Public utilities play a vital role in any society, they provide essential services such as water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Although they provide employment opportunities to a significant number of individuals, the question remains: How many jobs are available in public utilities?
This article will discuss the different types of jobs available in public utilities. We’ll also discuss the skills and average salaries needed for these jobs.
So read on to learn more.
What Are Public Utilities?
Public utilities are essential services provided to the public by government agencies or private companies. These services include electricity, natural gas, water, sewage, and telephone services.
Public utilities are typically considered natural monopolies because it is not economically feasible for multiple companies to provide these services in a given area.
As such, public utilities are often regulated to ensure that they provide safe, reliable, and affordable services to the public.
How Many Jobs Are Available in Public Utilities?
A wide range of job opportunities are available in public utilities, ranging from entry-level positions to highly specialized roles. The number of jobs available will vary depending on the size and type of utility industry, region, and country.
In the United States alone, there were approximately 555,000 people employed in the public utilities sector as of December 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These jobs include:
– Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
– Natural gas distribution
– Water, sewage, and other systems
Additionally, as the demand for clean energy and sustainable infrastructure grows, there is likely to be an increase in job opportunities in the public utilities sector.
Jobs in the Public Utilities
As I said earlier, various jobs are available in public utilities with varying salaries depending on the job title, location, experience, and educational qualification.
Here are some examples of jobs commonly found in the public utilities industry:
Electrical engineers in the public utility sector are responsible for designing, testing, and maintaining electrical equipment and systems. The average salary for an electrical engineer in the US is around $93,853 per year.
Gas engineers in public utilities are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining gas distribution systems. The average salary for a gas engineer in the US is around $102,484 per year.
Water Resource Engineer
A Water Resource Engineer designs and manages water resource systems for public utilities. They work on water treatment, water supply, and water quality management projects.
According to the Indeed website, the salary for a water resource engineer in the United States is between $41,177 and $130,046 per year.
Power Plant Operator
Power plant engineers monitor and maintain power generation equipment and systems. Utility workers in the power plant sector earn an average pay of between $14.88 and $32.05 per hour in the US, depending on position and qualification.
Meter readers are typically responsible for manually reading utility meters (such as electricity, gas, or water meters) regularly.
They ensure that the readings are accurate and up-to-date so that customers are billed correctly. Meter readers are also responsible for inspecting and maintaining the meters themselves. They usually work outside and may walk long distances to read meters.
The average salary for a meter reader in the US is around $38,000 per year.
Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives in public utilities are responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and service requests.
They also assist customers with billing and payment questions, provide information about service plans and rates, and resolve issues related to utility service interruptions or outages.
This job often requires excellent communication skills and problem-solving abilities. You also need to remain calm and professional in challenging situations. The average salary for a customer service representative in the US is around $16.85 per hour.
Information Technology Specialist
Information technology specialists in public utilities are responsible for managing and maintaining the organization’s computer systems and networks.
This job involves installing and configuring hardware and software, troubleshooting technical issues, and ensuring data security and backup procedures are in place.
This job often requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and strong technical skills and knowledge of industry-standard software and hardware. The average salary for an IT specialist in the US is around $45,139 annually.
Safety coordinators in public utilities ensure that employees and contractors follow safety procedures and regulations. This job involves conducting safety audits and inspections, developing safety training programs, and investigating accidents or incidents on the job.
Safety coordinators also work with regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal safety standards.
This job often requires a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or a related field and good communication and leadership skills. The average salary for a safety coordinator in the US is around $63,918 annually.
Environmental scientists in public utilities monitor the impact of the utility’s activities on the environment and develop plans to minimize any negative impact. The average salary for an environmental scientist in the US is around $62,419 annually.
Remember that salaries for public utility jobs can vary widely depending on the specific job, location, and other factors.
What skills do you need for a role in public utilities?
The skills required for a role in public utilities depend on the specific job position. Here are some of the critical skills that are commonly required in public utilities include:
Public utilities require technical engineering, construction, maintenance, and repair expertise. Some examples of technical skills needed include:
- Knowledge of electrical or mechanical systems
- Familiarity with tools and equipment used in utility work
- Ability to troubleshoot and solve technical problems
Effective communication is critical in public utilities. You must be able to communicate with teams and customers effectively.
Communication skills help coordinate work, resolve issues, and respond to emergencies. You should be able to explain policies and answer questions about services to customers.
Safety is a top priority in many jobs in public utilities, and a strong focus on safety and risk management is essential. You must follow safety protocols and safety regulations to prevent accidents and injuries.
Working in public utilities requires the ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently. You must be able to diagnose and resolve technical issues and address customer concerns. Strong problem-solving skills help utilities maintain service quality and reduce downtime.
Time Management Skills
Public utilities operate on strict schedules, and employees must be able to manage their time effectively.
Time management skills help employees prioritize tasks and ensure work is timely. This is especially important in emergencies, where prompt action can prevent service interruptions.
Customer Service Skills
Public utilities must provide excellent customer service to maintain public trust. Customer service skills are essential for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback. Effective customer service helps utilities build a positive reputation and maintain customer satisfaction.
Many public utility jobs require you to work with other professionals like engineers, technicians, and customer service representatives.
Therefore, working effectively as part of a team is crucial. Good teamwork helps utilities maintain service quality and minimize downtime.
In simple terms, the skills required for a job in public utilities vary depending on the specific role and responsibilities of the position. As a candidate, you should review job postings and requirements to identify the specific skills necessary for the position you are interested in.
Final Words on the Question: How Many Jobs Are Available in Public Utilities?
Public utilities offer diverse job opportunities for those interested in providing essential services to the public. From entry-level to executive roles, the industry has various job openings that provide competitive salaries and benefits.
The best way to discover how many jobs are available in public utilities is to search by department. Depending on your skills, education, and qualifications, you can choose between high-paying jobs like engineers, controllers, superintendents, and specialists. You can also choose jobs like workers and customer service.