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Energy & Utilities

From tracking down oil, to capturing renewable energy and getting it to our homes, careers in energy & utilities can take you anywhere.

What is the energy and utilities industry?

Energy companies extract materials, like gas and oil, and harness natural forces like wind and sunshine, to transform them into energy. We use this energy to power our lives, from the petrol in our cars to the electricity that heats up our water.

And it’s not just about making power. Utility companies also provide water and phone lines to our homes and businesses. So, that’s most of what we need to keep us clean, warm and connected.

It takes a lot of different people to create a utility supply, from the scientists and engineers who develop usable energy and get it to our homes, to the salespeople who make sure it reaches the customer and the electricians and plumbers who keep it flowing.

Although our energy network still uses the polluting fossil fuels which cause climate change, renewable energy such as wind and solar is becoming a bigger part of our energy mix. To combat climate change, we need to dramatically scale up green energy over the coming years and decades - and many emerging jobs in the sector are linked to the energy transition.

What energy and utilities jobs can I do?

  • Administration: There are also lots of jobs available in HRfinance, legal, health and safety and administration.
  • Electricians: Wire up our homes, factories and businesses to make sure we get electricity to all of the places we need, and safely too.
  • Engineers: There are lots of roles for engineers. For example, renewable energy engineers make the ways we capture energy from the sun, wind and sea more efficient. Telephone engineers hook up phone lines and make sure they keep working. Many phone engineers install broadband lines as well and check their speed.
  • Hydrologists: Hydrologists study the flow of water above ground and hydrogeologists study it underground. They both work to plan and protect sources of water, to make sure we can all access it safely from our taps at home and that it doesn’t run out. Hydrogeologists might also work in developing countries or countries in conflict to help build new wells and get water flowing to refugee camps.
  • Mudloggers: Mudloggers are an unusual-sounding bunch, but they do a very important job helping geoscientists to collect and analyse the soil, rock and liquids thrown up by drilling to find traces of oil or gas.
  • Plumbers: Do the same job with water, gas and sewage pipes and are there to fix boilers, blockages and leaks when things go wrong.
  • Project managers: Finding and creating energy calls for big teams of people and project managers are needed to make sure all the scientists, engineers and divers talk to each other and that work goes to plan.
  • Sales and marketing: These teams come up with new ways to attract customers to choose a utility provider and can plan big national campaigns.
  • Scientists: Geoscientists, geologists and chemists search for places to extract natural resources and turn them into energy. They can map out an area, check out what minerals are in the soil and advise engineers on the best ways to reach new or old resources.
  • Skilled workers: There are also lots of jobs for skilled workers including welders, pipelayers and scaffolders.

Is a career in energy and utilities for me?

If you are interested in science, careers in agriculture and the environment and you enjoy analytical subjects, then a job in the energy industry could be for you.

Lots of these jobs take you outdoors and some of them will take you underground, so if you’d rather be out-and-about than in a lab, there are some great opportunities here.

You’ll need to be calm under pressure (and bad weather!) and enjoy working as part of a team. You may need to spend time away from home as well.

How can I start a career in energy and utilities?

GCSE: To work in science and engineering careers, you should aim for good GCSEs at 9-4 in maths, IT and sciences including chemistry and physics. Geography and engineering are useful subjects too.

A-level: You should also take maths and science-related subjects at A-level including chemistry, engineering and geography.


If you want to work as an engineer you will need a degree in engineering – check out the Engineering Career Zone on our site for more information.

For geoscientists, you will need a degree in geology or physical sciences. Hydrologists will also need a degree in environmental sciences or something related like geography.

For engineering technicians and mudloggers, you might need a degree in geology or engineering, but a higher national diploma and relevant work experience can also be a way in.


Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships are available for jobs like mechanical technicians and maintenance workers for oil and gas companies as well as some renewable energy companies. There are also intermediate and advanced apprenticeships available in telephone engineering and water maintenance and management.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are available for some professions which traditionally required a university degree. Professions include geotechnical engineer and mine manager.

Lots of plumbers and electricians start out as apprentices after GCSE and get their qualifications on the job. Your apprenticeship will help you work towards diplomas from City & Guilds, EAL or BPEC or you can study for these courses at college. 

To be a diver you don’t need academic qualifications, but you will need to pass medical tests and take professional diving qualifications with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

How to boost your chances

To get a feel for working with machines, the best thing you can do is practise. Try taking an old gadget apart, like a clock, and putting it back together (make sure no one minds you taking it apart first!). Help with DIY tasks at home too. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there to help get you started. It's so valuable to do something instead of simply reading about it.

What energy and utilities qualifications are available?

As well as training to become a qualified engineer, plumber, technician, diver etc., there are also lots of opportunities to get specialist training on the job. For example, you could become a chartered engineer or chartered geologist. As an electrician, you could train to specialise in working with renewable energy sources like solar panels.

Did you know these energy and utilities facts?

To save our world from climate breakdown, UN scientists say we must achieve net zero carbon emissions globally by 2050. In the UK, renewable energy must replace fossil fuels long before that date, which means planning for a job in green energy is the best way to futureproof your career.

In the third quarter of 2019, renewable sources supplied more energy to the UK's National Grid than fossil fuels for the first time ever!

Between 2010 and 2019, the cost of a megawatt hour of solar photovoltaic energy dropped from $378 to $68, making it cheaper than coal or nuclear. The cost of onshore wind was even cheaper at $53 per megawatt hour!

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