ELECTRIC UTILITY INDUSTRY CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
The electric utility industry offers great opportunities for exciting and rewarding long-term careers. It is a robust, $880-billion industry that employs over 500,000 American workers.
In the U.S. economy, the power industry represents 2.3% of real gross domestic product (GDP). Electricity use continues to rise, and the country is dependent on reliable delivery of electric power more than ever.
The Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, estimates $1.4 trillion will be spent between now and 2030 on building new generation and transmission resources.** Utilities are beginning to integrate alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and battery storage into their systems as well. Electrical lineworkers are, and will continue to be, the backbone of these efforts.
After completing the Electrical Lineworker Program, graduates typically enter the electric utility industry as pre-apprentice lineworkers, substation technicians, equipment operators, staking technicians, or other related positions. NLC provides the most versatile and realistic educational experience possible, preparing graduates for advancement roles such as crew leader, superintendent, safety and training professional, director, and more.
Thanks to the many opportunities in the industry, NLC alumni have advanced from linework to rewarding careers in safety training, engineering, system operation, and construction company ownership. The career paths and potential are nearly limitless for an ambitious individual with an NLC education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 114,540 electrical lineworkers, 114,620 telecommunication lineworkers, 47,000 operators and dispatchers, and a large number of related support positions. On average, about 4% of positions in the workforce need to be filled each year by beginning-level lineworkers. Construction positions represent about 5% of the total number of job openings annually. This means there are about 10,000 entry-level job openings every year.***
GEOGRAPHIC FLEXIBILITY IS IMPORTANT
Because utility companies cover such large regions, the most successful NLC graduates remain geographically flexible when seeking initial career opportunities. Graduates willing to work in any state typically have multiple job opportunities, while those focused on a small area (town, county, single state) may experience a delay in launching their careers.
Hiring processes vary among different types of companies. Construction companies usually hire quickly, while some utility companies can take weeks or months. A majority of NLC graduates are working in the trade within six months of graduation; how- ever, as stated, remaining flexible with regard to geography plays a significant role in this timetable.
With experience and ambition, advancement opportunities in the power-delivery industry are abundant. Graduates of NLC have progressed in careers such as these: