best paying jobs in public utilities

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs In Public Utilities In 2022

Eshita Pathak
By Eshita Pathak 20 Min Read

Searching for a well-paid job is extremely difficult these days. To succeed in a career with growth and stability, one must target the best paying jobs in public utilities. 

The public utility sector is a broad, complex industry that produces and distributes energy. Over two million individuals are working in public utilities. Due to the diversity of occupations in the public utility sector, a wide range of skills and education levels are required to satisfy the demands of a growing population. 

Whether you are a beginner in the public utility field or seeking a job change, the best paying jobs in public utilities listed below should significantly help your career advancement.

What is a public utility job?


A public utility worker is an employee of a government agency or a private firm that provides or maintains a public service, such as water or electricity. 

Certain occupations require the knowledge of using specialized machinery, transportation, and lifting heavy objects. These jobs include cleaning, repairing, and maintaining equipment. 

For example, someone working in the food service industry helps with restaurant operations. A person washes dishes, keeps the appliances working, and prepares meals in the kitchen. 

Career opportunities in the public sector are among the highest paying. Because of the many excellent jobs available, it is wise to research before applying for the best paying jobs in public utilities.

How much do public utilities jobs pay?


There are numerous best paying jobs in public utilities. The salary range for workers in the utility sector is $82,171 annually on average in the United States. In addition, employees work 43 hours weekly on average. This wage range is a rough estimate as it depends on the worker’s experience, education, and position in the utility industry. 

Furthermore, retirees may receive a variety of advantages. Employees must have completed high school, but some utility firms require further training or certification.

Now that we know what public utilities jobs pay let’s study more about our topic-the best paying jobs in public utilities.

What are the best paying jobs in public utilities?

Working for a public utility is a great way to earn a decent living. The top 15 best paying jobs in the public utilities sector provide jobs with annual incomes ranging from $40,000 to $120,000. 

Working for a public utility is an attractive proposition for several reasons. Aside from the excellent compensation, job security and stability are two of the most important.

We have listed 15 best paying jobs in public utilities that you can select according to your need and specialty. 

1. Water Plant Operator

Annual Salary: $47,880

Water treatment plants are operated daily by water plant operators. Water plant operators monitor the treatment processes and guarantee that the water is of excellent quality. They also ensure that their plants comply with local and state regulations

In addition to these duties, workers may have to operate pumps and valves, check equipment in their community or county, check equipment regularly, clean filters, and perform preventative maintenance tasks. It is one of the best paying jobs in public utilities. 

A high school diploma and professional certification are required to become a water plant operator. A college or associate Degree is not required for entry-level jobs but is necessary for promotion.

The image below shows why you need a water plant operator.


2. Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer

Annual Salary: $102,950

Nuclear material must be transported, managed, and stored to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. As a critical safety engineer, you will examine nuclear fuel data and calculations to prevent nuclear disasters. It is a superb alternative to the best paying jobs in public utilities. 

You will discuss nuclear plant fuel transfer and storage plans and identify potential hazards and areas that violate rules in nuclear facilities. You will investigate risk and develop new transportation or storage methods in addition to writing report proposals and submitting them to government review committees. 

To become a critical safety engineer, a Nuclear Engineering Degree and several years of experience in a nuclear facility are required.

3. Nuclear Licensing Engineer

Annual Salary: $120,814

Nuclear licensing engineers help nuclear energy plants obtain licensing and comply with relevant regulations. You work with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) experts and regulatory experts to ensure that systems and equipment are functioning correctly. 

You play a crucial role in updating codes and maintaining the company within the applicable regulations by working with regulatory experts and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). You prepare to design and licensing documentation, safety analysis reports, and regulatory research. 

To become a nuclear licensing engineer, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering.


4. Utility Manager

Annual Salary: $78,637

A utility manager oversees a utility system’s operation, upkeep, and development. A single individual usually manages many of the responsibilities of operating a utility. 

In addition to monitoring whether his employees are working properly,  a utility manager must ensure that the equipment is secure and used correctly, making it among the best paying jobs in public utilities. 

Individuals with strong technical backgrounds or education in engineering or science (or some other related field) and management experience are well suited for this job.

5. Power Plant Engineer

Annual Salary: $80,097

A power plant engineer oversees day-to-day operations. Testing equipment, providing preventative maintenance, assessing thermal systems, and working with other personnel are just a few of their essential responsibilities. 

You must have a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering to function in this job. Engineers working in various sectors may earn a specialized chemical, electrical, or nuclear engineering Degree in addition to their undergraduate Degree. 

Working as a team, communicating effectively, and possessing excellent critical thinking skills are all desirable for a power plant engineer.


6. Power System Dispatcher

Annual Salary: $82,871

Power system dispatchers monitor generator systems to guarantee maximum efficiency and estimate how much electricity is required daily. As a power system dispatcher, you organize power distribution between suppliers and users. 

Careful discretion is critical during severe weather events such as heat waves or blizzards. Dispatchers must manage teams to the scene when shortage or repair requests arise to handle the matter. 

It would help if you had a high school diploma or GED for this job. In addition, electric dispatching or electric utility operation apprenticeships are necessary.

7. Energy Auditor

Annual Salary: $74,670

An energy auditor helps organizations optimize energy consumption by identifying ways to save money and energy. 

You will be responsible for evaluating manufacturing plants, healthcare facilities, and other business sectors to determine how much power they consume and what can be done to enhance it. This makes it stand on the list of best paying jobs in public utilities.

A significant understanding of how various systems interact to form more efficient systems will benefit this career path if you have a Degree in environmental science or engineering.


8. Environmental Engineer

Annual Salary: $92,120

An environmental engineer is among the best paying jobs in public utilities. They use science and technology to protect, preserve, and improve the environment. They may be responsible for designing systems that handle waste materials, clean up contaminated sites, or monitor water quality. 

In addition to working with a vast range of equipment, environmental engineers use analytical instruments and computerized systems. 

A bachelor’s degree in environmental science and engineering and several years of experience in the field are typically required for environmental engineers.

9. Petroleum Engineer

Annual Salary: $114,285

Your job as a petroleum engineer may include designing, building, and operating oil and gas wells. You might also be responsible for designing new structures and equipment. You may be required to work in remote and sparsely populated areas. 

To perform their jobs properly, petroleum engineers must thoroughly understand physics and mathematics. To become a petroleum engineer, you must have electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering degrees.


10. Health and Safety Engineer

Annual Salary: $101,519

A Health and Safety Engineer guarantees that workers, the environment, and property are safeguarded. These professionals combine their science and engineering knowledge to invent solutions that protect everyone involved. 

For example, they may recommend factory layout alterations to decrease manufacturing accidents. They may also collaborate with structural engineers to ensure that buildings are safe, adhering to requirements set by local fire departments

You must have a Bachelor’s Degree in science or engineering to become a Health and Safety Engineer.


11. Radiation Engineer

Annual Salary: $104,068

A radiation engineer must test and evaluate radiation impacts in various environments. After radiation exposure, they frequently investigate how systems, devices, and networks function. 

They may design, manufacture, and provide devices that operate at absolute radiation levels while reporting their results. This field requires a Bachelor’s or master’s Degree in physics, engineering, or a related discipline, as well as experience. 

12. Gas Controller

Annual Salary: $90,538

Working with gas and oil companies, a gas controller ensures that consumers get the correct amount of gas or oil. 

They collaborate with gas and oil companies to monitor pipeline pressure data in real-time, identify and address aberrant volume and emergency readings, and maintain accurate flow rates and temperatures to prevent disastrous issues. 

The gas controller keeps track of the process and tests the equipment to ensure accuracy. A high school diploma or GED is necessary to be a gas controller, although some employers prefer a college Degree.

13. Pipeline Controller

Annual Salary: $94,937

As a Pipeline controller, you scan pipelines for leaks, ensure fuel liquids flow, organize emergency procedures when issues occur, and track critical events. Pipeline controllers control channels via established protocols and techniques to optimize power usage, connect with customers, and educate new workers

Because most of their work is done at a central control location, pipeline controllers are often required to problem-solve, work as a team, and multitask, which is why it is among the best paying jobs in public utilities. 

To become a pipeline operator, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a GED.


14. Power Transmission Engineer

Annual Salary: $91,311

The power transmission engineering position is among the best paying jobs in public utilities and is responsible for designing energy transport routes. 

Power transmission engineers create a vital element of the energy infrastructure. They survey maps and geographic data to find the best way for energy transmission lines from the source (such as a power plant) to the end consumer (e.g., home, building, street light, etc.). 

In addition to designing and managing the electrical system, a power transmission engineer oversees its construction. To become a power transmission engineer, you must have a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering or a comparable subject.

15. Journeyman Lineman

Annual Salary: $87,485

A journeyman lineman is responsible for maintaining and operating an electric power grid. This senior job requires years of relevant experience. You build, support, and fix above- and below-ground electrical distribution and transmission circuits in this job. 

As you’ll be working at heights of up to 60 feet frequently in this job, you must be capable of lifting 55 pounds and climbing poles. In addition to operating aerial and digging equipment, you will diagnose system faults, install transformers, and perform other tasks. 

To become a lineman, earn a Department of Labor journeyman certificate, get a high school diploma, and be able to work in different weather conditions.


Summary Table: 15 Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities

Public Utilities CareersAverage Salary Minimum Education
Water Plant Operator$47,880High-school diploma or GED
Nuclear Critical Safety Engineer$102,950Bachelor’s Degree in nuclear engineering
Nuclear Licensing Engineer$120,814Bachelor’s Degree in nuclear engineering
Utility Manager$78,637Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or science
Power Plant Engineer$80,097Bachelor’s Degree in chemical, electrical, or nuclear engineering
Power System Dispatcher$82,871High-school diploma or GED
Energy Auditor$74,670Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science or engineering
Environmental Engineer$92,120Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science or engineering
Petroleum Engineer$114,285Bachelor’s Degree in electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering
Health and Safety Engineer$101,519Bachelor’s Degree in science or engineering
Radiation Engineer$104,068Bachelor’s Degree in physics, engineering, or a related discipline
Gas Controller$90,538High-school diploma or GED
Pipeline Controller$94,937High-school diploma or GED
Power Transmission Engineer$91,311Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering
Journeyman Lineman$87,485High-school diploma or GED

How to get a job in public utilities?

There are several opportunities for those seeking the best paying jobs in public utilities, and the pay is frequently competitive. If you hope to get a job in this sector, there are specific steps you can take to enhance your appeal.

Get informed before making any decisions

Learn about the required Degrees and work experience for various public utility professions. You can better secure the best paying jobs in public utilities by familiarizing yourself with the requirements and doing the appropriate research.


Get the Best Education Possible

You must have a Bachelor’s Degree to work for a public utility, and master’s or higher Degrees are preferred. Attain the knowledge and talents you need to get your dream job by taking suitable courses. 

Gain Experience

Having experience working with public utilities is helpful but not compulsory for specific jobs. You may gain field knowledge and make valuable connections by volunteering or interning at a public service organization. 

Please make up your mind, connect the dots, and go for it. You may find best paying jobs in public utilities with the proper credentials. 


Don’t limit yourself in terms of potential careers

The world of public services comprises a variety of occupations. Instead of restricting yourself to a single work, seek out the full spectrum of options. You may find something unexpected. The organizations offer a range of best paying jobs in public utilities, although you must have the necessary qualifications to be hired. 


Volunteer At Public Utilities

Volunteering at a public utility firm is a terrific way to gain relevant experience and network with like-minded professionals. Internships are available in several fields and may be a great way to gain experience and even obtain a job.


Wrapping Up

Every community relies on public utilities for various services, including energy, water, telecommunications, and more. As per the U.S Department of Labor, this sector will grow as the population increases and the demand for electricity rises across the country. 

Those mentioned above are some of the best paying jobs in public utilities you can select from. Some jobs require a Degree, but others don’t, so you can still find work without having to break the bank on a college education. 


Why do public utility companies pay higher salaries?

Although best paying jobs in public utilities may pay higher wages to attract professionals such as engineers and doctors, these positions are dangerous, and working at a power plant is not the best place to build a long-term career. 

It would help if you also worked shifts because a power company never closes. Higher compensation is the only bargain for allowing someone to work there.

Why do you need to work in public utility companies?

All you need is a university Degree or diploma and prior work experience in power plants to be considered for a position in the public utility sector after graduation. Graduate students with previous practical training in power plants are the best candidates for best paying jobs in public utilities.

What benefits do public utility companies offer?

Because the state owns most existing power plants, public utility companies are less competitive than private ones. Employees at these companies have flexible hour shifts and receive other perks, such as retirement benefits, to feel better while working there.

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