved with professions in public utilities, and they can be highly fulfilling. Managing customer service, offering dependable electrical and water services, and maintaining the transportation infrastructure are among the most typical responsibilities of a career in public utilities. 

Professionals in the public utilities industry may also be in charge of financial management, marketing, and legal compliance.

What are the steps to beginning a career in public utilities?

If you are passionate about offering the public high-quality services, a career in public utilities is a great choice. There are numerous roles available, whether you wish to work in customer service, billing, engineering, or another field. 

What Forms of Training Are Necessary for a Career in Public Utilities?

If you’re looking for a job with lots of room for advancement, public utilities can be a great choice. But before you decide to pursue this as a career, it’s critical to understand  some technical training that is necessary for a public utilities technician; many employers also need a degree in engineering or a closely related discipline. 

Many technicians are able to stay up to date with the most recent modifications by enrolling in continuing education classes because public utilities are always changing.

Education and Certification Requirements for a Public Utilities Career

Given the size of the public utilities sector, different careers will have different educational requirements. Here are some general information about what to expect:

  • There aren’t many educational requirements for entry-level positions. Public utilities have a lot of entry-level positions that are simple to obtain. For instance, 50% of sewer and drain technicians were able to begin their careers with just a high school diploma. In fact, at least 25% or more of persons who are employed in each of the top five entry-level positions on our list have a high school diploma as their highest level of schooling.

  • Guaranteed employment for bachelor’s degree holders. Given how many people in public utilities either have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a bachelor’s degree is highly valued. The majority of the highest-paying positions in the sector simply call for a bachelor’s degree, with engineering being the most popular major (Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, etc.).

  • Career-enhancing certifications .  Although not all Public Utilities careers necessitate certifications, the following ones are important to be aware of: a few examples include Public Power Manager, Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP), and Public Utility Regulation and Economics (PURE). Most of the time, these certificates are optional yet they can give you a competitive advantage or enable you to continue your education.


At all organizational levels, the public utilities sector has a critical demand for competent labor.

Additionally, brand-new sectors of the public utilities industry, including the wind and solar energy sectors, are expanding at a never-before-seen rate. More employment opportunities result from this.

There is no need to spend time doing so because there are several prospects for job advancement once you enter the public utilities field.

If you are convinced that a career in public utilities is a smart choice, you should begin applying to positions that fit your qualifications and long-term objectives.