Overview

Calling all recruits! This is Director V speaking here.

Are you looking for an exciting career that uses creativity and innovation? Inspires leadership? Solves real-world problems? And impacts the world? Then our data streams say a career in energy may be the right fit for you!

Not sure? Well try to imagine a world without electricity … There would be no lights, no air conditioning, no refrigerators, no showers, no phones … almost everything we need to survive! So it’s no joke that electric power is one of the most important innovations of all time. And it miraculously always seems to be there, just ready to do work for us. So here is a puzzle for you to solve: How many careers do you think it takes to deliver electricity to the 300 million people in the U.S.?

The truth is that there are tons of jobs that make up the energy industry and power up our daily lives! And these careers not only offer exciting challenges and good pay, but also chances for you to put your STEM skills to the test. STEM is a term we use to describe education and careers that relate to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And with a job in energy, you can become a whiz in STEM fields to power up communities and improve peoples’ lives. Now doesn’t that sound fulfilling?And because clean energy is growing, these STEM careers in energy will be in high-demand.

Are you curious to know more about those careers? Are you ready to put your detective skills to work? Then snoop on the investigative report below!

 


 

Dan Clausen

Construction Management Engineer

Madison Gas & Electric

 

Job Duties:

  • Manage the construction work of power generators, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and natural gas

Education Needed:

Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, also opportunities for bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Construction Management or Associate Degree in Energy Technology.

Favorite parts of the job:

“I like working in the utility industry because there is a lot of equipment and ways of producing electricity. We have the solar panels, the boilers, the wind turbines … and it’s equipment that comes from all over the world!”

Impacts on the world:

“Electricity is an integral part of everyday from your alarm clock to your lights to your cellphones. You are constantly relying on electricity throughout the day. And myself and the industry get to be a part of that and provide an important service to the community.”

 


Dennis Besaw

Lead Mechanical Technician

Kaukauna Utilities

 

Job Duties:

  • Works on and maintains Hydro Operation’s for Kaukauna Utilities at their seven Hydro Facilities, servicing nineteen unites.

Education Needed:

Technical Degree as Maintenance Mechanic or Electro/Mechanical Technician

Favorite parts of the job:

“I like the variety of work, troubleshooting problems, making repairs, and doing overhauls.”

Impacts on the World:

“I am very proud of myself and the guys and girls I work with when the Badger Plant stays running 24/7. That means I am doing my job right and making good clean energy for people to use at home. [And] I get to go home every day and turn on electricity and watch my favorite TV show or make dinner or turn on the backyard lights, knowing that I did something today that is very productive and everyone gets to use it. Including myself.”

 


Dave Keller

Transmission Line Superintendent

MJ Electric

 

Job Duties:

  • Manage and direct construction work of transmission lines

Education Needed:

High school diploma and 4-year apprenticeship with on the job training to start in the position of journeyman line worker. Annual on-the-job training thereafter ranges from CPR and first aid to helicopter work on energized lines. Strong math and mechanical engineering skills are a plus. Strong work ethic and ability to work through unknown challenges make for a great start in this career.

Favorite Part of Job:

“It’s challenging, it keeps me outdoors, and the people I get to meet and work with are some of the best people I have met in the world. [Also], technology has changed so much in just my short career of building power lines. And the need for power has increased immensely. I enjoy being on the leading edge of new technology and new ways of doing things. I think that is a great way to spend your career.”

Impacts on the World:

“Weather and storms create havoc on the electrical system. Our maintenance and upgrades are able to combat that by building stronger structures and lines that are less likely to go down in significant weather.”

 


Tom Dagenais

Manager of Reliability Planning

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Plan for pathways and technology to deliver reliable electricity to people cost-effectively
  • Evaluate and design future needs of the electrical transmission system to connect our customers to a sustainable energy future

Education Needed:

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering

Favorite Part of Job:

“I love my job because we are doing something here for the benefit of the public. Everybody knows how frustrating it is when their power goes out. [But] we’ve got a great team of professionals that work together well, and there’s no problem we can’t solve.”

Impacts on the World:

“We have a more reliable and more cost-effective way to serve customers’ needs then we did 5-15 years ago.  And the fact that we have a reliable system that can serve customers with renewable energy when they need it makes me feel proud of the impacts we’ve had and the job we have done.”

 


Jay Johannes

Substation Engineer

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • To lead project teams in the design and construction of new substations or the modification of existing substations (Substations are electric facilities that lower and distribute electric power to a safer and more usable level to those who need it).

Education Needed:

Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering

Favorite Part of Job:

“If you think about it, everything needs electricity: where you work, the industry, your homes. We make sure that that power gets to your homes every day, 24 hours, 7 days a week reliably. And what’s great about my job is I solve problems to make sure that happens day in and day out.”

Impacts on the World:

“What I am most proud about with my job at ATC is I can be a good influence to younger engineers and to youth so they also can contribute to society. Being a substation engineer allows me to utilize the gifts that I have and be an example to our next generation.”

 


Stephanie Pierce

System Control Operator

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Monitor and manage the electrical grid from a set of computer consoles in a control center
  • Reconnect power to communities when electric power is interrupted
  • When equipment breaks down, they create a safe zone for maintenance workers to work
  • Maintain the safety and reliability of the power grid
  • Operate the power grid in compliance with required standards, procedures, and guidelines

Education Needed:

  • A two-year technical degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology or a related field

Favorite Part of Job:

“I love doing my job because it’s different every day, and it poses a lot of mental challenges to figure out that happen without warning. Millions of people rely on our power [and] it’s really important to keep power going to each and every family and each and every household. We know you guys rely on it a lot every day to do what you do at home and at work.”

Impacts on the World:

“I take pride in my job because I get to help people. Whether they know it or not, we are always here. All holidays, all weekends, all nights. Here to protect the grid and to keep the lights on for you guys so that when you wake up in the morning to your alarm clock and your phone’s all charged, you are ready to go to work. You’re ready to go to school. And to be a part of society, just like us.”

 


Chris Dailey

Team Leader of Transmission Line Maintenance

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Monitor, maintain, and repair 10,000 miles of transmission lines

Education Needed:

Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering

Favorite Part about the Job:

“I really enjoy the variety of my job. One day I may be in a helicopter flying down the power line. The next day, I may be in the field with somebody going up in a bucket truck to look closely at facilities way up in the air. I also spend time in the office, reviewing data and engineering solutions to problems. So there is a wide variety of things I get to do throughout the week.”

Impacts to the World:

“I take pride in knowing my awesome team and I have the responsibility for the maintenance of the 10,000 miles of transmission line that deliver power to our communities. I feel good at the end of the day being behind the scenes, making a difference, and ensuring the safe and reliable transmission of electric power.”

 


Jamie Arndt

Cybersecurity Engineer

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Protect ATC and the electrical grid from cyber attacks
  • Prevent and detect malicious malware or viruses that could disrupt the electrical grid

Education Needed:

Computer Science degree

Favorite Parts of the Job:

“The best part of my job is investigating and ripping apart the malware and malicious documents used by attackers to try and trick people!  It’s true!  I get paid to do that and it is so fun!”

Impacts to the World:

“My job is important because I help to protect the electrical system of the United States. This allows everyone to be able to charge their phones, to be able to turn on lights, to turn on dishwashers, to live at home, to turn on computers, and more. Since everyone relies on electricity, what I do truly matters. A lot of people in this state depend on me to protect the electrical grid.”

 


Troy Brumfield

Regulatory Compliance Manager

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Make sure employees know and follow Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corp. rules that ensure electrical grid reliability.

Education Needed:

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with emphasis in engineering, accounting, physics, information technology or other business-related curriculum.

Favorite Parts of the Job:

“The thing I love most about my job is I rarely do the same thing two days in a row. I could be spending time in the office performing research and reading documents one day, and then I am traveling another day, drafting grid reliability rules with regulators.”

Impacts on the World:

“My job as a utility compliance professional gives me a great sense of satisfaction mainly because I am here to help people. I know that some of the things that I bring to the table help this company keep the lights on for everybody, keep hospitals up and running, keep 911 going. And anytime there is an emergency, people have the power that they need.”

 


Michelle Stokes

Manager of Vegetation Management

American Transmission Company

 

Job Duties:

  • Manage vegetation under and surrounding transmission lines to ensure vegetation does not interfere with the reliable transmission of electricity
  • Work with environmental managers to avoid and minimize impacts to the ecosystems and wildlife near transmission lines

Education Needed:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in a technical (e.g. natural sciences, forestry) or business discipline. Or on the job experience in utility rights-of-way management.

Favorite Parts of the Job:

“I love my job here because it allows me to take the passion I have for providing safe, reliable electric power to people so they can do the things they love to do. They can be healthy, they can have electronics, they can have food. But I am doing in a responsible way that also protects the environment and allows habitat to be developed for things like pollinators in our rights-of-way.”

Impacts on the World:

“It allows me to have a bigger impact on the environment and the community. So aside from providing reliable electric power, I have the opportunity to help promote a right-of-way that is sustainable and protects pollinators and promotes pollinator species, which then has a much larger effect on other species, humans, and what we need to flourish and survive.”


 

Don’t these jobs look neat? In fact, if any of these careers peak your interest, it may be worth job shadowing a person in the field. Just contact a utility near you for help!

Not sure if you will have the time? Then check out the video above! You will go undercover with our secret agents as career trainees and discover the real scoop on electricity! Or visit any of the webpages below. You and your class will experiment different career roles and invent energy systems for your community!

 

Our educational partner, American Transmission Company (ATC), supported the video content above. To learn more about their role in electric reliability, check out the link below.

 

Available Lessons