Utilities putting energy into the right hires
By Adam Groff
The energy industry is expanding at the speed of light, which is exactly why utility companies are consistently hiring new employees. With that said, there are some jobs within the realm of utilities that are more popular than others in the eyes of prospective hires. Here's a brief look at the ins and outs of the hiring process for many utilities companies across the country.
Popular utility jobs
The field of utilities offers some pretty exciting and rewarding careers.Because of this, there's plenty of competition for potential candidates looking to get their foot in the door.
Here are just a few of the most sought after energy jobs available:
• Utility Lineman - Although a lineman's work is hard and oftentimes dangerous depending on weather conditions, utility lineman are some of the highest paid workers in the industry. Average salaries start in the $60,000 range and pay rates double in overtime situations, as in the case of off-hour power outages.
• Meter Readers - As smart meters take the place of manual devices, fewer meter-reading jobs are becoming available. But, smart meters are opening doors to new jobs, such as smart meter tech specialists. And, meter specialist jobs start in the $45,000 salary range.
• Utility Workers - The title of utility worker covers a broad range of positions, from repairman to maintenance serviceman for commercial and residential clients. Because general utility workers make up the majority of the workers in the industry, it's one of the most popular utility jobs available with a range of salaries and hourly wages depending on the position.
Many local and national utility companies require potential candidates to have prior knowledge within the field in which they are applying.
In terms of degree programs that help turn a DIY hobby into a career, many candidates who apply already have degrees in some form of electrical work.
Employees without an electrical background are usually required to complete prerequisite training and testing before they are considered for employment. The training depends on the position at hand and oftentimes requires testing through the Edison Electric Institute or similar trade association.
Utility job statistics
As many other industrial fields struggle to keep up with job demands, the energy sector is providing more jobs at an increasingly steady rate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonal employment is increasing from month-to-month and the unemployment rate for the utilities field is at a low 3.4 percent. This combined with the attractive salaries makes utility jobs that much more desirable.
Energy and social media
Utility companies are changing their recruiting process to fall in line with the social times. More and more employers are turning to social media to promote their available positions and new recruits are responding.
Promoting jobs on sites like Linkedin and Twitter is resulting in more qualified candidates finding the utility positions they're looking for. In addition, employers are also finding that social media is a great tool in terms of prescreening applicants.
From the top positions to the great salaries, the energy industry continues to supply worthy candidates with long-lasting careers.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including home improvement and the environment.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.