Energy Utilities Prepare to Go Green, Job Opportunities to Follow

Nancy Anderson
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Utilities jobs are often coveted among job seekers. After all, utilities provide essential services and a critical infrastructure that make them necessary for daily living. In addition, most utility companies are profitable, and utilities jobs are stable. As the focus shifts to renewable energy, many utility companies are seeking out applicants for specialized “green jobs.”

Development of Green Jobs for Energy Utilities

Green jobs have been on President Barack Obama’s mind ever since he took office. When signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the stimulus bill, he predicted that it would have a significant impact in creating “green-collar” jobs. Then, January 2010, $2.3 billion in federal tax credits were approved with the intention that 17,000 green jobs would follow. However, without a clear definition of green jobs, it is difficult to track just how successful these initiatives have been.

What is clear is that no sector will benefit from the trend toward green jobs like the utility industry. As the gatekeepers for energy, many utility companies have independently made the move toward renewable energy portfolios. That is, they are working to move beyond traditional coal-fueled plants and diversify how they create energy.

Companies that have not yet felt the need to reduce their carbon footprint may find themselves spurred to action by government mandates and regulations. More and more states are requiring that utility companies provide a certain percentage of their power through renewable energy sources. Regardless of why energy companies are moving toward renewable standards, the end result is sure to be more opportunities for green utilities jobs.

Green Job Opportunities for Utility Job Seekers

For those ready to move into a lucrative new career in energy utilities, you may need to take a little time to update your skills and your resume. Some green energy jobs may require specific degrees in engineering or science, but you may also find that short term certification programs give you the expertise you need to apply for green energy utilities jobs.

The Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Office in the U.S. Department of Energy partners with programs across the nation to prepare workers for green job opportunities. Some, such as the California-based “Boots on the Roof” program, offer weeklong workshops that bring workers up to speed on wind and solar energy or offer specialized technical training.

Once you have the right skills, you will be ready to emphasis your green expertise on utilities jobs applications. Currently, many energy utilities are looking for qualified individuals to help expand their renewable energy offerings in the following categories:

• Solar
• Wind
• Geothermal
• Biomass
• Hydropower

When it comes to time to submit your application for utilities jobs, make sure you have the skills needed to make you a stand-out candidate. A background in green energy will make you the applicant of choice for utilities looking to meet renewable energy mandates and regulations.
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Maryalene LaPonsie is an accomplished writer who has extensive experience reporting on education, career advancement and workforce development topics. She specializes in sales and marketing consultation as well as general copywriting services.

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