The Energy Industry: What Career Path Is Right for You?


Interested in a career in the energy industry? Want to become a power plant operator, turbine maintenance technician, millwright, hydroelectric plant technician, water treatment plant and systems operator, oil and gas technician or generator technician? Did you know that it can take as little as 7-16 months to get the skills needed for an entry-level job in the energy industry? Before you start looking for an energy industry career, lay a solid foundation by completing an energy technology program at MIAT College of Technology.

Career #1: Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators work to keep the operations of power plants reliable in order for infrastructure to remain powered.  This involves the knowledge and mechanical concepts of high pressure boilers that are multiple stories high, massive gas and steam turbines engines, diesel engines, auxiliary systems, instrumentation and control systems, and extremely large generators.  We rely on our electrical infrastructure every day to keep our cell phones charged, our lights on, and to maintain our livelihood which makes this a great career opportunity.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics power plant operators typically do the following:

  • Control, operate, and maintain power generating machinery and equipment
  • Read meters and gauges to monitor and measure voltage output and electricity flows
  • Check equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems within the power plant
  • Manipulate the controls to regulate the flow of power

Career #2: Turbine Maintenance Technician

Wind turbines are large mechanical devices that convert wind energy into electricity. The wind energy turbine is made up of three major components: a tower, three blades, and a nacelle, which is composed of an outer case, generator, gearbox, and brakes. Wind turbine service technicians install, maintain, and repair these wind turbines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, turbine maintenance technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect the exterior and physical integrity of wind turbines
  • Climb wind turbine towers to inspect or repair wind energy equipment
  • Perform routine maintenance on turbines
  • Test and troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
  • Replace worn or malfunctioning wind energy components
  • Collect turbine energy data for testing, research, and analysis
  • Service underground transmission systems, wind field substations, or fiber optic sensing and control systems

Jobs in turbine maintenance are projected to grow 57 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means a lot of career opportunities in the energy industry.

Career #3: Millwrights

Millwrights work in factories, power plants and other industrial settings to install, dismantle, and move heavy machinery and equipment, based on layout plans and blueprints. They may construct foundations for machines. The millwright will assemble and install equipment. They should be able to work heavy construction and perform physical labor. The millwright should also have mechanical skills to use a wide variety of tools and lifting equipment.

Career #4: Hydroelectric Plant Technician

According to O*NET and the U.S. Department of Labor, a hydroelectric plant technician\’s job is to monitor and control activities associated with hydropower generation. The hydroelectric plant technician operates plant equipment, including turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, electric control boards, and battery banks. They will monitor equipment operation and performance and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance. The hydroelectric plant technician will also perform equipment maintenance and repair as necessary.

A hydroelectric plant technician will need to be good at operation monitoring to watch gauges and dials to make sure plant equipment is working properly. They will perform routine maintenance, so good mechanical skills are important. Critical thinking is an important skill necessary for hydroelectric plant maintenance.

Career #5: Water Treatment Plant and System Operators

According to O*NET and the U.S. Department of Labor, water treatment plant and system operators control an entire process of machines from a control room to transfer and treat water. Their job includes adding chemicals to disinfect and deodorize the water. The water treatment plant and system operator will monitor and inspect plant equipment to make sure it is working properly. They may also test water samples to make sure water is ready for use.

Career #6: Oil and Gas Technician

An oil and gas technician\’s job is to support engineers that are exploring and extracting natural resources from the Earth including oil and gas. The technician may install and maintain field equipment. The oil and gas technician will need to maintain safety standards and have knowledge of emergency procedures. They will read and interpret gauges to make sure equipment is functioning properly. The oil and gas technician may also be responsible for documenting any deviations from expected parameters.

Career #7: Generator Technician

Generator technicians work in factories, power plants and other industrial settings. They must be able to lift heavy equipment and work with delicate gas engines. The generator technician will perform repairs and service on the generators. They will troubleshoot any problems or failures and identify any corrective measures that need to be taken for alternators, wiring harnesses, safety devices and battery systems.

Energy Technology Program

The Energy Technology programs at MIAT College of Technology can be completed in as few as 7-16 months. As a successful Energy Technology graduate, you will be fully prepared to pursue a wide range of careers in a variety of industries, including wind, oil, gas, and electrical power. Most entry-level energy technicians will start out as part of a team of hands-on technicians. Top performers may be promoted to team leads, supervisors, and managers. With additional training and experience, technicians can advance into roles as senior technicians, engineers, regional managers, and department executives in a short period of time.

Does a career in Energy & Industrial Technology interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? The Energy Technology Programs from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT.  To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming an energy technician today.


For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure link.