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Save your energy! We’ve done the legwork for you on careers in the power industry.


Imagine a world without power. No lights except candles, no means of communication but speech and handwritten notes or drawings and no transport other than your own feet. The sheer difficulty and complication of everyday life without power doesn’t bear thinking about. 

The power industry is a vastly diverse sector and a very exciting industry to work in right now. With renewable energy targets looming, the power industry is looking to the future for new ways to generate electricity and new employees to make this happen.

EU targets mean that thousands of jobs are opening up within the power industry. By 2020 the UK will have 7,500 offshore wind farms and 45 million gas and electricity meters will need to be replaced with smart meters. Experts will have to be trained to make these targets achievable and it has even been estimated that by 2034, the UK will need 50,000 engineers! The power industry is a growing sector, requiring thousands of new brains to help fuel it.

But what kinds of jobs are within the sector? The work of the power industry is as varied as it is vital. Those who enjoy working outdoors could be interested in offshore development work, where employees travel by boat to wind farms for their working day. Linesmen work outside installing, repairing and maintaining power lines that are essential to the everyday distribution of electricity. Design engineers are required to design blueprints for new machinery, as well as to offer new design ideas when replacing old units. There are also managerial positions, like project engineers, who work closely with project managers to ensure each new scheme is closely monitored and achieves safe completion. These are just a few of the many jobs available. 

With such variety in careers within the power industry, it is no surprise that there are different routes into the sector. Those who would like to earn while they train could benefit from the many apprenticeship schemes which mix college learning with hands-on experience. These apprenticeships usually take three to four years to complete, requiring four GCSEs at grade C or above and resulting in NVQ qualifications that will demonstrate to a future employer the candidate’s dedication to and experience in the power industry. 

Those who would prefer to study at university can also join the path to power. Degrees in engineering can lead to graduate schemes where graduates are assigned a mentor and then choose their own placements. This means you have the chance to be guided through different roles within the power industry, so when the time comes to decide which area you would like to specialize in, you can make a well informed decision. 

The power industry is expanding, with many varied job opportunities to suit all different backgrounds and abilities. Will you join this industry? It’s up to you: the power is in your hands. 

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About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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