The electric industry is continuing to evolve with globalization of the American economy, the public's interest in renewable energy, and increased research and development into new ways to generate and deliver electricity. Educated workers in the field and in the corporate office are vital to our industry.
Carnegie Mellon University's Electric Industry Center estimates that about half of the nation's 400,000 power industry workers will be eligible to retire in the next five to ten years. This means that there will be diverse opportunities for employment. Jobs may be available for high school graduates, technical school graduates, and those with college degrees.
Here are some of the careers available in the electric industry.
Billing Supervisors and Assistants are responsible for generating bills, collecting and processing payments, and keeping customer records.
Chief Executive Officers and General Managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the electric utility. In nonprofit electric cooperatives, the CEO or General Manager is hired by and is accountable to a governing board of directors.
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Chief Financial Officers are the financial gatekeeper of the business. They are responsible for monitoring the funds that come in and are paid out of an electric utility. They prepare annual budgets and long-term financial forecasts and are assisted by Accounting Assistants.
Computer Programmers/Information Technology Specialists are responsible for keeping the electric utility's computers and databases functioning. They help generate reports to analyze consumer demand and demographic trends; they assist with digitizing maps of the utility's distribution system, and help lineworkers identify job locations.
Customer Relations Representatives are the front-line ambassadors of an electric utility. They deal directly with customers, handle requests for service, and help answer customer questions.
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Engineers design power plants, additions to the grid, such as electrical lines and substations, and troubleshoot potential or existing problems to the delivery system. They also analyze and help correct consumer load problems. They are assisted by Engineering Technicians.
Lineworkers are the lifeblood of the electric industry.
Without them, we would not be able to keep the lights on. Lineworkers build and repair power lines; install transformers, transmission towers, poles, insulators and other components of the electrical grid. Click here to learn more.
Mechanics maintain the electric utility's vehicle fleet. They ensure vehicle safety and reliability.
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Member Services Representatives play a multifaceted role in the electric utility. They may handle advertising, marketing and public relations. Or they may be responsible for services such as educating consumers about energy efficient appliances and systems, such as electric water heaters and electric thermal storage units.
Meter Readers are responsible for collecting meter readings for customer billing.
Meter Technicians program and test meters so they can be installed by Meter Readers.
Operations Supervisors are responsible for lineworkers, their safety, and education. They oversee emergency situations, such as power outages, and coordinate worker responses to these situations.
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