Power generation may refer to the industry that provides the world with the power (electricity) needed to run machinery, electrical equipment, and even domestic appliances that rely on electricity. As an industry, power generation is an aggregate of the companies that deal with power creation, distribution and transmission.
In one way or the other, these companies supply us with the electricity needed for various –domestic, individual, industrial or business –uses. By virtue of its appeal to creativity, the power generation industry thrives on researching innovative energy sources that power consumers would find reliable and affordable.
With the vast popularity of power generation and the ever-increasing need for energy across homes and business premises, you could be keen to know if a career in power generation is really worth it. Whether you’re a fresh engineering graduate with a BSc or a new high school graduate with a diploma, you’ll likely find a power generation job that suits your qualification.
In this post, you’ll learn not only about common power generation jobs but also the reasons why power generation is a worthy career path.
Here Are Some of the Common Power Generation Jobs
Solar Project Developer
These are power experts who gather the required resources for helping clients develop residential solar panel projects. Solar project developers can be found in organizations that specialize in building solar projects, solar farms, etc.
The services of solar project developers are usually needed by people who’re hell bent on transitioning to solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuel. As power experts, solar project developers have the capability to combine requisite technologies and suitable sites for the development of solar panel projects.
Solar project developers help clients handle various tasks such as sourcing for the required equipment and securing the necessary permits for executing solar projects. Aside from helping clients execute solar farming projects, these power experts ensure they satisfy the clients under various circumstances including land assessment and power generation.
Electrical Power Line Installer
The duties of these power professionals transcend power line installation and maintenance. Without mincing words, the job of the electrical power line installer is one of the most hazardous occupations in the power industry. But the good news is that satisfactory remuneration does come alongside the litany of hazards involved in the job.
Electrical power line installers are highly enjoined to comply with the safety precautions and technical instructions specified for their power line installation and/or maintenance projects. Though it’s a very rewarding line of occupation, power line installation demands physical strength.
Due to the nature of their job, electrical power line installers must be very cautious especially when dealing with high-voltage electricity. It’s worth noting that this power generation job appeals to on-the-job training and as such, young individuals interested in the job may first have to undergo training.
As a power technician, your responsibility cuts across maintenance and repair of various structures including power conversions, power generators, circuit breakers, and electrical transformers.
The power technician also deals with the mechanisms needed for power generation and distribution, especially by assisting with the construction and maintenance of such mechanisms.
Like any other power generation job, the role of the power technician does come with hazards. This is why power technicians are highly enjoined to comply with their organizations’ or companies’ safety rules as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
The average annual salary of power technicians stands at $58,000.
Solar Sales Representative
If your job title defines you as a solar sales representative, you’re required to be highly skilled at interacting with customers –existing, new and prospective customers.
Since they have the onus of attracting sales for their solar company, the solar sales representative try to find out clients’ solar power equipment needs. They do this by establishing contact with the clients and discussing solar needs, preferences, recommendations, etc., with them. The solar sales representative can leverage such contact to pitch their company’s newly launched solar equipment or systems to the clients.
While sales experience is highly required for their job, solar sales representatives help execute sales presentations. They may also be tasked with the customization of their company’s energy offerings (precisely products and services) and development of proposals.
Even without having any prior technical experience with working in power generation, you could be qualified for a job position as a solar sales representative. For the most part, the job requires sales experience as all you need is harnessing your sales experience –and perhaps customer service skills –in helping your solar company attract and retain customers.
While on the job, you should familiarize yourself with the theoretical understanding of your solar company’s energy products and services. This way, you’ll find it pretty easy to explain technical details to both existing and prospective customers during your sales pitch. Solar sales representatives are considered well-paid sales experts with an average annual salary to the tune of $80,000.
Power Plant Operator
To work as a power plant operator, you need to have exhaustive knowledge of relevant machinery such as power-generation equipment. Part of your responsibility, on the one hand, includes checking indicators and power equipment for faults. On the other hand, you’ll be tasked with monitoring the flow of electricity and voltage by reading meters, gauges, etc.
Though exhaustive on-the-job training is highly required for the job, you can secure a power plant operator job with just your high school diploma. Regular training is needed to become successful in this job and so, dozens of power plant operators subject themselves to years of technical instruction and thorough training.
Power plant operators earn an average annual salary to the tune of $47,000.
By virtue of their job description, maintenance technicians extensively work as trouble-shooters dealing with mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components. Aside from servicing and troubleshooting complex combustion systems, maintenance technicians extensively harness their problem-solving skills.
Part of the additional services offered by maintenance technicians may include on-site support service. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training may be necessary for operating as a maintenance technician. While applying for maintenance technician jobs, you may be required to tender a specified training certificate or an associate degree along with your high school diploma.
The average annual salary of maintenance technicians hovers around $43,000.
Solar Power Installer
Solar power installers help differing customers –businesses and home-based clients –erect solar panels. These power generation professionals install the solar panels on key sites such as solar farms, business premises and residential quarters.
The job of the solar power installer is such a hazardous one that may require the professional to work outdoors, perhaps while installing solar panels across high roofs or other spots far off the ground.
Solar power installers handle tasks which range from solar system assemblage down to solar panel installation and maintenance. Interestingly, you can land a solar power installation job with a qualification as low as your high school diploma. On-the-job training will likely be required for entry-level employees to effectively acquire requisite skills.
Field Service Technician
Field service technicians are vastly occupied with out-of-home technical services. They are considered highly responsive technicians who’re ready to travel across long distances in order to attend to clients’ power issues.
The field service technician engages in assessment of in-the-field technical issues, troubleshooting, and provision of on-site support. It’s noteworthy that the job of the field service technician keeps you outside the office as you must be ready to visit clients’ residences or business premises, probably in order to provide them with maintenance and repair services.
As regards their conduct of site visits, field service technicians must be able to schedule appointments with clients as well as keep to the appointments. The annual average salary of field service technicians hovers around $54,000.
Entry-level Controls Engineer
To really work as an entry-level controls engineer, you’re expected to have acquired a degree in a relevant field such as civil engineering, environmental science, construction management, or geology.
Even without boasting any prior industry experience, you can land a job as an entry-level controls engineer whose job description entails helping to boost the overall performance of plant machinery. In that wise, the entry-level controls engineer engages in troubleshooting of control issues, refining of control parameters and, most especially, design and testing of various control theories.
The qualifications you need to become an entry-level controls engineer are pretty much similar to those of an entry-level mechanical engineer.
Entry-level Mechanical Engineer
Though operating at the entry level, a mechanical engineer is charged with the development of machinery, probably including engines, tools, and machines. An entry-level mechanical engineer may also be required to execute a tripartite task incorporating the design, development and testing of thermal and mechanical appliances.
With mechanical engineering being a key engineering specialty, there are usually lots of entry-level jobs awaiting new degree holders looking to carve out careers in mechanical engineering.
When engines, machines and certain other similar systems develop faults, the entry-level mechanical engineer may also be required to address the faults. If you’ve always dreamt of having a fulfilling career in power generation, mechanical engineering is one of the ideal choices for you. Although you’ll likely start out as an entry-level engineer (especially if you don’t have any prior experience), you could rise to the position of a top-level mechanical engineer after having pursued further certification and committed diligence to your work.
What Do You Need to Start a Career in Power Generation?
There are requirements –certifications and/or academic qualifications –you need to equip yourself with if you’re eyeing a career in power generation. Meanwhile, these requirements can vary depending on your preferred area of specialty in power generation.
To give you a hint about what certification or academic qualification you should arm yourself with, here’s general information on the requirements for kick-starting a career in power development:
- A high school diploma or GED –With this, you can qualify for lots of entry-level jobs in the power generation industry
- A Bachelor’s degree –If your preferred power generation specialty is considered an engineering discipline, you’ll be required to possess a BSc in any relevant engineering field such as mechanical engineering and electrical engineering
- Background knowledge of power distribution and transmission –Where you seem to have an inferior certification or qualification compared to those of others, your prior knowledge of electrical, power transmission and distribution might help you edge out many other individuals competing for power generation jobs
Benefits of a Career in Power Generation
Due to the huge population of young individuals eyeing careers in power generation, getting into the power generation industry might prove difficult. Nonetheless, a career in power generation is relatively beneficial for a number of reasons. Foremost of all, power generation is an ever-growing industry with newly introduced aspects including renewable and green energy.
One of the underlying benefits of a growing industry like power generation is that people in the industry can considerably diversify by trying out the industry’s new career options.
The other noticeable benefits of a career in power generation are:
High wages: Power generation is one of the industries with high-paying jobs. Even at the entry-level position, power generation jobs often come with reasonable paychecks.
Ease of specialization and diversification: Power generation is an industry with a sizeable number of career options. Some of the major areas in power generation are solar, wind, and oil and gas. With this, somebody eyeing the industry can easily decide the area they want to specialize in. As for diversification, a professional in power generation may find it possible since the requisite skills for their current area might prove handy for operating in another area within the industry.
Contribution to environmental safety: In one way or the other, power generation is a field capable of transferring a positive impact to the environment. For instance, transition to solar energy, as an alternative to other energy sources, can help free the environment of greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Is Power Generation a Good Career Path?
With what we have said thus far, especially regarding the benefits of a career in power generation, it can’t be gainsaid that power generation is a very good career path. In our modern world, the need for power is indispensable and as differing businesses –including healthcare institutions, manufacturing companies, and trade-specific organizations –rely extensively on power, the power generation industry will always remain relevant.
Nowadays, there’s increased demand for green energy as many companies are looking to dispense with high-impact energy sources. As the need for low-impact energy forms –such as solar, biogas, and wind –increases, more job opportunities tend to spring up for individuals looking to pursue their careers in power generation.
If you hold the needed academic qualification or special certification for your preferred power generation career, nothing should stop you from giving power generation a shot. Where reasonable wages, career variety, and regular job availability stand as your major criteria for choosing a career, power generation might fall among the suitable career paths for you.
As the human need for power ever increases, so will job opportunities in the power generation industry expand.
We’re hopeful that reading this post thus far has given you the cogent reason to consider power generation a good career path.