More than 10,200 Power Utility Jobs were Available in the Last Year; Industry Insiders See Looming Talent Gap
The Power Utility industry is experiencing a massive demographic shift and employees who know both conventional grid and smart grid technology are in demand. With a growing number of retirees and new technologies cropping up, a new generation of power utility technicians is critical for the industry. Ecotech Institute, which focuses entirely on preparing students for jobs in sustainability, has been closely watching the rapidly changing sector and its Power Utility Technician program exists to fill the gap.
Ecotech Institute designed its Power Utility Technician program with input from subject matter experts who have more than 55 years of combined utility experience and know first-hand where the industry is headed. The two-year program prepares graduates for careers in power generation, with specialization in power plant operations and maintenance. Students receive immersive and hands-on training that focuses on electric utility distribution systems, grid and smart grid.
A few job titles that correlate with the Power Utility Technician program include Systems Operator, Power Plant Operator, Hydroelectric-Station Operator and Turbine Operator. According to Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index, there were 10,265 jobs advertised in the last year (March 2012 to March 2013) that match the skills taught in Ecotech’s Power Utility Technician program.
"The power utility workforce is facing changes as many utility workers are retiring and new talent is becoming vital," says Alden Zeitz, Manager of Renewable Energy Services with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative. “A new generation of power utility specialists that understands the grid but also grasps the concepts and application of new energy sources is critical."
Upon successful completion of the Power Utility Technician program, graduates will be prepared to:
• Apply the fundamentals of power generation, so they can operate and maintain power plants;
• Use their knowledge of high voltage systems to maintain and operate grid infrastructure, smart grids, and distribution systems;
• Use the fundamentals of electrical theory and related knowledge to design, build, repair, calibrate and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls and machinery;
• Meet industry standards within the electrical engineering, power production and distribution fields.
In addition to the Power Utility program, Ecotech Institute offers the following:
• Solar Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
• Wind Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
• Renewable Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
• Energy Efficiency Program, Associate of Applied Science
• Electrical Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science
• Business Administration – Sustainability, Associate of Applied Science