Best Paying Public Utility Jobs

Every time you switch a light on, turn on a faucet or flush a toilet, there are an array of public utility workers behind it who operate and maintain the complex systems and machinery involved. If you’re interested in a fulfilling, high paying job, you should consider a public utility career.

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To begin with, there are so many positions and options available in this integral industry that are in high demand and hire people often, and will likely remain that way according to current statistics. On top of that, these very important jobs don’t usually require anything higher than a bachelor’s degree, and some will even provide you with training while you’re on the job, so you won’t need much experience. Not only that, entering this industry can also be quite educational, and you’ll be providing people with an essential service, such as clean water, electricity or gas and more. Without these services and utilities, daily life in the modern world would not be possible. Furthermore, while the average annual wages of every public utility job varies somewhat based upon a number of factors, all of them pay a very decent and attractive amount, especially when compared to other career paths that usually don’t pay nearly as much.

With that being said, it’s time to grab your toolbox and protective gear. Listed below are some of the very best paying public utility jobs that you can apply for today.

Nuclear Licensing Engineer

When it comes to multi-tasking, prestigious and high paying jobs, it’s tough to beat a nuclear licensing engineer. These employees are responsible for the safety, smooth operation and overall compliance of nuclear power plants. They must have a thorough understanding of industry regulations and principles, in order to ensure the safety and efficiency of the nuclear facilities they work at.

In addition, they also work with fellow personnel to make sure that they adhere to the power plant’s safety regulations, along with checking that any operational changes are carried out safely and securely. They also create licensing plans for the regulation of nuclear reactor operations, radiation sources or special nuclear materials. Moreover, they inspect vital equipment, along with monitoring their performance to ensure that they meet safety and operational goals.

The average annual salary for nuclear licensing engineers totals at a whopping $120,380 per year, earning it top place on this list.

Electrical Engineer

Next up on the best paying PU jobs is the role of electrical engineer. An electrical engineer specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of electrical systems. They need to have an in-depth knowledge of how electricity works and the various electronic components and complex circuit architecture, in order to develop safe and innovative solutions for the entire community.

Apart from installing power grids, motors and communication systems, they also perform necessary calculations and simulations to identify potential problems and find solutions. They also inspect electrical equipment to ensure that it meets safety standards, prepare technical blueprints and evaluate system performance. Electrical engineers may sometimes be involved in the testing and maintenance of existing electrical boxes, wires and other systems as well.

The potential yearly salary for people with electrical engineering expertise can be staggering. As of May 2021, the median annual wage was an impressive $100,420, and it’s expected to increase. Plus, if you’ve got advanced qualifications and any other valuable experience in this area, you’ll be privy to various other opportunities for even further financial success.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are the skilled and well trained masterminds behind the construction of safe, efficient and cost-effective structures, such as roads, bridges, buildings and water systems.

Typically, civil engineers create project layouts with CAD (computer-aided design) software, testing and analyzing samples of soil composition and topography, in order to confirm the structure’s stability. They also evaluate existing buildings to identify damage and any other potential issues before they become serious and dangerous. Lastly, civil engineers also put together construction plans and specifications for contractors to follow, along with monitoring their progress during each vital stage of development, until the project is successfully completed.

As of May 2021, the official yearly average pay for civil engineers was $88,050, an average that is steadily increasing.

Pipeline Manager (Controller)

A pipeline manager, also known as a controller, is a trained professional that specializes in the overseeing of utility companies’ water pipelines. Pipeline controllers monitor and ensure safety, performance, compliance and integrity in all activities associated with pipeline operation. They’re tasks also involve the protection of both natural resources and public safety.

On a daily basis, pipeline managers make good use of monitoring systems to check water pressure, flow and other parameters in pipelines. They regularly inspect, test and maintain the pipelines to catch any abnormalities, leaks, irregularities or changes that could lead to potential safety issues. Additionally, they need to have good social skills, as they will be expected to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders quite often, such as engineers, customers, local governments, regulators and other utility professionals.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current average salary for pipeline controllers is $80,550.


Plumbers are immensely needed in cities and towns to install, repair, and maintain plumbing equipment. Businesses, families and individuals frequently employ a certified plumber for tasks like snaking a shower drain, unclogging a toilet, or fixing a leaky faucet, among other work. If you enjoy physically demanding work and don’t mind getting dirty, becoming a plumber would be a great fit for you. It’s physically demanding work with certain occupational hazards, but many would agree that the benefits outweigh the risk.

For example, you can get a very affordable education to start in this industry, via an apprenticeship or trade school. Plus, you can earn a very decent living that isn’t boring and comes with a number of career advancement opportunities.

A plumber’s median national salary is now $59,880 per year.

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