water dam under white and blue skies

Pros & Cons of Hydropower

Below, we'll be covering the pros and cons of hydropower. There are a lot of benefits of hydropower; however, recent scientific studies have shed new light on an energy source that is also being pushed by several countries as environmentally friendly.

For centuries, hydropower from many kinds of water mills has been used for irrigation and to operate various machines and technology, including gristmills, sawmills, textile mills, trips hammers, dock cranes, and ore mills. In the late 1800's, hydropower became a source for generating electricity. The first commercial hydropower dam was built at Niagara falls in 1879.

What Is Hydropower?

Hydropower, also known as water power, is derived from the energy of falling water or fast running water.

How Energy Is Made

water dam

                                                                                 Photo by Nicole Harrington via Unsplash

Energy from conventional hydroelectric dams comes from the potential energy of dammed water driving a turbine and generator. The amount of extracted power depends on the volume of the water and the difference in height between the source and the water's outflow. A large pipe, known as the penstock, delivers water to the turbines from the reservoir.

What Determines How Much Energy Is Made?

The farther the water falls, the more power it generates. Usually, the distance the water falls depends on the size of the dam. The power of the falling water is directly proportional to the distance it falls, essentially water falling twice as far has twice as much potential energy. Additionally, the power is also directly proportional to river flow.

Types of Hydropower

Hydropower plants range in size from micro-plants, that power only a few homes, to giant dams that generate enough electricity for millions of people.

Pump-Storage Method

The Pump-storage method creates electricity to supply high peak demands by moving water between reservoirs at different elevations. This method is the most commercially important means of large-scale grid energy storage and improves the daily capacity factor of the generation system. At night, when the demand for electricity is low, water is pumped back up into the dam so it can be released again the next day when electricity demand is higher.

Run-of-the-River Stations

hoover damn during daytime

                                                                                             Photo by Alicia Bell via Unsplash

Run-of-the-river stations have no reservoir capacity, are powered only by the water coming upstream, and any oversupply must pass unused. There must be a constant supply of water from a lake or an existing reservoir upstream for a significant advantage in choosing this type of hydropower.

Tide Power Stations

A tide power station makes use of the rise and fall of tidal waves, a highly predictable, dis-patchable source of electricity (electricity on demand at the request of power grid operators).

Large-Scale Plants

Large-scale hydropower plants are more commonly seen as the largest power producing facilities in the world. Some facilities are capable of generating more than double the installed capacities of the current largest nuclear power stations. Currently, only four facilities over 10,000 megawatts are in operation worldwide, two of which are in China, while the others are in Brazil and Venezuela.

Micro-Plants

line of flowers

                                                                                         Photo by Scott Webb via Unsplash

Small-scale development of hydropower, also known as micro-plants, typically serves a small community or an industrial factory. The definition may vary, but it is generally accepted that a small hydro station produces under 10 megawatts, although some may produce as much as 30 MW in Canada and the United States. Small-scale stations can be built in isolated areas that would be uneconomic to serve from a network or in areas where there is no national electrical distribution network. These projects typically have minimal reservoirs and civil construction work. They have a relatively low environmental impact compared to large hydropower plants. The decreased environmental impact depends strongly on the balance between stream flow and power production.

How Hydropower Works

Hydropower plants use turbines to convert the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy, then a generator converts it the electrical energy.

photo of truss towers

                                                                               Photo by Matthew Henry via Unsplash


Making Electricity

The energy from flowing water is captured and turned into electricity. The most common type of hydropower uses a dam on a river to store water as a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. However, hydropower doesn't always require a large dam. There are some hydropower plants that only use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine. The turbine propeller is turned by the moving water.

silhouette of wind turbines during sunset

                                             Photo by Anna Jiménez Calaf via Unsplash


Spinning Turbines

When water levels of the river rise, the force of falling water pushes against the turbine's blades and causes the turbine to spin. Much like a windmill, the turbine "collects" the kinetic energy of falling water, and then causes the shaft that connects to the generators to spin also, converting the mechanical energy to electricity. Then, the electricity is sent through transmission lines to either the power grid, homes, or businesses.

Pros and Cons of Hydropower

Hydroelectricity is the most popular and one of the most used forms of renewable energy as compared to other energy forms such as solar, tidal, or wind energy. But, as we use hydropower more, we learn more about the potential effects it has on our environment. In a recent study, hydropower stations from around the world are responsible for more methane and carbon dioxide emissions than previously assumed. The balance of the pros and cons of hydropower have shifted since the study was published in 2016.

While hydropower can generate electricity, it can cause environmental and social harm. Damage to wildlife habitats, impaired water quality, impeded fish migration, reduced sediment transport, along with diminished cultural and recreation benefits of rivers were reported due to the hydropower plants effects on the waterways.

Pros of Hydropower

Availability


Hydropower is generally available when needed. Engineers control the flow of water through turbines to produce electricity on demand. The time required to shut down and restart a hydropower station is far less than other power stations. Other types of power stations can take up to eight hours to restart. A hydropower station can restart in just a few minutes.


Cost


Hydropower is also less expensive than solar power, and it can provide power and water to communities in northern climates better than solar energy.


Recreational Opportunities

group of people gathering on field

                                                                                 Photo by Robert Bye via Unsplash

Impoundment hydropower creates reservoirs that provide a variety of recreational opportunities: fishing, swimming, and boating. Other benefits may include water supply and flood control.


Cons of Hydropower

Greenhouse Emissions

hydroelectric power

                                                                        image source: unsplash

While hydroelectric power is completely free of fossil fuels, or other perishable resources, it does not involve any combustion or burning of fuel, like coal. Many countries consider hydroelectricity a clean source of power, due to the lack of burning fossil fuels. However, the study from 2016 shows that the world's hydroelectric dams' greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for as much as Canada.


The study from Washington State University finds methane, which is at least 34 times more potent than other greenhouse gases. In addition to methane, carbon dioxide makes up 80 percent of emissions from water storage reservoirs created by dams.


As of 2016, 100 studies on greenhouse gas emissions, from 267 large reservoirs around the world, find that methane and carbon dioxide make 80 percent of the emissions from large-scale reservoirs. None of which, are currently included in global greenhouse gas inventories.

These greenhouse gas emissions vary according to a wide variety of indications: air and water temperature, season and time of day, vegetation and soil types in both the reservoir and the upstream watershed, and watershed management practices.


Hydropower dams manipulate water levels to make electricity. When the water levels decline, the hydrostatic pressure on submerged soils also lowers, and it allows gas bubbles to escape. Some gas bubbles can stay trapped in the water while others surface and get released into the atmosphere.


Ecological Effects


silhouette of factory during sunset

                                                                                 Photo by Sam Bark via Unsplash

Additionally, constructing a river dam, at a particular location, can lead to adverse ecological effects on its immediate surroundings. A proper land examination is a must prior to hydropower station construction. Earthquakes are also a major concern when it comes to hydroelectricity generation. It has been observed, that in China and India in particular, large dam constructions are responsible for massive earthquakes that occurred in those regions. Globally, there are over 100 identified cases of earthquakes that scientists believe were triggered by reservoirs. Scientists believe that earthquakes related to dams are caused by the extra pressure in micro-cracks. This pressure, coupled with the water, acts as a lubricant on fault lines. These fault lines were already under pressure but were stopped from slipping by the friction of rocky surfaces.


Fish Migration

grey school of fish under water

                                                                                      Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Fish populations can be affected if they cannot migrate past impoundment to spawning grounds. An upstream fish passage can be achieved using fish ladders, also known as a fishway. Another option would be trapping and hauling fish upstream by truck. A downstream fish passage can be achieved by diverting fish from turbines using screens, racks, or underwater lights and sounds.


A fish ladder is a structure built on or around dams to help fish pass artificial barriers while migrating. The construction of the ladder allows the fish to swim over low steps to reach the other side.


Water Flow and Quality of Water


Hydropower can also impact water flow and quality. Hydropower plants can cause low dissolved oxygen levels in the water. This is addressed by aeration techniques to oxygenate the water to help improve riparian (riverbank) habitats. Hydropower facilities are also impacted by drought; when there is not enough water available, it cannot power electricity.


Conclusion

hydropower

                                                                                                                     image source: pixabay

About a decade ago, not much was known about water storage reservoirs. Nobody knew the pros and cons of hydropower. It was thought that shallow reservoirs in hot climates were more likely to heat up and emit greenhouse gases. On the contrary, researchers found that biological activities, like nutrient runoff and dying fauna, are major indicators of gas emissions. While the nutrient runoff can also be due to naturally occurring processes, it is usually found in regions affected by farming, logging, and land development. The 2016 study concluded that all 267 water reservoirs, worldwide, contributed to 1.3 percent of all man-made greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately, when comparing the pros and cons of hydropower the disadvantages are starting to outweigh the advantages. 

loader at daytime

CPS Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, And More

When looking for a job in any field, it is essential to get to know who the key players are to identify the most lucrative potential jobs. In the energy industry, there are a great many companies pursuing a great many missions and objectives. There is clean energy such as turbines, renewable energy such as solar, atomic energy through nuclear power plants, and more traditional forms of energy production such as coal burning. Whatever type of energy you support, there are positions, including CPS Energy jobs.

What Is CPS Energy?

CPS Energy is committed to providing the world with “innovative energy”. They are the largest municipally owned energy company in the United States. The company provides for customers in San Antonio, Texas in addition to surrounding areas, doing so with “reliable power while being sensitive to the environment.” The organization began in 1942 and has since provided for the region of San Antonio and its power customers. At the current time, CPS Energy serves nearly 350,000 customers in its 1,566-square mile service area. Such a large company, as we’ll see, creates many jobs.

Sustainability And Clean Energy

CPS Energy is notorious for its commitment to sustainable energy and the development of advanced solutions to benefit the environment, from the use of the wind and sun to generate power to the development of new technologies. To support the evolution away from non-renewable energies in the form of fossil fuels, CPS Energy is investing in clean energy and the development of innovative technologies such as LED lighting, solar power, clean coal, and smart grid infrastructure. While such investments may entail a substantial cost today, it is hoped that tomorrow the return will be beneficial and profitable.

The organization advertises its clean energy initiatives effectively to generate goodwill in the community and also to drive further investments in such technologies for the betterment of the community at large. To support the advancement of CPS Energy into the future, the company is pursuing a variety of means to the end of increased sensitivity to the environment. This includes grid optimization and solar power, the advancement of which is supported through the establishment of valuable partnerships with like-minded organizations to pursue their vision of clean energy, innovation, and energy efficiency.

Community Engagement And Environmental Awareness

One of the key facets of CSP Energy in terms of its positive impact upon the world is through its community involvement. The organization is involved in the support of area schools with student mentoring and summer internships. Employees of CSP Energy volunteer thousands of hours each year in support of community projects, working to make the air, water, and land clean and healthy for the community. This is being supported through the inclusion of clean energy solutions into their power production through the use of wind and sun to harness electricity for San Antonio.

CPS Energy Jobs & Salaries

person near electrical wiring

Image by pixabay

There are a variety of positions available through CPS Energy jobs. The company is focused upon the quality of its people power and considers their employees to be the source of the business reaching new heights. According to CPS Energy, “Generating and delivering power is a 24/7 operation. It takes unique people and parts to make it happen.” The organization appreciates its employees and, through their career center, present a number of options, explored below. First, we will consider a few of the key leadership positions of the municipally owned company, and the unusually high amounts they pay.

As noted by the company, CPS Energy jobs are diverse, as “We are engineers, high line workers, power plant managers, accountants, electricians, project coordinators, risk analysts, customer service operators, community representatives, safety and security specialists, communicators, human resources partners, information technology technicians, and much, much more.” There are currently 3,300 CPS Energy jobs filled by their employees, and they are hiring more, with some of these available positions and their salaries explored below.

CEO

businesswoman holding chief executive officer written in a paper

Image by pixabay

To provide a bit of interesting information, the Chief Executive Officer of CSP Energy, Doyle Beneby, earned nearly $$ in monies in January 2016, despite having resigned in September 2015. Apparently achieving the role of CEO at CPS Energy, then quitting, can be quite lucrative. The current CEO, Paula Gold-Williams, was reportedly offered a salary of $$ to replace Beneby. Despite this, upon having begun in 2016, Gold-Williams earned $$ with incentives in the first six months of that year, representing the potential of $$$+ for the year.

Senior Director Of Corporate Communications & Marketing

man in black suit wearing sun glasses

Image by pixabay

Paul Flanagan, the individual who holds this role for the municipally owned and thus publicly reported CPS Energy, earned over $$$ in salary and incentive from January to June 2016. This means he would earn over $$$ annually, demonstrating the high salaries of the senior management of CPS energy.

Communications Manager

group of people looking at laptop screen

Image by pixabay

A communications manager with CPS Energy in San Antonio earns between $ and $$ depending upon education and experience, exhibiting a high salary potential for a lower managerial role. The communications manager coordinates between the various services provided by CPS Energy in order to meet the mission of the company of providing world-class energy solutions to “meet the diverse and unique needs of our customers and employees.” The company’s commitment to its employees is supported by the communication this manager provides.

Note that the salary estimates here and below are drawn from Glassdoor and are based upon the average of reported salaries of current and former employees.

Engineering Associate 1

three architect looking on white paper

Image by pixabay

The engineering associate amongst CPS Energy jobs pays between $ and $$, depending upon prior education and experience. The engineering associate 1 works in the utility coordination and schedules area. They are responsible for managing high profile and particularly visible processes for civic distribution projects that are linked to governmental agencies’ right of way improvement projects.

Contact Center Supervisor

woman wearing purple blouse

Image by pixabay

This particular role earns an average of $ annually with CPS Energy. The supervisor in the contact center is responsible for the planning, supervising, and facilitation of service operations. The key purpose of this role is to achieve workload, accuracy, productivity, budget, and staffing level targets. The contact center supervisor supervises a team of employees with a coaching mindset and provides back-up to other supervisors as needed. Such positions provide leadership and management for project teams on customer service projects as well.

Transportation Service Manager

workers at construction site

Image by pixabay

This role pays an average of $$ annually. The manager of transportation services is responsible for the oversight of technical staff in support of outside plant (OSP) fiber-optic cable infrastructure and electronics associated with the provision of lit-fiber, mission-critical operational technology (OT) data communications. This manager is responsible for the development of and adherence to preventative maintenance and life-cycle management plans for department electronics and infrastructure.

Gas Standards And Compliance Senior Manager

person walking on top of metal tube

Image by pixabay

The estimated salary of this higher-level position is $$ annually. The senior manager of gas standards and compliance is a key member of the gas delivery management team. They serve as the change agent for the advancement of safety through the compliance and asset management efforts of CPS Energy. The role provides leadership on special projects as assigned to provide for compliance with state and federal pipeline safety utility regulations and business planning efforts. Such efforts include CPS Energy’s public awareness, damage prevention, and operator qualification programs.

Other Benefits

Outside of the salaries, the benefits that are available through CPS Energy jobs are extensive. The most significant benefit that we all appreciate with a salaried position is the comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage at competitive rates. The ability to acquire not only medical but dental and vision is rare in the modern environment. This is a particularly important consideration when exploring job opportunities for yourself, the positive impact upon yourself and any family you might have with full comprehensive medical, dental, and vision is far-reaching.

Outside of the expansive comprehensive coverages, those with CPS Energy jobs are also eligible for paid time off, including vacation days and paid holidays. Life insurance and other dependent and supplemental insurances are also available, and disability coverage to protect you in the event of injury or disability. The company offers a variety of retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, employee assistance programs, and even opportunities for personal growth and career development. The additional benefits of CPS Energy jobs are substantial and broad, exhibiting the high value of a career with the organization.

Conclusion

CPS Energy jobs present a substantial potential and should be viewed as an attractive option for prospective employees on the hunt for a job in the energy industry. The commitment of CPS Energy to sustainable energy solutions and environmental sustainability investments is also laudable, and something their employees can feel good about. Working with CPS Energy is to contribute to the community of San Antonio through the many charitable measures undertaken by the organization to benefit the surrounding community and its members.

For more information on jobs in the energy sector, and explorations of companies in the field, check back into the Energy Job Blog for ongoing articles and updates.

Nature Landscape

What Is the Best Benefit of Biodiversity to Humans?

We live in an age that lends itself to greater awareness; information is readily available to us and yet few individuals have ever heard of biodiversity. What is biodiversity? Yeah, we know. Biodiversity refers to the diversity of life within our planet or within a specific ecosystem. Biodiversity is not limited to humans and animals; it refers to plants, bacteria and anything else that can be said to live. Biodiversity is an essential component of any thriving habitat and the balance it creates for all the organisms involved is immeasurable. What is the best benefit of biodiversity to humans? Stick around to find out.

As human beings, we depend on animals and crops for food; we use herbs and natural ingredients in our medicine and remedies; we use the power of nature to our advantage at every turn, and we rarely stop to think how that delicate balance of life on earth is shifted by our consumption. Biodiversity is key to our survival, and it benefits not only humans but many species, we all have something to gain from biodiversity and also something to lose. In the following article, we will take the time to explain the benefits of biodiversity for human beings and how this concept can apply to our differences as a race.

What Is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is everything; it is life on earth as we know it today. To better understand it and grasp its vastness, we divide biodiversity by looking at the number of living species within a certain area. From swaying chamomile flowers to giant grizzly bears to enormous pine trees, anything that lives within an area forms part of its biodiversity. Some areas of the world support less life than others such as places that experience cold fronts year-round while others such as tropical locations are booming with biodiversity. Biodiversity is more than just life; it is the balance that all living things share with one another in a natural habitat.

A Delicate Balance

Cleaning the Earth

Living in Harmony

Is There a Need for Human Biodiversity?

Now when we discuss human beings instead of the overall planet, we steer away from what is the best benefit of biodiversity to humans, but we don't completely stray. Humans benefit from biodiversity in the planet via several means but can also implement biodiversity to understand certain behaviors exhibited by different human beings based on their ethnicity, geographical location and environment and ultimately race. The subject is a touchy one and has been since its inception as it can be classified as a form of racist profiling of individuals, but there is something to the idea.

Understanding One Another

Human Biodiversity

Do We Need It?

What Are the Benefits of Biodiversity?

butterfly on flower

Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay

In terms of nature, it is absolutely everything; we benefit greatly from all the living organisms that make our existence possible and thus the least we can do is respect one another. If an argument is to be made for human biodiversity and what is the best benefit of biodiversity to humans, it should be for the mere reason of wishing to understand how gene patterns affect our behaviors and how we can identify those behaviors whether positive or negative and deal with them accordingly.

What Is the Best Benefit of Biodiversity to Humans

Nature and Us

Conclusion

Now you know what is the best benefit of biodiversity to humans and how the world that we live in reflects the world within us. Our interactions with our planet are a mirror image of how we choose to interact with others, and it all comes down to giving both the respect that they deserve. The debate is sure to continue, but as long as we understand that we will have many differences as well as many similarities, then all can be reconciled. By doing our best to treat each other right and working together to conserve energy, preserve our earth and understand the life around us we have gained the greatest benefit of them all. Love.

Featured Image by Maria e Fernando Cabral from Pixabay

man with blueprint looking away

Westar Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

The energy field is increasingly growing, leading to the creation of many jobs. When job demand surpasses the available supply, the level of compensation for those qualified to fill in-demand positions naturally goes up. If energy is your field, or even business, accounting, sales, management, or social media marketing, then the energy field may have potential jobs for you, Westar Energy jobs included. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of energy jobs to demonstrate the potential income, earnings, and benefits you can realize, and the requirements to do so.

Westar Energy Jobs Available

company in the middle of the field

Image via flickr

There are a great many Westar Energy jobs currently available on the market. The following is a description of a number of available positions to demonstrate the breadth of potential occupations one might pursue with Westar Energy to find beneficial employment with a company that, as we’ll explore below, is committed to the betterment of their employees and to the communities they serve. Each job we’ll present below will be considered in terms of the essential duties of the job and the key requirements to obtain each one.

Internal Auditor

a woman Internal Auditor

Image via flickr

The internal auditor is tasked with conducting, documenting, and reporting the outcome of the results of internal audits of a variety of operations in Westar Energy. This is accomplished through the use of the department’s risk-based audit methodology in addition to Sarbanes-Oxley reviews and testing. Improvements upon operational risk management are expected.

To acquire this job, a bachelor’s degree with a focus on business, accounting, or finance is required, in addition to 1-3 years of related experience, with internships potentially counting towards such requirements. Persons applying for the role must have an understanding of fundamental control practices while also being able to work within a team environment.

Journeyman Lineman Splicer

greyscale photo of two Journeyman Lineman Splicer

Image via flickr

This role among the Westar Energy jobs explored in this article requires either completion of the Journeyman Lineman - Splicer at KCP&L program or have documentation to prove completion of a recognized apprenticeship program for Journeyman Lineman Splicer. One may also obtain a job in this role if they have at least 2 years of work experience as a Journeyman Lineman.

Such experience must include documented and satisfactory performance of all standard tasks and responsibilities of a distribution lineman working with a public electrical utility or a recognized utility contracting company. Class A CLD and D.O.T. certification is required for this job.

Automobile Mechanic

Automobile Mechanic

Image via flickr

This position for Westar Energy jobs requires that the employee effectively complete repairs and maintenance work on the fleet vehicles and equipment of Westar Energy. Repairs on cars and trucks are central to the role, as well as modifications to equipment. The ability to perform inspections on trucks, tractors, automobiles, and other mechanical and tool equipment is also necessary. The ability to perform all functions required is necessary, as well as a Class A CDL license.

Someone in this role must also pass a Construction & Skilled Trades (CAST) Test. 5 years of experience on hydraulic, automotive, and truck equipment is necessary, and the employee must also complete a company-sponsored apprentice automobile mechanic program.

Originator

man in a suit looking straightforward

Image via flickr

The originator role of Westar Energy jobs is part of the marketing group, which offers a high-energy, team-oriented work environment, in addition to strong salaries and benefits packages. The role must generate structured transactions as well as energy management agreements (EMA) with wholesale customers in addition to other energy partners within both the mid- and long-term energy markets. The applicant must be knowledgeable of RTO/ISO developments and how they affect mid- and long-term energy products.

Candidates must have significant relationships and contacts across the US power markets and customer segments. This role requires a bachelor’s degree, preferably with a degree in business, engineering, or a related field. Additionally, the candidate is suggested to have a minimum of 5 years of experience in wholesale transactional work in origination. The candidate must be able to exhibit the ability to understand and align with all risk management policies and procedures in the company.

Qualitative Analyst Sr/Principal

corporate man infront of a bookshelf

Image via flickr

This role is responsible for supporting the manager of qualitative analysis and research by preparing a variety of budget, risk monitoring, and portfolio tracking reports. This role is responsible for the completion of a variety of tasks through the development and management of models through the use of a variety of modeling techniques in order to identify option value, variance, and risks linked to the power and fuel portfolio of Westar Energy.

To qualify for the senior analyst role, 6 years of experience are necessary for energy or commodities training, integrated resource planning, origination marketing, finance, or system development, while 8 years are required for the principal analyst position. A bachelor degree in finance, business, engineering, physics, or another related field is the minimum for the senior analyst. A master’s degree is required for the principal analyst position, although a doctorate degree is preferred by the company for both positions.

Real-Time Trader

person typing on her laptop

Image via pexels

This position for Westar Energy jobs is a part of the bulk power marketing department. This role is responsible for updating intra-day trading and for supporting DA and RTO market submittals for unit offers, with parameters based on resource operations and market conditions. This position is also responsible for making sure the CROW outage system is updated with the outage and de-rate information. The real-time trader also monitors the day ahead and real-time Reliability Unit Commitment process, communicating results through generating system operators and energy management customers.

This role requires a minimum of 1 year of direct power marketing experience, and it is preferred that the real-time trader has a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, mathematics, economics, or another related field.

Supervisor Of Wind Operations

businessman discussing while his hand raised

Image via pexels

This role, available exclusively in Nashville, KS, reports directly to the Manager of Wind Site Operations. The selected candidate is ultimately assigned to manage a 20-turbine Clipper C96 Wind Site, a Westar Site Supervisor, and a number of technicians who are contracted to perform both scheduled and unscheduled repairs on commercial wind turbines. The turbines use prudent utility and wind industry practices. A technical degree or engineering degree, in addition to prior experience with high voltage switching, is noted as being highly preferred for this position.

Average Salaries Of Westar Energy Positions

Westar Energy jobs pay a range of salaries or hourly wages depending upon the task being performed. The salaries listed below are taken from Glassdoor, which averages salaries that are provided by current and former employees of the company. While some of the job salaries provided below were not presented above, they were included to present a general idea of how much the employees make in Westar Energy jobs.

For hourly work there is generally solely the hourly rate, while the full-time positions come with full benefits, in addition to the annual salaries listed below:

  • Accountant: $49k - $66k
  • Customer Service Representative: $16/hr - $22/hr
  • Engineer: $52k - $79k
  • Internal Auditor: $70k
  • Lineman: $59k - $78k
  • Qualitative Analyst Sr/Principal: $45k - $88k
  • Supervisor: $86k - $92k
  • Technical Specialist: $55k - $57k

Why Work For Westar Energy?

energy company environment

Image via flickr

Westar Energy jobs are offered by a company that takes pride in their employees and in the way they are treated. Westar Energy jobs are staffed by “our family of dedicated employees who are also our neighbors and friends”. The organization has presented a commitment to providing a friendly, safe, and exciting work environment that encompasses opportunities to grow with the company. The organization has a supportive culture that facilitates the development of employees so they become better able to serve the company and their community.

Ethical And Supportive Workplace

group photo of linemen

Image via flickr

One of the key reasons to pursue an available position among the Westar Energy jobs explored above is the ethical workplace and environment that is provided to employees. Not only are employees treated well and with respect and appreciated like family, but the company has a commitment to ethics. Since its founding, the organization has been committed to “maintaining the highest ethical standards and building respectful relationships within our organization”. By maintaining the highest ethical standards, Westar Energy jobs are appealing.

By establishing a company with a sustainable structure that is rooted in an uncompromised commitment to integrity, fairness, trust, diversity, and ethics, Westar Energy has held a leading position in the industry for some time. To support team-building, the company presents a number of sponsored events to allow employees the ability to have fun together while enhancing their communities through organized volunteering at some events. The company invites you to apply for Westar Energy jobs, stating “Join us and be part of the Westar Energy family - you will always feel at home here".

Conclusion

Westar Energy jobs are highly appealing options within the energy field. They present the ability to engage with a positive company with a supportive environment and community-oriented mission. The company presents employees with sponsored events for fun and organized volunteering work to give back to the community. The salaries are also generous, which is, of course, the most important consideration for most individuals when taking a job. Westar Energy jobs pay.

For more information on energy jobs and companies, check back to the Energy Job Blog for ongoing articles and updates.

solar panels

Department of Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

The United States Department of Energy is involved in a wide range of tasks related to energy production, energy conservation, and waste disposal. In fact, much of the work of the department is related to nuclear energy. Jobs with federal agencies like the Department of Energy are popular because of the job security, research budgets, and often strong salaries that come with the roles. In particular, Department of Energy jobs offer men and women the opportunity to be engaged in work that is exciting, rewarding, and important both on a national and an international level.

What Is the Department of Energy?

windmills

Image Source: Pixabay

The United States Department of Energy, or DOE for short, is a cabinet-level department of the Government of the United States. Although the specific tasks of the department will be addressed in greater detail later, this federal department is concerned with various policies and management activities related to energy in the United States. The Department of Energy is headed by the United States Secretary of Energy, who is appointed by the President of the United States. The department is based out of Washington, D.C. although there are numerous laboratories nationwide.


In fact, much of the work of the Department of Energy is conducted through its system of national laboratories and technology centers. These laboratories are a direct result of the great research work that came out of the U.S. war effort in the 1940s. Much of the work of the national laboratories is related to nuclear technology or nuclear waste, although other aspects of energy management in the United States are also covered. There are seventeen national laboratories operated by the United States Department of Energy:


  • Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa
  • Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois
  • Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Albany, Oregon
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey
  • Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California
  • Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia

The national laboratories were not always administered by the Department of Energy. The laboratories were first administered by the Atomic Energy Commission and later the Energy Research and Development Administration, and finally the DOE. The oldest of the national laboratories is the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, California, which dates to 1931. At present, the Department of Energy is headed by Rick Perry, who was formerly Governor of Texas.


It may come as a surprise to some that the United States Department of Energy actually grew out of the efforts of the Manhattan Project in World War II. The Manhattan project was the effort to create an atomic bomb. The project had some input from the United Kingdom and Canada, as well as the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Atomic Energy Commission was created immediately after the war, in 1946, to supervise nuclear energy projects.  Although the Atomic Energy Commission no longer exists, it gave way to some important organizations, including:

  • Energy Research and Development Administration
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Department of Energy

The Department of Energy was founded by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, a few years after the Oil Crisis of 1973. The 1973 Oil Crisis was an oil embargo directed against several countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, due to political events at the time. The main result of the oil embargo was that the cost of oil quadrupled from about $3 a barrel to $12. This placed increased importance on energy, as an area of federal concern, and eventually led to the foundation of the Department of Energy, into which the Energy Research and Development Administration, along with a few other bureaus, was consolidated.


Although nuclear energy, which was the primary focus of the predecessor agencies of the Department of Energy, remains an important area of concern, the department is involved in several other areas, including solar energy. The National Renewal Energy Laboratory is involved in research with solar and other renewable sources of energy, and it operates programs in conjunction with the department to encourage the use of solar energy as a renewable energy alternative to oil and other fossil fuel energy sources.


The department has faced its fair share of controversy. It should not come as a surprise that there is some measure of secrecy associated with nuclear technology, both as it pertains to nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons. This necessitates that workers, especially those involved in the nuclear weapons side of things, are able to keep classified information classified. Alleged leaks of information to foreign rivals have garnered national attention. It is important that future workers in Department of Energy jobs understand the importance of confidentiality.


As mentioned, the Department of Energy is not only involved in nuclear energy work. Future workers in Department of Energy jobs can work in various sites and capacities, depending on their own area of training, skills, or the needs of the department. The department is involved in the following areas pertaining to the national energy needs and interests of the United States:

  • Production of nuclear reactors for the Navy
  • National nuclear weapons program
  • Domestic energy conservation and production
  • Energy research and renewable energy
  • Human Genome Project and other genomics initiatives
  • Radioactive waste disposal

Department of Energy Jobs and Salaries

woman checking

Image Source: Pixabay

One of the great things about the United States DOE is that it offers positions in a wide variety of roles and workers in Department of Energy jobs can expect to work with professionals and administrative personnel in a wide range of disciplines. A small sample of Department of Energy jobs includes the following positions:

  • Accountant
  • Budget Analyst
  • Civil Engineer
  • Energy Project Specialist
  • General Engineer
  • Internet Technology (Computer Specialist
  • Geologist
  • Physical Scientist
  • Materials Engineer

It should not come as a surprise that many of the positions involve fields in science and engineering, like chemists and chemical engineers, physical scientists, geologists, and materials engineers. There professionals would be expected at an agency whose work is focused on new ways to conserve energy, on waste disposal, on renewable energy, and on the day-to-day operations and research associated with nuclear energy technology.


The salaries for Department of Energy jobs will vary based on a number of factors, not least of which is the specific title and requirements for the role. As previously mentioned, workers in Department of Energy jobs are involved both in professional occupations associated with advanced training as well as administrative roles and more hands-on, in the trenches work. It is estimated that of the approximately 15,000 open positions in the department, about 40% are professionals with advanced degrees and training, with most of the rest being workers in administrative roles.


In terms of the day-to-day work of employees in Department of jobs, this will naturally vary by the role, but much of the management and operation of facilities owned by the department is undertaken by workers in these Department of Energy jobs. Some department facilities may be operated by contractors, with DOE workers responsible only for the management and administration. Other facilities and offices are directly operated by the department and staffed by its employees.


As an example of a position for which there are Department of Energy jobs available is Materials Engineer. Pay for roles is standardized across federal agencies with salary falling within a range. The range for Material Engineers across all federal agencies is $87,252 to $113,428, which compares well with salaries for these professionals in other industries. Indeed, workers in Department of Energy Jobs may earn as much as or more than their colleagues in private industry.

How to Get a Job at the Department of Energy

Image Source: Pixabay

Men and women interested in Department of Energy jobs have a number of resources that they can use. Many jobs can be applied for online, just as one would when applying for work at private companies or other organizations. Typical workers at the department and other federal departments are required to meet certain qualifications in order to be considered for the role. These qualifications encompass the area of education (minimum degree held), experience, knowledge, and occasionally possession of a professional license or certificate.

Conclusion

Image Source: Pixabay

Department of Energy jobs are open to workers who are interested in the exciting and important work of addressing our nation’s energy needs. Workers at the department come from a variety of backgrounds, with nearly half of the workers being professionals engaged in a number of occupations necessary to the department’s work. With the promise of stable employment and a wide number of locations nationwide to choose from, the Department of Energy represents an attractive career choice for many.


Featured Image via Pixabay

A floating Earth in the persons hand

Climate Change Organizations Worthy Of Your Involvement

Evidence of climate change is all around us. As this evidence mounts, we may wonder what we can do about it now. We can’t undo the damage caused by our undereducated selves any more than we can change the mistakes made by our ancestors. The only choice is to act now. To enter the global warming discussion, get involved with climate change organizations. Through myriad methods, these organizations are working to preserve and restore our planet.

Here we will explore the world of climate change organizations. We’ve provided answers to frequently asked questions and present our top ten best climate change organizations.  

Climate Change Charities FAQ

Climate change organizations contribute to a better world. Below are the most frequently asked questions about climate change charities.

​1. What Is the Purpose of Climate Change Organizations?

​2. What Do Climate Change Organizations Do?

​3. Do All Environmental Charities Run Campaigns?

​4. Where Can I Find Out More?

Climate Change Organizations Worthy Of Your Involvement

Here we will explore several of the world's best climate change organizations (listed below). Their campaigns serve the earth in exceptional ways. Each organization profile includes the organization's focus, scope of involvement, and how you can get involved.

  1. Sierra Club
  2. Restore the Earth Foundation
  3. Global Footprint Network
  4. Earth Day Network
  5. Green Gas Movement
  6. Kiss the Ground
  7. WeForest
  8. 350.org
  9. Environmental Voter Project
  10. Natural Resources Defense Council

Sierra Club

Focus

The Sierra Club is one of the first environmental conservation societies in the United States. Founded in 1892 by John Muir, it is one of the most distinguished champions of natural preservation. Muir is directly responsible for the establishment of Yosemite National Park, and strategies that protected the Pacific coastline.

The Sierra Club is a national organization with representation in state and local chapters, and a membership of over 3.5 million people. Sierra Club holds the title of the largest grassroots climate change organization in the nation.

Scope

Committed to preserving the Earth, Sierra Club holds initiatives pertaining to energy, land, air, water, wildlife, people, and justice. They are a climate change organization and have contributed to approval of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act.

Sierra Club advocates for clean, renewable energy use. Their campaign “Beyond Coal” educates people about the destructive impact of coal usage in the US. Other campaigns involve providing clean drinking water to the 16 million Americans who do not have access to it. The club supports a variety of causes that strive to improve the condition of the environment and the lives of the people and animal occupying it.

How To Get Involved

There are several ways to contribute to the Sierra Club. They accept donations as a one time payment or a recurring gift. You can gain membership in the John Muir Society with an $85.00 contribution. There is also information about how you can organize a fundraising event to support Sierra Club.

Restore The Earth Foundation

Focus

Restore the Earth Foundation is a non-profit climate change organization founded in the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After the catastrophic impact of the storm in 2005, Restore the Earth Foundation responded by creating an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the Mississippi River Basin through forest and wetland preservation.

Scope

Based in Louisiana, Restore the Earth Foundation aims to protect “North America’s Amazon” with a variety of environmentally motivated campaigns. They also plant trees on a massive scale along the Mississippi River to rectify the country's climate footprint. Restore the Earth Foundation’s goal is to restore one million acres of forest and wetlands in this area.

How To Get Involved

Restore the Earth Foundation accepts onetime or regular donations of all amounts. They plant a tree for every $25.00 donated, and they plant and grow all the trees with sustainability in mind.

Global Footprint Network

Focus

Based in the US, Belgium, and Switzerland, this is an internationally acclaimed climate change organization. A non-profit, the Global Footprint Network emerged in 2003 with a vision to educate the world on sustainability and ecological coexistence. Their mission is to create a world where everyone can live comfortably. Global Footprint Network has reached at least 50 countries in efforts to reduce environmental footprints.

They offer an online “Footprint Calculator” which provides information to visitors about the ecological footprint an individual’s lifestyle choices leave behind. Knowing this information, they believe, will help people make better choices for conserving the Earth and its resources.

Scope

Global Footprint Network provides statistical data to government institutions, corporations, and people to help them make more informed and planet-conscious choices. They advocate for sustainable development and inform the public about climate change.

How To Get Involved

This organization accepts donations on the Global Footprint Network website and offer several forms of nontraditional payment options, and donors get a T-shirt for donations.

Earth Day Network

Focus

Earth Day Network is the climate change organization that founded Earth Day, an environmental event held every April 22. They are the largest global conservation society. This event was first held in 1970, and the day and the organization have been going strong ever since. They helped pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.

Scope

Earth Day Network sponsors a variety of campaigns serving the planet. Initiatives include the push for green schools, sustainable cities, reforestation, climate change, and community outreach. From ending pollution left by plastic waste to strategies for conserving wildlife, the Earth Day Network is a large organization with an even larger influence.

How To Get Involved

They accept donations on their website and have an entire section called “Take Action” on their website, providing ways you can contribute to a healthier planet.

Green Gas Movement

Focus

The Green Gas Movement is a climate change organization asking consumers to take responsibility for the carbon footprint of the fuel they use. They are working for a carbon neutral society. The method proposed is for people to pay an environmental tax along with gas purchase to offset the environmental impact and then use tax to improve the environment directly.

Scope

The Green Gas Movement has partnerships with gas stations throughout the country and Zipcar to provide opportunities for consumers to contribute toward the fund, and they link contributions with The People’s Climate fund which works with clean air projects.

How To Get Involved

Signing up for the Green Gas Card is free, and they deduct ten cents for every gallon of gas. There isn't any commitment. They withdraw the voluntary tax only when a participant uses the Green Gas Card at the gas pump.

​Kiss The Ground

Focus

California based international climate change organization Kiss the Ground brings personal responsibility to the forefront by presenting climate change in humanistic terms. The focus of Kiss the Ground is outreach and education to provoke individuals to become active participants in healing soil.

Scope

Kiss the Ground is an ECO-friendly agricultural organization that believes revitalizing soil conditions will help with climate change. The organization uses outreach and educational programs to further their mission.

How To Get Involved

Kiss the Ground’s website provides information and media designed to get individuals working toward the shared goal of healthy soil. Watch their feature-length documentary, subscribe on YouTube, and follow them on Instagram. They also accept onetime or continuous donations and membership options.

WeForest

​Focus

Belgium-based WeForest is a climate change organization with a long-term vision for their reforestation efforts. Their mission is to increase awareness of sustainability practices while implementing scientifically substantiated action. Their goal is to plant around 25 million trees by 2021. WeForest holds international offices in the US and France.

Scope

A commitment to reforestation and reducing global warming is just the beginning of WeForest story. Several other areas of WeForest’s scope are:

  • Intervention in problematic environments
  • Sustainability education
  • Fight poverty and address socio-economic concerns
  • Push for women’s empowerment
  • Support community engagement

How To Get Involved

WeForest offers several ways to get involved. They offer information about tree planting, carbon offsetting, statistical data, and corporate social responsibility sponsorships, and they welcome donations.

​350.org

​Focus

​US grassroots environment and climate change organization 350.org acts against the use of fossils fuels. Founded in 2008, the organization's pays homage to the fact that 350 parts per million is the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This organization is action-oriented and ready to create change.  

Scope

​Climate change organization 350.org has a vast network comprising 188 countries across the globe.

How To Get Involved

​350.org provides resources such as presentations, templates, and icons on their website. You can support their cause by checking out their online store. Their “Get Involved” link provides an interactive map to help you locate events and projects occurring near you. They accept donations on their website.

Environmental Voter Project

​Focus

​The Environmental Voter Project seeks non-voting environmentalists and encourages them to execute their constitutional rights in order to further progressive environmental policy making.

Scope

​The Environmental Voter Project takes sweeping action to find people who care about the planet and get them to vote for changes that will best serve it. The organization conducts cold calls, emails, forum appearances, and mailers to find environmentally conscious voters.  

How To Get Involved

​The Environmental Voter Project provides information and statistics on their website for further information. If you want to help with the initiative there are resources available. They accept donations online, and their website contains links to help with voter registration.

Natural Resources Defense Council

​Focus

​The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a collaboration of individuals and professionals that work toward defending and preserving the earth. Founded by environmentalist law students and lawyers in 1970, the NRDC has preserved its mission since this time, and are one of the most powerful and reputable climate change organizations in the world.

Scope

​Committed to protecting the basic rights of humans and animals on Earth, the NRDC fights for clean water, clean air, and wellness in communities. NRDC has staff working in over 10 environmental realms. They are actively challenging climate-denial issues in politics, offshore drilling, and alterations to the Endangered Species Act.

How To Get Involved

​NRDC’s website contains many valuable environmental resources, including a policy library and media center. To get involved you can sign petitions on their website or make donations.

Conclusion

The best climate change organizations dedicate and commit most of their time and resources to protecting the planet. Each plays a role in combating global warming and the mass destruction of our planet. All the climate change organizations and environmentalists featured above are working hard to improve the environment, not just for now, but for future generations too.

If you are interested in getting involved in environmentalist causes, these world-class organizations provide extraordinary resources.

​Featured Image Source: Pixabay

man in the crane

DTE Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

When it comes time to look for a new career, there are seemingly endless industries and occupations from which to choose, with some holding more promise than others. One such an industry is that of energy, which is growing at a fast rate, keeping pace as the population of the world increases and the demands for energy naturally rise. Roles in energy companies, such as DTE Energy jobs, can prove highly lucrative and beneficial for the worker. In this article, we’ll explore DTE Energy jobs, in addition to tips for getting hired, and illustrating the potential in energy jobs of which you can take advantage.

What Is DTE Energy?

DTE Energy jobs are sourced through DTE Energy, a diversified energy company based out of Detroit, Michigan. The organization is involved in the management and development of energy-related businesses and services across the country. The operating units of the organization include an electric utility that serves 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, as well as a natural gas utility that serves an additional 1.3 million Michigan consumers. The portfolio of DTE Energy includes natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, energy marketing and trading, as well as non-utility energy businesses focused upon these areas.

DTE Energy employs more than 10,000 individuals within their utility and non-utility subsidies and is involved in a broad range of businesses in the energy field. Leveraging these businesses, DTE Energy jobs are increasingly being created within the non-utility businesses of DTE Energy.

DTE Energy Jobs Available & Salaries

man fixing wires

As noted above, there are currently over 10,000 employees filling DTE Energy jobs, and as the organization grows and expands into new arenas, the volume of DTE Energy jobs on the market will increase. Following is a consideration of a variety of DTE Energy jobs and their salaries to provide us a window into the many potential occupations currently available through the organization. We’ll explore DTE Energy jobs through Glassdoor, which compiles available jobs, and also collects information from present and past employees to establish average salaries for the employees. We’ll consider the key requirements, key duties, and salary of each position.

Strategic Buyer II

The Strategic Buyer II is a full-time purchasing position that is responsible for daily purchasing activities including the creation of purchase orders from shopping carts. Further, this role entails the retention of material movement transactions, handling exceptions as identified by accounts payable, and also making changes to purchase orders. The Strategic Buyer II must also be able to create various contracts in SAP. To work in this role, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in accounting, finance, or a closely related field of study, and five years of experience in purchasing, accounting, or another relevant area.

The Strategic Buyer II of DTE Energy jobs is moderately high paying at $56k to $73k, with the k meaning a thousand. This level of earnings provides a lower-middle-class lifestyle and is well-compensated for the role. The experience gained is also useful as it may be applicable to positions in a great many companies from a variety of industries.

Planning & Strategy Analyst

The Planning and Strategy Analyst taking a position from DTE Energy jobs to perform this task is responsible for supporting the development of strategy, analysis, and planning for the business unit to which they are assigned. The role includes participating in strategic projects while working with cross-functional groups across the company. This includes the preparation and occasional delivery of key presentations to the leadership teams of the company. A bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, engineering, or public administration is required, in addition to three or more years of professional experience.

This particular position pays between $77k and $105k, based upon Glassdoor estimates put together through the reported earnings of past and current employees. This amount is relatively strong given the role and the demands placed upon the individual fulfilling it.

Ops Leadership Rotational Associate

This position is tasked with applying experience and expertise to solve problems, influence those tasked with bringing about their solutions, and executing on the priorities of business units in the various operations areas of DTE Energy, including gas distribution, as well as fossil fuel generation. Requirements for this job include a bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline such as physical sciences or engineering. Experience supervising a represented workgroup is preferred, in addition to experience working within the utility industry.

This offering among DTE Energy jobs pays $52k to $78k.

Manager—Engineering

The Manager of Engineering is responsible for engineering work in the fossil fuel generated power plants, or electrical transmission, construction, and/or other maintenance environments. The Engineering Manager plans, designs, and estimates both time and cost in terms of projects, and oversees the construction, maintenance, and/or operations of systems, facilities, and structures concerning power generation and distribution systems and components. The Engineering Manager must have a bachelor’s degree in a business-unit-relevant engineering discipline, and ten or more years of experience in the field in related positions.

This position of DTE Energy jobs pays between $106k and $140k.

Lead Field Service Power Generation Technician

This role is responsible for the safe and efficient operation, maintenance, and also troubleshooting of assets that are owned and operated by DTE Energy. This includes but is not limited to work on the switchgear, controls, generation equipment, and other ancillary equipment used by DTE Energy. A high-school diploma or GED is essential, in addition to advanced knowledge and experience with switchgear, electrical systems, and generation equipment. One to five years of relevant experience is required.

The Lead Field Service Power Generation Technician earns between $27 and $43 per hour of work performed.

Tips to Get Hired

men testing equipments

Getting hired at a company, whatever the industry, can be a daunting task. By adhering to the following suggestions for getting hired, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the competition, and ideally land a position that could vastly improve upon your standard of living and align that with superior enjoyment. Given the many positions available from which to choose, the following three tips will help in your quest to get hired into a position that fits with your skills and experience and will lead not only to sufficient compensation and benefits but job satisfaction.

Be Consistent

Being consistent is not referencing your personal habits or behaviors, but your consistency with the available position. Are your skills, experience, and abilities consistent with the job that has currently come available? To optimize your chances of getting hired, apply for positions that are relevant to your education and experience, your overall qualifications, and for which the demand is aligned with what you have. Seeking out a role as an engineer if you are a businessperson will not likely lead to a job. Apply for those positions that are consistent with your skills and goals.

Be Persistent

Even with the perfect fit for a given organization, you may simply be one of many hundreds of applicants, all of whom may prove difficult for the organization to keep track of fully. Once you’ve put in your application, follow-up. Contact the human resources manager and inform them that you’ve applied and inquire if there is anything more you can do to support the process. In some instances, such as when you are applying for a specialized position, it can help to contact the manager under whom you would work. By meeting those you would work with, they can make a case for you if they believe you’d be a good fit for employment with their organization.

Be Broad

When finding a job is essential, it can help to broaden your horizons a bit by applying for jobs for which you meet the qualifications but may not be what you are used to performing. Stepping outside our comfort zones can be difficult, but doing so can reveal new areas in which we can excel, thereby expanding upon our opportunities and the potential thereof. When looking for an occupation, there are many, many options from which to choose, and your skills and experience might go further than you’d think so applying broad and wide helps increase the odds of finding employment faster.

Conclusion

working on the laptop

DTE Energy jobs are on the rise as the company rapidly expands in the Detroit region to serve more gas utility customers while also expanding operations into additionally related facets of the industry. When seeking a job at DTE Energy or elsewhere, it is important to be consistent, be persistent, and be broad. There are a great many DTE Energy jobs currently open, and to find yours it is a matter of identifying those that fit, applying, and following up and networking to make sure that DTE Energy knows that you are one of the best fits for one of the available DTE Energy jobs.

For more information about jobs in the energy field, particularly in relation to renewable energy, check back regularly to the Energy Job Blog for ongoing updates and articles on the energy field and the jobs available within it.

mna in the construction

Duke Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

So the job hunt has begun, and you are on the search for a position in the bustling and growing energy industry. Wherever you might be in the United States, there are likely jobs in energy, whether Duke Energy jobs or those available through your regional power supplier and producer. In this article, we'll explore Duke Energy jobs. Duke Energy provides electricity to some 7.6 million retail customers in 6 states and also distributes natural gas and related services to over 1.6 million customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. As we'll see, the company is growing, and jobs are available. 

What Are Duke Energy Jobs?

man fixing the post

www.pexel.com

Duke Energy invites prospective applicants to "be part of something powerful" in working with Duke Energy to deliver electricity and natural gas to nearly 10 million customers. Piedmont Natural gas is the name of their natural gas operations, although under the umbrella of Duke Energy jobs. Duke Energy is looking to fill Duke Energy jobs with the best and brightest workers in the industry. Duke Energy notes that it is through their people that the company has become great, and so they are always on the lookout for more great employees to fill the growing number of available roles.

There is great variety among Duke Energy jobs, with the character of the role being determined by the sector of the industry in which the employee is operating. Customer service representatives fill Duke Energy jobs to support happier customers and greater brand satisfaction for Duke Energy. The company relies upon engineers and visionaries to contribute to the infrastructure of energy production and its designs. Construction workers and supervisors are essential to creating the plants. Service technicians are needed to maintain the line and ensure that in-home services are functioning smoothly.

Duke Energy jobs are staffed with strategy, with the company inviting prospective employees to assist the organization in making a positive difference in the lives of millions of people each day. The company claims to present employees with a positive and friendly work environment. Employees are also provided opportunities for advancement through growth and development potential. Employee recognition for their work is incorporated into the competitive pay and benefits package offered by the company. Following are a number of available Duke Energy jobs to illustrate such opportunities.

Available Duke Energy Jobs

mens fixing post

www.pexel.com

There are many Duke Energy jobs available on the market. The following list, while not in any way exhaustive, provides a general idea of the different types of Duke Energy jobs you might apply to. Each job is explored in relation to the key responsibilities and the essential qualifications needed to fill the position.

Business And Technical Consultant

The business and technical consultant serves as a business expert for business-specific systems, data, and processes, in order to plan and manage improvement initiatives. This role participates in projects and initiatives that cross function, in addition to many processes. This role provides support for a family of business critical systems or applications and also coordinates the resolution of problems, in addition to running prioritization across jurisdictional areas. This consultant leads efforts to design, revise, and implement solutions to meet the needs of the business and customers alike.

A 2-year degree in a technical or a business-related field is required, in concert with 2-4 years of relevant experience. While a degree is not required, if the applicant does not have one, they must instead have 4-9 years of relevant experience.

Customer Communications Manager

This role is within the context of the Customer Communications team, which implements and tracks integrated and effective communication plans that are targeted to enhance customer satisfaction by providing the consumer with the information they want through their preferred channels of communication. The customer communications manager is responsible for the development of the customer communications strategy, plans, and tactics, that will be employed to reach small to medium business clients. This role works in tandem with the team, in addition to marketing managers, regional communicators, and others.

A bachelor's degree in an area of business, marketing, or management is required. Further, 3-5 years of prior work experience in marketing, corporate communications, business administration, or project management is essential. 7-10 years of prior experience can replace the education requirement.

Engineer III

The engineer III is the advanced level within the engineering classification hierarchy. The employee in this position solves complex problems in engineering areas of specialization with a limited amount of supervision. The engineer III must develop advanced skills and the capacity to work with higher levels of independence. They must effectively apply fundamental concepts to complex and varied work environments and tasks. A bachelor's of science in engineering from an ABET-accredited program or a master's in engineering is required, in addition to 4 years of engineering experience.

Lead Business Technical Consultant

The lead business technical consultant is essential at Duke Energy as this position plans, budgets, and tracks information technology delivery funded by Technology Performance Direct O&M and Capital budgets. This role assists customer delivery plan technology and is meant to drive more predictable budgeting across the field. The lead business technical consultant plans, leads, and manages projects delivered through this innovative technology and methodology. Customer and business needs are met with solutions that are custom designed, revised, and implemented.

To qualify for this position, 15+ years of experience are necessary, or 9+ years of experience and a 4-year bachelor's degree in a technical or business-related field.

Lead IT Business Analyst

The lead IT business analyst works on Digital Transformation organization and is tasked with developing web applications and services to enhance the experience of Duke Energy's customers. A bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related discipline, in addition to 8+ years of experience is required, or 12+ years of experience if the applicant is lacking in a degree.

Project Controls Specialist I

The role uses the Facility and Customer Support team's Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) in order to ensure the contractual and environmental requirements are being performed. Through close coordination with key partners and vendors, Predict and Reliability Centered maintenance practices will be employed to reduce the risk of equipment failure and O&M expenses as possible. The role also periodically generates project controls reports. Project controls benchmarking is essential, alongside self-assessment initiatives.

College-level reasoning is essential to this position, learned either through a formal education or work experience. The selected applicant will have an understanding of and know how to apply basic project controls principles and the associated project controls software tools. The applicant must be a team player as the position functions in direct cooperation with the Proactive Asset Management and Customer Engagement process in the context of the Facility and Customer Support team.

Research Specialist I

The research specialist is responsible for using their working knowledge of real state law and engineering to support company acquisition projects. The role researches public records, engineering drawings, and internal records to determine the company's rights concerning associated properties. The role requires that the research specialist I perform verification work on DOT and municipally related projects for reimbursement. They must be able to use internal/external GIS systems in order to map easements.

A 4-year degree in business, real-estate, survey, law, paralegal, or another related field is essential, alongside 2 years of direct experience in acquisition and/or research pertaining to real estate rights. Knowledge of surveying and engineering drawings, real estate law, and other related disciplines are essential for the prospective employee to fill this role. 

Salaries

Engineer reading papers

www.pexel.com

In this section, we'll present a variety of salaries that one might earn through accepting one of the many Duke Energy jobs. The salary numbers are taken from Glassdoor, which is an online website that allows current and former employees to report on their experiences with a company. The salary numbers are averaged based upon the amounts reported by respondents, creating a viable and relatively accurate estimate of how much the position pays. It is nevertheless important to remember that the range of salaries depends upon the unique experience, education, and personality of the individual employee.

  • Business And Technical Consultant - $84k - $138k
  • Customer Communications Manager - $63k - $116k
  • Engineer III - $71k - $100k
  • Lead Business Technical Consultant - $109k - $168k
  • Lead IT Business Analyst - $83k - $121k
  • Project Controls Specialist I - $58k - $91k
  • Research Specialist I - $45k - $65k

Conclusion

Engineers inside the warehouse

www.pexel.com

Duke Energy jobs are plentiful and on the rise. The organization serves nearly 10 million customers and is only expanding, meaning there will be ongoing increases in the number of customer service personnel and personnel to support the power infrastructure, ranging from engineers and fleet mechanics to in-home service technicians. No matter what aspect of the energy field you would prefer to work in, there is a role among the Duke Energy jobs for you. Whether specialized or non-specialized, physical or verbal, there are positions open to better support Duke Energy customers with your skills and commitment.

For more information on jobs in the energy industry, particularly in relation to sustainable energy, check the Energy Job Blog for ongoing updates and articles.

electrician installing outlets

Wondering How to Become an Electrician? The Answers May Shock You

Thinking of pursuing a new career? Maybe you're just starting out at a new job—or maybe the spark is gone from an old job and you're looking for something more rewarding and challenging. Have you ever considered becoming an electrician?

Careers in the field of installing and maintaining electrical equipment can be surprisingly lucrative. The requirements vary from state to state, but the path from complete novice to journeyman electrician is pretty straightforward. Plug in and find out!

Charging Up

Each state has different requirements in education, certification, and licensing when it comes to how to become an electrician.

​To jumpstart the process, the first step you'll want to take before choosing and enrolling in a school is to determine and verify what your state requirements are, then start examining different schools and programs based on that information. Knowledge is power (get it?).

You'll definitely want to be sure that the program you choose covers every aspect of what you need in how to become an electrician.

There's nothing worse than completing a full course load of study to find out that (oops!) your school or program didn't quite cover everything, and the first thing you have to do is pursue more education (with an additional cost of time and money) to get closer to that electrician's license, which should be your main goal.

Most programs in any given state will cover all the bases, but it's something you will want to make sure of before enrolling.

girl looking for books at the library

Image via Pixabay.com

And bear in mind that you'll need anywhere from 140 hours to 250 hours of training, followed by up to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training after completing your studies, to qualify for a license in most states.

The Duties You're Charged With

Working as an electrician brings with it a lot of responsibility. You'll need to assess the safety of electrical issues in both residential and commercial buildings, and will be responsible for their repair and maintenance. Everything has to be up to code, and that's on you, too.

While many electricians work in new home construction (which can be more straightforward), others work with existing wiring in older buildings, where the task of fixing electrical problems may require a lot of troubleshooting and trial-and-error to figure out.

electrical charge

Image via Pixabay

​This is where your communication skills come into play—you'll need to be able to explain to a home or business owner what issues they're facing and what could be involved in their repair, especially when making recommendations and determining what costs they're likely to be run into.

Once you've completed your schooling and have the correct training and knowledge necessary, there's a huge range of different career roles available for a qualified electrician. You'll have plenty of choice in the kind of work you decide to take on, so the power is truly in your hands.

Before you get there, though, you do have to get that education, so let's focus on that for a bit.

Speaking of Charges …

Something many people don't think about right up front is the cost your education is likely to entail. Most trade schools that offer electrician programs charge tuition that ranges from around $9,000 on the low end to as much as $20,000 on the upper end.

Your average cost would be right around $15,000, but that represents a significant investment in your future, and is well worth it.

That said, be sure to pick your school or program carefully, and examine all your options when it comes to paying for your schooling. There may be more ways to get your hands on that money than you realize.

Military Programs Could Light the Way


military electrician checking circuit board

Image via DVIDS

If you serve now or are a veteran of the armed forces, many of the schools you'll be considering will accept the tuition assistance you earned while in the military. A lot of the time, this will cover all of your tuition expenses.

Spouses of those in the military can use the My Career Advancement Account (or MyCAA) Scholarship Program, which is a workforce development program provided by the military to those married to active duty or military veterans.

The program provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance toward tuition, and many trade or vocational schools will accept these credits as well.

Lastly, check to see if the school or program you're considering is part of the Military Yellow Ribbon Program, which can also help pay for your tuition as you set out on the path of how to become an electrician.

Ask Your Friends and Family


This one is often overlooked, because it is a little awkward to ask friends and family for monetary loans. The benefits here are that repayment of the loan is just about a sure thing—electricians make good money—and you won't be charged interest rates, which can save you a lot in the long term.

Traditional or Title IV Loans


You can also seek a traditional personal loan from a lending institution. While not all banks will approve such loans, if you go in prepared with the facts and figures—including how much tuition is and how much you're likely to make as an electrician over the life of the loan—you're much more likely to be approved.

woman listening in a panel discussion

Image via Pexels

We'll go into how much electricians make a little later on to give you some bargaining power when talking with a loan officer.

There are also Title IV loans. Title IV refers to an education act passed in 1965 that authorizes the US Department of Education to make loans, grants, and even work-study programs available to post-secondary students.

The trade or vocational school you choose should be able to help you more with this information.

Some Schools Offer Financing


Dollar in a bulb

Image Via Pixabay

Lastly, be aware that some schools will offer 0% financing for the cost of their tuition, with various payback programs that start after you graduate.

And most trade or vocational schools will have a financial advisor who can discuss this with you further and help you pick the kind of financing that's best for your needs.

How Hard Is It to Become an Electrician?

Different people will find it takes different levels of effort to successfully complete electrician training. Here are some basic steps you'll need to accomplish in order to make sure you've got enough power to finish the process.

  • GED or High School Diploma​

This is an essential step. In most states, you won't be able to enter trade or vocational school without at least a GED or other type of equivalency certification.

It's a basic educational requirement that you'll have to show to you've been able to meet before you can even think about how to become an electrician.

If you're an adult who never finished high school, many states now allow you to complete the GED process online, which is a great way to accomplish this initial step.

  • Still in School? Consider These Classes

If you're still in school, choose courses that will help your electrician career. Classes like algebra and trigonometry would be the most helpful, as electricians use this kind of math in determining circuit angles, measuring wire lengths, and calculating the force of an electrical current.

Any kind of shop and drafting or mechanical drawing classes may also help, as might a physics class, as electricians do need to know how to deal with scientific concepts and read technical documents.

mathematical equation on board

Image via Pixabay

​If you're still a student wondering how to become an electrician, these are some great classes to start with.

  • Pre-Apprenticeships

A pre-apprentice position is a type of training that occurs at the vocational or trade school level, before you graduate and begin an actual apprenticeship. It's becoming more and more important as the field of electrical work becomes more competitive.

Having a pre-apprenticeship doesn't just mean you learn the fundamentals of electrical work before seeking an actual apprentice position, but it makes you stand out among the competition when looking for apprentice work after graduation.

teacher teaching in a class

Image vIa Unsplash

And it has the added bonus of making learning the basics that much easier, when you don't have work deadlines or a boss breathing down your neck.

Some of those basics include learning about electrical theory, workplace safety, the National Electrical Code, and other things that will give you a head-start.

  • ​Apprenticeships

Once you graduate from trade school, you're ready for the "real thing." You can find an apprentice position by applying to apprentice jobs the way you would any other job.

It pays to do your research and to indicate your enthusiasm and desire to learn—you'll want to be able to put together a good resume, as it could give you a competitive edge, so be sure to study up on that while you're in school.

Apprenticeship positions can be found in the following places:


  • ​The United States Department of Labor frequently has job postings that could point you in the right direction.
  • ​The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
  • ​The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • ​Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)
  • ​Newspaper classified sections
  • ​Online job boards

Image via Pixabay

What to Expect after Schooling

graduates throwing graduation cap

Image via Pixabay

  • ​Basic Skills Test and Interview Process

To become an apprentice, you'll need to pass a basic aptitude exam, which will test your mathematical abilities and your reading comprehension.

And just like any other job, you'll have to pass a face-to-face interview, so try to pick up some interviewing tips either in school or as an extracurricular activity.

Depending on the kind of position and the state you intend to work in, you may need to pass specific physical requirements (like being able to lift 50 pounds or stand for long periods of time), pass a drug test, and demonstrate a certain level of mechanical aptitude.

Don't be put off by the test requirements—it's all part of how to become an electrician.

  • ​In Some States, You Must Register as an Apprentice or Trainee

California, Texas, and some other states require electrical apprentices to register before being allowed to work as apprentices.

This generally only involves filling out some paperwork and paying a small fee. Every state has its own requirements, and you can find out more at your trade or vocational school or through your state's Department of Labor or similar agency.

  • ​Successfully Complete Your apprenticeship

This is the first big goal after graduation. Your apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with online or classroom instruction where you'll be supervised and mentored by a master or journeyman electrician.

The whole process takes four to five years, but you will be compensated for your time, usually with an hourly wage—but in some rare cases with a salaried position.

What You Will Learn during Your Apprenticeship

  • ​How to read construction blueprints and technical electrical plan diagrams
  • ​How to test and inspect electrical systems and components
  • ​How to install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring, circuit breakers and boxes, and other various other electrical control systems
  • ​How to make sure that all work complies with the National Electric code as well as state and local codes

Image via Oregon Department of Transportation, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

​As your apprenticeship starts, you can expect to be called upon to carry out only the most basic tasks, but those tasks will gradually increase in complexity as your skills increase and you gain greater understanding of the underlying concepts. It's all part of how to become an electrician, so don't be put off by it.

By the time your apprenticeship ends, you'll be able to perform on the journeyman level, and will be capable of a full range of construction and maintenance electrical work.

  • ​Getting Your Local License and Certification

All states, and some local jurisdictions, set their own requirements on how to become an electrician who is fully licensed and ready to work.

In most states, you will need a state-wide license to be qualified to perform electrician work.

Electrician working on wires

Image via Pixabay

​Some other states, like Illinois and Pennsylvania, perform electrician licensing and certification on the local level, with no state-wide certification.

In most cases, you will need to be licensed and/or certified to perform any electrical work. In many states, you'll also need a license to perform work as a contractor working for a larger business.

Some locations don't require licensing unless you intend to open your own business—your employer is responsible for making sure you meet all the required regulations, which frees you up from the licensing procedure.

When going after your electrician's license, you'll have to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of electrical concepts, best safety practices, local laws, building codes, and the National Electric Code.

You may also have to prove that you've completed a certain number of hours of classroom instruction and apprenticeship work under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician.

Warning: High Voltage Career

Being an electrician can be a very dangerous job. The dangers vary with the kind of work you're performing and under what conditions.

Most people don't realize this, but electrician work ranks right up there with firefighter, logger, and commercial fisherman as one of the most dangerous jobs you can have.

It's good to be aware of these things—if you're thinking about how to become an electrician, you might find these are some important factors to consider.

warning icon
  • ​Danger of lethal electrical shock
  • ​Exposure to lead, solvents, and other toxic chemicals
  • ​Risk of fire and explosions
  • ​Welding risks, including exposure to UV radiation
  • ​Working in extreme temperatures – both hot and cold.
  • ​Cuts and abrasions from working with knives and sharp-edged equipment
  • ​Exposure to asbestos, mold, and other disease-carrying microbes in older buildings
  • ​Danger of disease from exposure to bird or rat droppings
  • ​Danger of eye damage from flying particles
  • ​Increased risk of slips, trips, and falls in some work environments
  • ​Risks associated with working alone

Being exposed to electrical shock is one of the most serious dangers of being an electrician. Being shocked brings with it the risks of:

  • Severe burns
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle pain and contractions
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

This is why, as you're learning how to become an electrician, you'd be smart to pay the utmost attention to safety training and regulations. While all the safety training you'll receive can be highly technical and far too involved for us to go into here, it is there to protect and save your life.

As you continue on the path of how to become an electrician, you'll learn many safety regulations and practices that you'd be wise to stick with at all times. It's life and death stuff, so take it seriously.

Positive Charge

pile of coin and man with light bulb head

Image via Pixabay

It's not all work and danger—there's also a payday involved, and electricians make pretty decent money. The median wage for someone working as an electrician is right around $55,000 a year, with some making as much as $92,000.

While it varies from job to job and state to state, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has put together some information on median annual wage for electricians in the top industries which employed them. Check it out:

  • ​Electricians working for the government were, on average, paid $60,570 per year.
  • Electricians in manufacturing jobs made $58, 470
  • Those who were electrical contractors or involved in other wiring installations, such as the kind of work you'd see in new home construction, made $52,190
  • Lastly, electricians who found work through employment services were paid an average of $47,520

Wired for Profit

There are ways to make even more money as an electrician, as with any profession. Whether you work for a company or decide to go into business for yourself, staying profitably employed is obviously your main goal.

You need to make sure that you continue to make an effort to do quality work every time, and provide excellent customer service — even if you're in a situation where your boss is your "customer." Here are some tips to follow to make sure you stay on the positive side of the job.

Tip #1 Be Customer Friendly


Working as an electrician generally means that part of your job will be customer service. You'll be dealing with folks every day—whether they're your own customers, the customers of the company you work for, or—as we mentioned above—you come to think of your boss or supervisor as your customer, which is a strategy that pays off over time.

When speaking to these people, either in person, over the phone, or on work radios, maintain a friendly and cheerful demeanor.

​You might be having a bad day or the customer (or your boss) may be difficult, but treating them with respect and consideration means you or the company you work for will receive compliments for your attitude and workmanship.

Even if you're dealing with bosses and supervisors, when review time comes around, those workers who are always cheerful and responsive tend to get more, and better, raises.

And if you're self-employed, those good feelings you leave customers with could translate into better word-of-mouth recommendations and excellent reviews online—all of which means more money in your pocket in the long run.

Tip #2 Be Conscientious and Responsible


You must be responsible when it comes to the quality of your work, but it pays to be responsible and conscientious in how you present yourself or your company as well.

checking the time on a wristwatch

Image via Pixabay

​Do your absolute best to arrive at appointments on time—tradespeople do sometimes have a reputation for being late—and be sure to do everything in your power to do the job correctly the first time.

By doing this, you gain a good reputation which helps build a client base for yourself or your employer—and that will get noticed.

Tip #3 Keep Training


Continue your electrical training if you want to have the most success in your career and enjoy the best career advancement.

Electrical courses help you keep up with the latest technology, learn new and additional skills that can help you on the path from journeyman to master electrician, and even help you become a supervisor or own your own electrical business.

student studying on a desk

Image via Pixabay

There are plenty of courses online or at your local college, and taking these courses can potentially lead to higher wages, more business, and the ability to tackle jobs that other electricians may not be able to handle. All of this translates into more profit and opportunity for advancement.

Tip #4 Only Work with Reputable Companies


When you're looking for jobs as you first start out, only consider working for companies with an outstanding reputation. Who you work for says a lot about you, and you want to build a resume that will impress those who know a lot about your field.

By working with companies who are well thought of, you can build your own solid reputation as an electrician. You can generally find good companies to work for by checking out reviews online and asking friends or family—or your former instructors or mentors—who to look for and who to avoid.

Tip #5 Dedication


When you start your career as an electrician, you need to be completely dedicated to the job. Always arrive to work on time—or a few minutes early, as that always makes a good impression.

Never miss appointments, do your best to work hard and give every situation your full attention, every day.

​By being dedicated to your profession, your customers or your employer will notice your due diligence and will see that you really care about your job.

This will build your personal reputation, increase the number and quality of customers you might be able to work for, and guarantee job security.

Plugged In to an Electrifying Environment: What to Expect from the Job

Once you've done all the hard work, finished your apprenticeship, and become a full-fledged electrician in your own right, what can you expect from your day-to-day routine?

A journeyman or master job can take on many forms. Electricians work both inside or outside, in all kinds of weather, to ensure lights, wiring and cabling, industrial equipment, electrical supply equipment, and appliances can function safely and reliably.

There are many different special types of electricians, including residential electricians, who install wiring and solve electrical problems in homes, and inside electricians, who maintain and repair control systems, motors, and electrical equipment in businesses and factories.

The specific responsibilities associated with being an electrician will vary depending on your area of specialization, but they might include such things as:

electrician working on power lines

Image via Pixabay

​Planning electrical systems for buildings under construction, including optimal placement for electrical outlets, light fixtures, heating or other high-power capacity outlets, and HVAC or ventilation systems

Reading, understanding, and interpreting architectural blueprints, circuit diagrams, and various other technical documents

Installing wiring, circuit breakers and boxes, lighting, and electrical control systems in new and existing buildings, and making sure all the work is up to code

Connecting electrical wires to components and fixtures to form complete electrical circuits, and testing completed circuits to be sure there are no problems and sufficient power

Installing wiring harnesses, hangers, and brackets to support electrical wiring and other accessories

Electrician working on home wiring

Image via Pixabay

Performing routine scheduled maintenance to keep all that wiring, lighting, and those control systems in good working order

Inspecting circuit breakers and boxes, transformers, and other higher-end electrical components for damage, wear and tear, or other faults

Using devices to test, analyze, and discover why electrical systems are malfunctioning

Replacing, repairing, and upgrading outdated or failing electrical equipment, fixtures, and wiring, including isolating shorts or other faults for safe removal and replacement

And in time, the apprentice becomes the master: you'll eventually be training apprentice electricians and delegating specific tasks to them to complete

electrician in front of power distribution boxes

Image via Pixabay

As you work as a fully qualified journeyman or above electrician, you may find yourself working inside new buildings under construction, existing buildings undergoing renovation, or even outdoors on electric power or telecommunications systems.

Electricians may work in large spaces like factory floors or unfinished buildings, or in cramped conditions like crawlspaces or in utility corridors inside buildings.

All of these different working environments may involve live electrical wires, so they can be very dangerous—if the proper safety precautions aren't in place.

Electricians often work independently on projects, which is one of the reasons we're stressing safety so much—if you find yourself working alone around live wires, help may arrive too late, so be sure to follow all of your training to the letter.

Be prepared to move around a bit, too. Unlike most people who have a regular job site, many electricians will work on remote sites for weeks to months at a time before moving on to the next job.

These job sites might be far from home—it's not at all uncommon for electricians to travel up to a hundred miles—or more—from their home to a job site.

Positives and Negatives

Electricians, unlike some other skilled tradespeople, generally work year-round. Their hours may vary depending on the kind of jobs they're working.

Electricians who work in building maintenance usually have regular, 40-hour work weeks. Most of them work a typical Monday through Friday schedule and may not work much overtime.

Other electricians work on-call and may have to work late hours, overnights, and even on weekends and holidays to fix urgent or time-sensitive problems—though those who find themselves in these roles can expect to be compensated for it.

If flexibility is important to you, you may want to consider working as an independent electrical contractor or a junior electrician working for a contractor. These positions don't have such regular hours—they may be quite busy one week with few hours the next, or it may vary from season to season.

Completing the Circuit on How to Become an Electrician: Final Thoughts

Becoming an electrician takes a lot of hard work and dedication, as the apprenticeship period itself is as long as most college careers, but it pays off almost immediately.

After trade or vocational school, you'll start to earn on-the-job money, even as an apprentice—which is an advantage over regular college courses.

Circuit Diagram

United States. Dept. of the Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It can be a dangerous job—always follow your safety training—but it's very rewarding and with the right kind of career moves you can go into business for yourself, which offers a lot of perks and flexibility, as well as the opportunity to have employees, who multiply your ability to earn.

It's a great career option for those who have decided that college isn't quite for them, or who want to start making money soon after graduating from high school. It's also a great career to switch into if you find yourself dissatisfied with what you're currently doing.

The power is yours!


Featured Image: CC0 via Pixabay

Xcel Energy manhole

Xcel Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

Looking for an exciting career that you can be proud of? Want plenty of room for advancement and good compensation? A job at Xcel Energy may be exactly what you’ve been searching for.

As the energy industry grows and changes, opportunities to innovate and create with expanding energy companies are arising quickly. Xcel Energy jobs are numerous and varied. Positions range from entry-level jobs to corporate leadership careers and are available in 8 different states.  The company is seeking applicants with a huge range of skills and experience levels: from high school graduates on up to seasoned managers and directors.  

What Is Xcel Energy?

Xcel Energy is a customer-focused producer of clean, reliable energy that proudly powers homes and businesses across the West and Midwest. This Minneapolis-based company’s mission is to “provide our customers the safe, clean, reliable energy services they want and value at a competitive price.”  

Xcel Energy is the product of a merging between three predecessor companies, Northern States Power and Southwestern Public Service Company, which were established in the 1890s, and Public Service Company of Colorado, which opened its doors in the 1920s. Clearly, Xcel Energy has a legacy of experience in the area to lean on.    

Since its establishment in 2000, Xcel Energy has become an industry leader in renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions with one of the most ambitious green energy plans in the industry. By the year 2027, the company plans to retire 40% of its coal units and replace them with wind and solar energy.  By 2022, the company is projected to be 61% carbon free by using a combination of renewable energy sources including wind, solar, and nuclear energy.  Just since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced its total water consumption by 40% and its total carbon emissions by 35%.  

With its focus on community, Xcel Energy is a rewarding place to work. The company finds balance and success by promoting environmental stewardship, customer satisfaction, and a respectful and motivating environment for its employees.  Xcel Energy facilitates safety campaigns which have lowered the rate of accidental dig-ins to underground wires and pipes by 33% and the number of workplace injuries by 58% since 2009.  They are also one of the most reliable power suppliers in the country with customers having power continuously for 99.9% of 2017.  Further, Xcel was recognized for two consecutive years by the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.

Available Company Positions

man installing solar panel

There is a variety of Xcel Energy jobs available in the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.  For the majority of the jobs listed below, more than one vacancy exists.  

Xcel Energy appreciates the service of our country’s veterans, and value the unique experience and skills veterans offer the company.  Ten percent of the company’s new hires are veterans!  On the website, there is an option for veterans to apply to a pool position, which connects applicants to Xcel Energy’s Veteran Recruiter.  Veterans must have served in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and have at least a high school diploma.

Internships at Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy offers internships to college students.  Students currently enrolled in classes are invited to apply to an enriching opportunity to test and hone their skills in a project-based atmosphere.


  • Nuclear Engineering Intern
  • Engineering Intern
  • Electrical Engineering Intern
  • Business Intern
  • Internal Auditor Intern
  • EMS Coordinator Intern
  • Regulatory Administrative Business Intern
  • Business Systems Intern
  • Engineering Intern within Transmission Project Management Department
  • Distribution Design & Operations Intern
  • GIS Intern
  • Entry-level Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Customer Service Specialist
  • Customer Care Clerk
  • Product Developer
  • Corporate Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Senior Budget Analyst
  • Communications Assistant 
  • RSA Archer Support Analyst
  • Solution Architect (including Senior positions)
  • Sr. Accounting/Financial Analyst
  • Systems Administrators and Analyst (including Senior positions)
  • Compliance Consultant 
  • Senior Internal Auditor
  • Network Operations Director 
  • Senior Principal Risk Management Analyst 
  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Communication Consultant 
  • Network Engineer
  • Load Management Analyst 
  • Regulatory Administrator 
  • Security and Compliance Consultant 
  • Channel Development Manager
  • Product Developer
  • Call Center Associate
  • Regulatory Accounting Manager 
  • Endpoint Security Systems Administrator
  • CIP Functional Consultant 
  • Accounting/Financial Consultant
  • Field and Skilled Labor Xcel Energy Jobs


  • Instructor Operations (including Senior and Principal positions)
  • Operations Manager
  • Plant Electrician Specialist
  • Medical Technician
  • Workforce Relations Specialist
  • Leadership Excellence Manager
  • Category Manager
  • Contract Management Consultant
  • Senior Energy Supply Asset Analyst 
  • Planner Buyer
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Designer/Associate Designer
  • Functional Consultant
  • Network Operations Director
  • Resource Planning Analyst
  • Control Room Supervisor-in-Training
  • Senior Engineer
  • Originator/Senior Originator 
  • Sr. Energy Trader
  • Fleet Project Scheduler
  • Program Manager 
  • Maintenance Supervisor
  • Construction Lead
  • Apprentice Plant Attendant 
  • Electrical Substation Construction Operations Supervisor
  • Senior Safety & Training Consultant 
  • Operations Procedure Writer
  • Associate Supply Chain Analyst 
  • Sales Accountant Specialist 
  • Outdoor Lighting Designer
  • Electrical Equipment Tester
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Specialized Trade Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Distribution Lineman Apprentice
  • Sourcing Project Specialist (including Associate positions)
  • Substation Foreman 
  • Transmission Control Principal Engineer
  • Electrician Apprentice
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technician Specialist
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Substation Helper
  • IAM Specialist/Engineer (including Senior positions)
  • IVVO Engineer
  • Project Controls Specialist, Nuclear
  • Energy Efficiency Engineer
  • Leadership Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Payroll Manager
  • Functional Analyst
  • Cyber Intelligence Analyst
  • AMI Meter Analyst
  • Material Handlers
  • Product Portfolio Manager (including Senior positions)
  • Training Supervisor Operations
  • Material Operations Supervisor
  • Cost - Analysis Estimator
  • Senior IT Service Delivery Manager 
  • IT Project Manager
  • Technical Business Analyst
  • Design & Construction Director
  • Senior Rate Analyst
  • Average Salaries Per Position

    man doing a routine inspection

    Below, known salaries for positions within Xcel Energy are listed alphabetically by position title. This information was obtained through payscale.com. Compensation is competitive within the industry and demonstrates a company-wide respect for employees at all level.  

    Accounting Analyst:

    $38,614 - $72,710
    Administrative Assistant: $27,285 - $58,733
    Assistant General Counsel: $118,147 - $234,396
    Associate Product Manager: $57,251 - $112,459
    Category Manager:

    $64,581 - $115,548
    Civil Engineer:

    $47,888 - $81,492
    Compensation Analyst: $50,291 - $79,860
    Compliance Officer:

    $60,031 - $130,524
    Construction Superintendent:

     $74,988 - $164,188
    Customer Service Specialist: $23,804 - $60,209
    Data Analyst:

    $37,733 - $97544
    Director of Operations: $121,942 - $254,780
    Electrical Designer:

    $37,599 - $87,587
    Electrical Engineer:

     $40,268 - $115,222
    Employee Communications Consultant:

    $60,804 - $119, 362
    Energy Engineer:

    $49,252 - $78,511
    Energy Power Distribution: $67,220 - $93,543
    Environmental Analyst: $40,905 - $89,780
    Executive Assistant:

    $48,505 - $79,461
    Field Operations Manager: $73,086 - $147,422
    Financial Analyst:

    $43,831 - $85,513
    Gas Fitter:

    $45,268 - $111,142
    Geographic Information Systems Analyst:

    $32,654 - $56,363
    Health Physicist:

    $70,264 - $135,327
    Instrumentation & Controls Technician:

    $41,690 - $96,177
    Journeyman Lineman: $52,370 - $143,663
    Legal Analyst:

    $49,256 - $92,126
    Legal Secretary:

    $38,378 - $69,833
    Lineman:

    $36,659 - $87,066
    Maintenance & Engineering Manager:

    $76,909 - $150,983

    Maintenance Mechanic: $43,775 - $106,093
    Maintenance Supervisor/Superintendent: $53,791 - $151,344
    Marketing Assistant:

    $23,399 - $54,078
    Mechanical Engineering: $51,660 - $106,507
    Meteorologist:

    $62,401 - $126,140
    Meter Reader:

    $36,444 - $89,080
    Nuclear Engineer:

    $63,079 - $125,858
    Operations Manager:

    $61,794 - $168,664
    Operations Superintendent: $43,524 - $111,445
    Plant Supervisor:

    $47,332 - 100,718
    Power Plant Operator: $41,310 - $91,789
    Power System Operator: $58,033 - $103,654
    Project Coordinator, general: $35,417 - $73-232
    Project Coordinator, IT: $45,875 - $85,067
    Project Manager, general: $48,553 - $124,381
    Project Manager, engineering:

    $69,013 - $168,826
    Project Manager, IT:

    $60,903 -$120,606
    Regulatory Administrator: $40,596 - $79,200
    Safety Consultant:

    $47,080 - $124,283
    Senior Accountant:

    $63,037 - $101,359
    Senior Budget Analyst: $57,389 - $116,945
    Senior Business Analyst: $70,567 - $163,341
    Senior Electrical Engineer: $78,121 - $144,722
    Senior Financial Analyst: $65,190 - $102,669
    Senior Human resources Generalist:

    $54,174 - $100,143
    Senior Systems Analyst: $63,410 - $136,591
    Senior Administrative Assistant:

    $36,598 - $73,806
    Staff Engineer:

    $52,289 - $101,900
    Systems Analyst:

    $52,952 - $111,504
    Transmission-Line Engineer: $66,964 - $100,686

    Conclusion

    group of men working on a line post

    Countless people across America are searching for the career that they love. Most people are looking for a career and a workplace that they can be proud of.  Xcel Energy goes to great lengths to be that kind of workplace — a company that values the environment, that seeks to build community through safety initiatives and employee diversity, and that provides a reliable, affordable product to its customers.  

    Whether you are a new graduate seeking to stake your place in the world, or a long-time veteran of the industry, an Xcel Energy job could be exactly what you’ve been hoping for. Xcel Energy is a well-established company in the West and Midwest United States with strong values that make their business successful. Even if you are not quite ready to apply, the company offers an online talent community that provides interested prospective applicants updates on opportunities that match their skills and invitations to company events.  Job listings can be searched by title, skill level, or location.  

    A solid mission, competitive compensation, and plenty of room for upward mobility make this company worth considering.    

    Find more information and apply for Xcel Energy jobs on the company’s website, xcelenergy.com.