Energy Systems

The utility industry’s energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure is commonly called the “largest machine in the world.” Students will gain skills necessary to work competently in various sectors of the industry: energy production, energy transmission and energy distribution.

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Most energy technicians need at least a high school diploma, while many employers prefer someone with college experience. Jackson College’s program offers students the opportunity to achieve certification in the Energy Industry Fundamentals from the Center for Energy Workforce Development. The degree is a good fit for those who are technically minded. They should enjoy working with their hands and be able to work in a variety of environments. 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 train workers 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 necessary skills in project management, communications, business and decision making.

Job Opportunities

Instrumentation and controls technician Associate Degree: Relay technician, Power plant technician, Substation technician, Gas pumping station technician Bachelor’s Degree: Power plant operator, Operations supervisor, Specialist/supervisor, Utility supervisor


Associate degree: Salaries vary, but range from $45,000-$60,000 and higher, depending on location and experience. Bachelor’s degree: Salaries vary, but range from $55,000-$85,000, depending on location and experience.

Career Outlook

Locally, utility companies expect to see a high turnover from retirements in the coming years, prompting many job openings. Overall employment is expected to increase more slowly than the average through the next few years.