Prepare for careers in energy, utility fields with bachelor’s degree opportunity

Energy Systems

Jackson College students may prepare for careers in the energy and utility industry with a bachelor’s degree in energy systems management.

Like many career fields today, Michigan utility companies expect to see a high turnover from retirements in coming years, prompting many job openings. Students will gain the skills necessary to work competently in various industry sectors: energy production, energy transmission and energy distribution.

About the Degree

The 120-credit bachelor’s degree program will give technicians the necessary skills to be promoted to supervisory and management positions. In addition to skills like problem-solving and multi-tasking, they will need to have skills in communications, management of people, financial management, coordination of several activities for efficient use of time and material, and the ability to adapt work procedures or priority in response to changing or unforeseen requirements or conditions.

Possible job opportunities include technician supervisor, project management, customer relations, system supervisor or specialist/supervisor/technician. Salaries vary but range from $55,000-$85,000, depending on location and experience. Power plant operators are in demand in Michigan, with 7.3 percent increase in job demand in coming years.

A bachelor’s degree is often needed for a manager or supervisory position in the utility industry. Energy professionals will also need technical experience in their field. Jackson College offers an associate degree in energy technology to prepare for entry-level technician careers in a variety of utility environments. Students may start there, and then continue on with their bachelor’s degree to gain the necessary skills in project management, communications, business and decision making.  

The Bachelor of Science in Energy Systems Management degree curriculum, approved by the Higher Learning Commission in 2014, marked the first baccalaureate degree for Jackson College. Students interested in the bachelor’s degree may get their start with an associate degree in energy production technology and prepare for entry-level technician jobs in environments like a power plant.