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25 of the Highest Paying Utility Jobs in 2024

The best Utility jobs can pay up to $161,000 per year.

A utility worker performs general maintenance tasks, often for a public space or a plant that oversees a public utility, like power or water. These positions usually require physical labor and lifting, and depending on the industry may include the operation of specialized equipment or vehicles. Typical duties involve cleaning facilities, repairing and maintaining equipment, and more. Alternatively, a food service utility worker helps with basic restaurant operations. Their responsibilities often include cleaning dishes, maintaining equipment, and prepping food in the kitchen.

A food service utility worker assists with a variety of tasks in a kitchen or restaurant. While they do not typically cook food, common job duties include things like slicing meat, chopping vegetables, brewing coffee, grounds keeping, and equipment maintenance. A food service utility worker may also clean dishes, transport things to and from storage, and operate equipment like mixers, ovens, or grills. Qualifications for a food service utility worker vary by restaurant, but this is typically an entry-level position.

High Paying Utility Jobs

  • Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer

    As a nuclear criticality safety engineer, your responsibilities include conducting research and evaluating methods of transportation, handling, and storage of nuclear fuel to prevent an accident such as a nuclear reaction. You study and review research on nuclear fuel characteristics and calculation documents, as well as conduct an analysis of fuel transfer and storage plans provided by nuclear plants. Other duties include identifying potential hazards and areas in a nuclear plant that may be violating regulations, designing new methods for transport or storage, preparing proposal reports describing your recommendations, and submitting these reports to the government review board.

  • Radiation Engineer

    The duties of a radiation engineer are to conduct experiments that test and evaluate radiation effects in a variety of settings. Their responsibilities include providing theoretical analysis based on a test they perform in an experimental environment. Professionals in this career often focus on the performance of systems, equipment, or networks during and after exposure to radiation. While reporting their findings, a radiation engineer may suggest layouts, parts, and designs that meet requirements for operating under realistic levels of radiation.

  • Transmission Line Engineer

    A transmission line engineer works to draft, design, and analyze the design of lines used for power or telecommunications. Your duties in this career include placing bids on projects and working with clients to develop a design based on the electricity or telecommunications needs for the project. After taking into account electricity needs, you design the system using a computer-aided design (CAD) software. Your responsibilities include choosing components and materials and creating a design plan that fits the client’s budget. Depending on your role, you may stay with the project until they successfully implement your design.

  • Nuclear Licensing Engineer

    As a nuclear licensing engineer, your responsibilities include providing licensing and regulatory support for a nuclear energy plant, ensuring systems and equipment are performing as expected. You work closely with regulatory personnel and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to implement new codes and keep the company within regulatory standards. Other duties include preparing design and licensing documents, safety analysis reports, and completing regulatory analyses, ensuring all technical requirements are met. You complete NRC submittals, keep effective communication with NRC inspectors, and solve emerging compliance issues in a timely manner. You research and communicate technical and legal information about plant design and licensing. Some positions require you to be available to respond to emergencies within 60 minutes.

  • Power System Dispatcher

    A power system dispatcher directs the distribution of electricity between providers and consumers, both residential and commercial. As a power system dispatcher, you monitor generator systems to ensure optimal efficiency and determine how much power is needed for each day. Discretion is particularly vital during extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves or snowstorms. Other job duties include responding to calls of shortages or repairs and coordinating crews out to the location to fix the problem.

  • Power Lineman

    As a power lineman, your job is to support the operations of utilities by installing and maintaining electrical lines. As part of your role, you may do construction work to fix or replace lines, use equipment to reach areas in need of repair, and teach an apprentice how to do the job. You also identify defective elements in a system, inspect and test power lines and related equipment, climb poles and transmission towers, and work in severe weather conditions. Following disasters like storms or earthquakes, you may work extended shifts if necessary.

  • Power Transmission Engineer

    The main responsibilities of a power transmission engineer revolve around planning routes for energy transmission. In this career, you play a pivotal part in the power system’s infrastructure. Your duties are to survey maps and GIS data to estimate the best path of transmission lines from the energy source (e.g. power plant) to the end user (e.g. home, building, street light, etc.). You need to be able to plan the most efficient route while simultaneously addressing safety standards and environmental laws. In addition to the planning and logistics of the power system, a power transmission engineer oversees the construction of the power system.

  • Substation Technician

    Substation technicians install wiring systems and control panels, as well as perform routine maintenance and emergency repairs on electrical substations that send energy into nearby homes and buildings. In this role, you may collaborate with architects and engineers to develop the layout and plan of the substation. Once the blueprints are completed, you may work on the construction and installation of wiring cabinets and electrical equipment; test, calibrate, and maintain relays and operating devices; and troubleshoot and repair transformers and other equipment. You may also be responsible for building safety perimeters, such as fencing, around the substation, and monitoring safety issues that may arise with circuits and other connection lines.

  • Power Systems Engineer

    A power systems engineer works in the energy industry. In this career, your job is to design, evaluate, and oversee the electrical power distribution system for a utility company or substations, perform electric metering, or work for a wind power company to evaluate transmission viability. You generally work on all parts of a power system to increase its efficiency and help the company for which you work to achieve their goals as assigned. You also have duties and responsibilities in project development, as you help the project manager determine the best locations for new utility projects like wind turbines or substations. As a power systems engineer, you also determine the best places within these locations for controls.

  • Power Engineer

    Power engineers monitor power and utility systems in an industrial or commercial facility. As a power engineer, your duties include following all processes, performing equipment repairs and maintenance, and adhering to safe operating procedures. You are in charge of the facility’s entire electrical grid, including the lighting, air conditioning, water treatment, and all other power generation systems. To ensure the smooth operation of your facility’s boiler systems, electrical systems, and other systems of power transmission, you communicate and work closely with the other engineers in your company.

  • Power Plant Manager

    A power plant manager supervises the operations of a power plant and monitors workers to keep a steady stream of electricity flowing to homes and businesses. As a power plant manager, you check that all equipment in the facility is up-to-date and performing to government and industry standards. You also ensure that the plant meets energy production needs while staying within a set budget. On occasion, you may have to oversee the repairs and installation of equipment. Additionally, your responsibilities include verifying that every employee is working according to the standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In keeping with these duties, you report and record any safety violations and the actions taken to correct them.

  • Substation Electrician

    A substation receives electrical power from larger relays and carries high voltages to a wide area. A substation electrician oversees and maintains critical equipment at these electrical substations. As a substation electrician, you monitor the components and make necessary repairs. Job duties include maintaining circuit breakers, transformers, voltage regulators, and other parts to ensure they stay in proper working order.

  • Utilities Manager

    Public utility managers audit operations to ensure that they provide utilities to residents and businesses at the lowest possible cost. As a utilities manager, you oversee facilities that provide necessary services to residents in a city, town, or region, such as water treatment facilities, electrical plants, and telecommunications organizations. Your duties include managing water, sewer, or power systems. You ensure that infrastructure is up-to-date, inspect facilities, and order maintenance and repairs if necessary. Your responsibilities also include coordinating with response teams in the event of an unplanned shutdown and looking for ways to lower costs or improve service quality.

  • Power Distribution Engineer

    As a power distribution engineer, your primary responsibilities involve the design and maintenance of electrical distribution systems. Your duties include developing site electrical procedures, providing technical guidance for wiring systems, overseeing an electrical system operation from start to finish, ensuring applications meet regulation standards, and providing technical support to various personnel. You typically also develop project timelines and programming reports, estimate costs, define testing criteria, and help implement new engineering methods. You also interface with vendors, utility companies, consultants, and external contractors to oversee installations and equipment maintenance.

  • Substation Engineer

    Substation engineers create design plans for power substations and collaborate with the project team and other stakeholders to finalize schematics. As a substation engineer, your job duties include generating design drawings and documents, determining the appropriate size and type of cables and conduits for each substation, facilitating tasks using engineering application software, and coordinating efforts with team members. The qualifications for a career as a substation engineer are a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, several years of experience in electrical engineering jobs, and excellent problem-solving skills.

  • Electrical Lineman

    An electrical lineman, or electrical line worker, installs and maintains power lines. Their duties include putting up or maintaining new power lines, as well as repairing broken lines or transformers. Linemen make sure electrical lines are functioning and make repairs quickly and accurately to restore electrical service to customers. Line workers work at multiple outdoor sites and at tall heights.

  • Transmission Engineer

    There are two primary types of transmission engineers. One type works for television and broadcasting companies; they ensure that broadcasts take place smoothly and without interruption. Job duties include maintaining transmission equipment, monitoring incoming feeds and outgoing transmissions, managing departmental staff, and quickly troubleshooting any problems that arise. The other type of transmission engineer works for power and utility companies. They are a type of electrical engineer; they design and test systems to generate and transmit energy to customers. For example, some work in the wind-power generation industry and develop wind turbines to be used as an energy source.

  • Wastewater Engineer

    A wastewater engineer works at a water treatment plant, ensuring that all systems are working correctly. As a wastewater engineer, your responsibilities revolve around producing clean, safe drinking water for your community. Your duties include the design and operation of the machines, systems, and equipment that receive, clean, and distribute water. This task requires computer modeling skills, as you must reproduce and analyze the treatment process. You may also have outreach responsibilities, building relationships with government officials and community members.

  • Power Plant Operator

    As a power plant operator, your duties are to operate and maintain equipment that generates power and regulate these generators to control the output and storage of energy. You also manage the proper flow of electricity and voltage based on consumer demands. At a nuclear power plant, for example, you adjust control rods which generate power, and monitor the reactors, wind turbines, and cooling systems to ensure they operate within specified parameters. At a solar installation, your responsibilities are to monitor heat transfer and position and adjust solar panels or mirrors based on meteorological conditions.

  • Water Superintendent

    A water superintendent is a vital part of the water treatment process. In this career, you are in charge of the process by which water enters the municipality’s treatment plants. Your responsibilities are to create and oversee the plans that provide water to a town or city’s treatment centers from wells, lakes, and rivers. Additional job duties include maintaining the sewage system for the municipality. Water superintendent is a supervisory position, so you manage a staff proportional to the size of their area. Small towns may have a team of only a couple people, while larger cities may have a sizable staff. You may also handle public reports and press releases for the city’s water system.

  • Underground Electrician

    An underground electrician focuses on the installation, maintenance, and repair of underground systems such as in telecommunications and mines. In this role, your responsibilities include running wire according to technical documents and blueprints and following the National Electrical Code and local additions to ensure the safe operation of the equipment. You often work in teams on projects for new development or in the case of outages and other connectivity issues. Your duties involve using standard equipment along with more sophisticated computer software to manage and control electronic data. Compliance with all required safety procedures is imperative because of the potential for injury. Because of the enclosed worksite, there are other safety risks when working with power sources and voltage.

  • Utility Engineer

    A utility engineer is a civil engineer who works for a utility company, such as a water, gas, or electric company. Their job duties are to design, implement, and maintain utility infrastructures, such as water or gas mains, electrical grids, and other types of delivery systems. Qualifications for a utility engineer include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in civil engineering or a related field of engineering and experience. Professional certification is available. Problem-solving and leadership skills are important in this career.

  • Nuclear Engineer

    As a nuclear engineer, you work in a nuclear power facility or research facility to design instruments and processes that make it easier to draw energy from nuclear material. You may also come up with new reactor designs that use different types of materials. A nuclear engineer does not always work on equipment for power plants; sometimes you work to create technology like new medical measuring devices. A nuclear engineer can also work on propulsion systems like those in nuclear-powered military vessels.

  • Pipeline Controller

    As a pipeline controller, you monitor and control the operations of pipeline systems. You monitor pipelines for leaks, ensure the continued flow of liquid natural gas or oil, coordinate emergency responses when problems are detected, and maintain a record of noteworthy events. Pipeline controllers frequently use established processes and procedures to manage systems, help optimize power usage, communicate with customers, and provide training to new hires. Pipeline controllers occasionally travel, but most work is done through a centralized control facility. This job often involves problem-solving, working as a team, and multitasking to address problems as they arise.

  • Journeyman Lineman

    A journeyman lineman builds and maintains the electrical power system. This is an advanced position that requires several years of experience in the field. In this career, you construct, maintain, and repair electrical distribution and transmission systems, both above and below ground. Your duties require you to be able to lift up to 50 pounds and be comfortable working at heights up to 60 feet, as you climb poles and lift equipment regularly. Responsibilities include operating aerial and excavation equipment, troubleshooting system problems, setting transformers, and more. Documentation and detailed reports are necessary. You may also train apprentices. Qualifications include apprenticeship completion, a Department of Labor Journeyman certification, a high school diploma, and the ability to work in various weather conditions.