Energy & Utilities
Utilities relates to the everyday services that keep our homes, buildings, towns and cities going: electricity, gas, water and sewers. A huge variety of different careers are available, ranging from technical and engineering roles to managerial and sales positions. You could work in the engineering side of things, keeping everything moving properly, operations management, project management, or in technical and maintenance roles.
Jobs in energy
The energy side of the industry is particularly exciting, you could work outdoors on site, on land or out at sea, in an office, or even in a laboratory. This sector requires specialist scientists operating in the research and development energy, especially important with the increasing necessity for more environmentally friendly energy solutions. For example, geoscientists survey the earth’s surface using specialist equipment to search for oil reserves, gas reserves and other natural resources. Non-renewable energy resources – coal and oil, for example – are still required by consumers, so the industry still needs experts in mining, gathering and extraction.
Jobs in planning
Research, planning and development roles include data analysts, planners, software developers, GIS technicians, environmental analysts, oceanographers, ecologists, aerodynamics specialists, technical experts, scientists, mechanical and electrical engineers.
On the design and manufacture side of things you could work as a technical designer, mechanical and electrical engineer, electrical and grid connection designer, geophysicists, or even a marine expert.
Construction and installation requires project managers, contract managers, site management, cabling, civil engineers and construction workers. These roles are supported by operations and maintenance staff e.g. those working in grid connection, electricity generation, physical inspection and maintenance.
Environmentally friendly jobs
With increasing environmental concerns across the world, the energy and utilities sector is becoming one of the most innovative and adaptable sectors in the UK. The government is targeting renewable sources such as wind, solar and tidal energy to provide 15% of our power by 2020, so there has been a rise in the development of renewable energy resources, such as solar panels, hydroelectric dams and biomass fuel. Even the major oil and petroleum companies are beginning to develop fuels that are more environmentally friendly – a really future-proof career for those who pursue it.
Energy & utilities apprenticeships
School leavers wanting to work in this sector could do an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) after taking their GCSEs, and train in roles like gas network team leader and dual fuel smart meter installer.
They could then do an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in roles like power network craftsperson and utilities engineering technician. School leavers with A-levels could also access these schemes.
There are also energy Degree Apprenticeships, for school leavers who have achieved high grades at A-level. These are in the nuclear energy field. Your employer will pay your tuition fees and a salary, for the work you will do alongside your studies.
School leavers could also look at the energy and utilities courses on offer at further education college or university.