Business and Economy

Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities (Without a Degree)


Public utilities are the infrastructure services that maintain the essentials of modern life. These include the supply of electric power, natural gas, water and sewage treatment. Reliable and affordable access to these utilities is vital for communities to function and economies to thrive.

The utilities industry directly impacts quality of life for all. Well-run and maintained utilities protect public health while enabling businesses and communities to prosper. Careers in public utilities are therefore highly meaningful, with the potential for competitive salaries.

Understanding the Jobs in Public Utilities

The public utilities sector encompasses businesses and organizations that provide essential infrastructure services to communities. Main types of utilities include:

  • Electric power utilities that generate, transmit and distribute electricity.
  • Natural gas utilities that distribute gas for heating, cooking and industrial uses.
  • Water utilities that supply potable water and remove wastewater.
  • Waste management utilities handling garbage collection and recycling.

These services may be owned publicly, privately or as public-private partnerships, but strict regulations apply due to their importance. Those working in public utilities can therefore expect structured workplaces with established practices. The industry is also fairly resilient to economic fluctuations.

Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities Without a Degree

Energy Underwriter

Energy underwriters evaluate risk to set rates for utility services. The median pay is $78,800 annually. Strong math, analytical, and communication skills are key. Many employers provide on-the-job training.

Transmission Line and Cable Workers

These workers install and maintain the cables and lines that distribute electricity. Their median earnings are $65,000 per year. Completing a line worker apprenticeship program can help enter this career.

Utility Meter Readers

Meter readers access meters to obtain usage data. No prior experience is required, and the median salary is $40,000. Having a valid driver’s license is preferred.

Other Lucrative Roles

Dispatchers, plant operators, and construction managers in utilities earn $45,000 – $75,000 typically. Experience and certifications can boost pay.

Overview of Best Paying Jobs in Public Utilities

  • Nuclear Engineers – median pay over $110,000 per year
  • IT Security Managers – average salary of $102,600
  • General Managers in Utilities – average earnings around $97,000
  • Technical Sales Representatives – median income approaching $95,000
  • Electrical Engineers – average total pay over $88,000
  • Power Plant Technicians – median pay reaching $82,000

These jobs draw on highly specialized technical skills in fields that directly serve community utilities needs. But ample lucrative opportunities also exist in supporting functions like compliance, administration, finance and management.

Stepping In Without a Degree

high paying jobs without degree

Gaining technical certificates in your field, pursuing apprenticeships, and highlighting transferable skills from past jobs can help qualify for utility roles without a college degree. Veterans often excel by applying military training.

Location Impacts Earnings

Salaries are higher in states like California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Research utilities in your desired location. Large metropolitan utilities tend to pay better than rural co-ops.

Emerging Opportunities

Renewable energy integration, technology advancement, and infrastructure upgrades are creating new utility career paths focused on sustainability and efficiency.

Leading Employers

Major utility providers like Duke Energy, National Grid, ConEdison, Dominion Energy, and PG&E offer solid compensation and advancement prospects. Public utility commissions and construction firms also seek skilled workers.

Building Your Skills

Seeking certifications in safety, equipment operation, arboriculture, storm response, and more makes you a strong candidate. Many utility companies help pay for employees to pursue education.

Real-World Impact

Reliable utilities empower communities to thrive. These jobs provide excellent wages and benefits to support working-class families. Utilities also boost local economies.

Insider Perspectives

Industry veterans emphasize that utility employers seek problem-solvers, safety-focused team players, and those passionate about public service over academic credentials alone. Hands-on experience counts.


Public utilities offer stable and rewarding careers without requiring a college degree. If you are willing to learn on the job, possess relevant skills, and work hard, you can find an enriching opportunity powering communities.


Do all utility jobs require technical expertise?

No. Roles like customer service, clerical work, finance, HR, and management utilize transferable skills from other industries. However, technical aptitude is preferred for field work.

What’s the average salary for non-degree utility jobs?

$45,000 – $65,000 is common depending on the role, location, and experience level. Overtime and bonuses can increase total compensation.

What are the career advancement opportunities?

You can progress to supervisor, foreman, project manager, and other leadership roles with proven performance. Some obtain additional training to transition into engineering and operations jobs.

How can I shift from a different sector into utilities?

Emphasize transferable capabilities from your experience. Apply for entry-level jobs to get your foot in the door. Some run pre-apprenticeship programs for career changers.

Are part-time or flexible utility jobs available?

Yes, options like meter reading, customer service, and administrative work may offer part-time shifts or alternate work arrangements. Field roles tend to be full-time.

More Information: The Best Paying Jobs In Capital Goods


Aiden Murphy
Aiden Murphy is your expert for job finding strategies. With a finger on the pulse of the job market, he not only provides valuable insights but also updates our audience with the latest job market analysis, ensuring you stay ahead in your career endeavors.

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