is public utilities a good career path

Is Public Utilities A Good Career Path? (10 Jobs In Public Utilities: Best-Paying + Entry-Level) – Zippia

is public utilities a good career path

Public utilities is a great career path for those looking to make a positive impact on the environment and society. It offers a wide range of job opportunities, from entry-level positions to more advanced roles. Public utility jobs include working in natural gas distribution, electric utilities central, oil & gas production, power generation, integrated oil companies, coal mining, and public utilities. These jobs offer competitive salaries and benefits packages as well as the chance to work with cutting-edge technology.

is public utilities a good career path

In addition to these core public utility jobs, there are also many other related positions available such as finance consumer services, real estate investment trusts, capital goods, property-casualty insurers, commercial banks, investment managers, and homebuilding. These jobs provide an opportunity to gain experience in the financial sector while still making a difference in the world. The best-paying jobs in this field include those in major banks and business services which can pay up to six figures annually. Entry-level positions are also available in consumer non-durables and consumer services which offer competitive wages and benefits packages.

The 5 Best-Paying Jobs in Public Utilities

Public Utilities jobs can be a great way to make a good living. With the average U.S. income of just over $53,000 per year, many Public Utilities jobs pay higher than that. The highest-paying job in this field is Criticality Safety Engineer, which has an average annual salary of $98,000 and 16,700 jobs available. This role requires experience in working with nuclear fuel in a safe and effective way. Criticality Safety Engineers are responsible for conducting research and analyzing transportation, handling, and storage methods for nuclear fuel to ensure safety regulations are met.

Other high-paying Public Utilities jobs include Electrical Engineer ($90,000), Power Plant Operator ($77,000), Nuclear Technician ($76,000), and Environmental Engineer ($75,000). These positions require specialized education and experience in order to qualify for the higher salaries they offer. For example, Electrical Engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related field while Power Plant Operators need to have at least two years of experience operating power plants or related equipment. Ultimately though, these positions offer great opportunities for those looking to make a good living in the Public Utilities industry.

  1. Criticality Safety EngineerAverage Annual Salary: $98,000
    Jobs Available: 16,700
    Job Growth: -1%

    This high-paying position in the Public Utilities sector necessitates expertise with nuclear fuel and the ability to handle it securely and competently. For instance, Criticality Safety Engineers are responsible for researching and examining transport, handling, and storage procedures for nuclear fuel.

    The main objective of a Criticality Safety Engineer is to guarantee nuclear fuel is managed safely by pinpointing dangers and rule infractions, as well as creating new storage and transportation procedures. These duties are mostly fulfilled by meticulously preparing reports and proposals to submit to a government committee.

    Find Criticality Safety Engineer jobs near me

  2. Petroleum EngineerAverage Annual Salary: $92,000
    Jobs Available: 38,200
    Job Growth: 3%

    These experts employ their expertise to create and facilitate better ways of extracting oil and gas. Petroleum Engineers often collaborate with oilfield workers and managers on drilling sites to evaluate and communicate plans.

    Furthermore, Petroleum Engineers frequently assess and maintain present hardware, as well as create new technology that helps in the oil and gas extraction procedure. As an example, a Petroleum Engineer could create a more efficient design for the equipment used to inject water, steam, gases, or chemicals into oil reservoirs.

    Find Petroleum Engineer jobs near me

  3. Radiation EngineerAverage Annual Salary: $89,000
    Jobs Available: 29,600
    Job Growth: -1%

    Radiological Engineers experiment with and analyze nuclear energy byproducts to understand the impacts of radiation. Usually, this is done by conducting tests in a laboratory setting to assess the situation and suggest better layouts, components, and designs.

    Despite the controlled conditions, Radiation Engineers must exercise caution when working with radiation, a hazardous material. Due to the dangerous nature of radiation, it is paramount to test systems, equipment, and networks.

    Find Radiation Engineer jobs near me

  4. Nuclear Licensing EngineerAverage Annual Salary: $87,000
    Jobs Available: 5,800
    Job Growth: -1%

    Nuclear Licensing Engineers specialize in granting licenses for nuclear power plants, as well as working with nuclear energy. These specialists must do regulatory reviews to make sure systems and hardware are functioning optimally and have the latest updates.

    After the analysis is done, a Nuclear Licensing Engineer will compose and submit safety analysis reports to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

    The reports created by these professionals are essential for power plants to receive the required licensing, thus making them responsible for a huge task. Moreover, Nuclear Licensing Engineers utilize their knowledge to investigate technical and legal data for the development of new regulations.

  5. Water Resources EngineerAverage Annual Salary: $87,000
    Jobs Available: 53,000
    Job Growth: 5%

    It is essential for these specialists to evaluate and manage water consumption in any given area. Communities across the United States rely on Water Resources Engineers to provide a reliable and safe water supply, whether it is a large city or a small town.

    The task of meeting the water demands of a community is achieved by analyzing their needs and creating predictions for current and upcoming utilization. Using the acquired data, it is possible to effectively design and manage sewage treatment plants, pipes, water supply networks and pumping systems.


You don’t need a college degree for many Public Utilities jobs, and you can still earn a good salary with only a High School diploma. We have compiled a list of our top five picks for the best entry-level jobs in the industry:

  1. Substation TechnicianAverage Annual Salary: $46,000
    Jobs Available: 26,300
    Job Growth: -1%

    With a High School Diploma being all you need to get started in this field, it pays the highest out of any other entry-level job available. 35% of people in this type of career have only a diploma. As a rookie staff member, you can be taught to do regular safety inspections and familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations.

    Generally, a Substation Technician is responsible for performing regular maintenance on the electric substations of particular areas. As part of their job, they will be responsible for installing control panels, and wiring systems and doing any necessary repairs in a timely manner.

  2. Solar TechnicianAverage Annual Salary: $39,000
    Jobs Available: 49,400
    Job Growth: 63%

    This entry-level Public Utilities job offers impressive job opportunities and is worth pursuing. Solar Technicians are responsible for putting together, installing, and keeping up solar energy systems that provide energy for residential and commercial properties.

    Employers can provide training to learn techniques such as installing solar panels, cutting them to measure, running tests, diagnosing issues, and making repairs.

  3. Utility OperatorAverage Annual Salary: $38,000
    Jobs Available: 63,600
    Job Growth: -5%

    Utility Operators are efficient and adaptable workers who specialize in maintaining the utilities we use on a daily basis. A Utility Operator is responsible for operating and maintaining machines on a daily basis, as well as detecting any irregularities.

    These professionals typically carry out site safety audits on a weekly basis to make sure they comply with safety protocols.

  4. Plant OperatorAverage Annual Salary: $37,000
    Jobs Available: 37,100
    Job Growth: -5%

    Plant Operators specialize in the management of operations in industries such as manufacturing and power generation. Professionals in this field are important, as they are responsible for running most of the plant’s equipment and machinery.

    Furthermore, this task also requires responding to questions and resolving issues related to that machinery. Plant Operators are responsible for checking the quality of their units, as well as resolving any problems that may occur.

    Find Plant Operator jobs near me

  5. Sewer and Drain TechnicianAverage Annual Salary: $29,000
    Jobs Available: 30,800
    Job Growth: 14%

    For anyone interested in Public Utilities, Sewer and Drain Technician is an easy entry-level job to get into as only a High School Diploma is needed. Additionally, this career boasts an impressive fifty percent success rate. This job involves installing, repairing and maintaining sewer and drainage systems on a daily basis for local neighborhoods and communities.

    Furthermore, sewer professionals can analyze each part of the system to effectively unclog pipes, fix septic tanks, and repair manholes. Other services are also provided.


Pursuing a career in Public Utilities can be an attractive option for many people due to its benefits. Before deciding on if a career in this industry is right for you, here are some important factors to consider:

  • You’ve got options.
  • With multiple areas of study within Public Utilities, there are numerous potential career paths. Natural gas, electric power, water supply, and sewage removal are some of the areas one can work in.

  • You’ll be making a difference.
  • Across the United States, Public Utility providers are essential for supplying community members with access to clean water, secure sewer systems, electricity, and much more. You have an important responsibility, but you can also be secure in the knowledge that your work is helping people everywhere.

  • You can get your hands dirty.
  • If you don’t like being confined to an office, consider a job as a Public Utilities worker for the opportunity to work with real-world scenarios. Therefore, these jobs could be suitable if you’re someone who enjoys being active and fixing things.

  • Easy opportunities.
  • Many employment opportunities in Public Utilities require only a High School Diploma or Associate’s degree. With minimal experience, entry-level jobs can be obtained with the extra benefit of not accruing college tuition debt.

  • Higher than average salaries.
  • Many positions in Public Utilities offer salaries of $60,000 or more, and some even provide wages of up to $100,000. This is a fantastic offer, especially with the low educational standards needed.

  • Guaranteed benefits.
  • Public Utilities job positions that are full-time usually come with exceptional benefits, particularly those from state or federal entities. The benefits package includes a 401k, paid time off, and health insurance.

  • Potential job growth.
  • Positions in the field of public utilities have varying levels of growth, with wind and solar experiencing particularly rapid expansion. This opens up even more possibilities.



Public Utilities is a massive industry, and therefore, education requirements will vary depending on the career you’re interested in. However, here are some general facts about what you should expect:

  • Entry-level jobs have minimal education requirements.

    It is generally easy to gain entry into an entry-level position within Public Utilities. A High School Diploma is all that is needed to begin a career as a Sewer and Drain Technicians in some cases, such as 50%.

    According to our list of five entry-level positions, a quarter or more of people currently employed in these jobs only have a High School Diploma.

  • Guaranteed work for Bachelor’s Degrees.

    It comes as no shock to discover that a Bachelor’s Degree is of great worth given the prevalence of Public utility employees who hold either a High School Diploma or an Associate’s Degree.

    Engineering (Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, etc.), with it’s highest-paying jobs in the industry requiring only a Bachelor’s Degree, is one of the most popular majors.

  • Certifications to boost your career.

    While not all roles in the Public Utilities field require certifications, learning about ones such as the Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP), Public Power Manager, and the Public Utility Regulation and Economics (PURE) can be beneficial.

    Generally, having certifications may give you an advantage or assist you to continue learning, though they are not mandated.



Public Utilities professionals are vital in keeping our communities, neighborhoods, and cities functioning. From providing safe environments through nuclear and radioactive regulation, to assuring public health through water, electricity, and sewer services, we rely on their efforts daily.

These crucial tasks must be completed with a comprehensive understanding of all machinery and systems, as well as relevant state and federal regulations. That means Public utility workers need to have a keen eye for knowing when to get their hands dirty and knowing when to file paperwork.

Overall, succeeding as a Public Utilities worker requires you to be detail-oriented, adaptable, and communicative. So if that sounds like you, you can likely learn what you need to pursue a successful Public Utilities career, even with no experience.


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