If you love systems and working in teams, and are detail oriented, power engineering could be a great career for you. Power engineers are the men and women who keep our electrical grids running. Typically, these engineers work for utility companies, and work on teams that build, maintain, and develop large networks that connect power generators with the power grid. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to power our homes and offices. In short, power engineers are vital to keeping our society running.

Power engineering is generally divided into the three main areas: generation, transmission, and distribution. According to the IEEE Power & Energy Society, power engineers tend to focus their expertise in one of these three areas:

  • Generation: These engineers convert sources of energy into electric power, including fossil fuels, hydropower, nuclear power, solar power, and wind power.
  • Transmission: These engineers are in charge of moving power from the power station where the power is generated to the customer’s location. 
  • Distribution: These engineers create and maintain systems that distribute power to end users in voltages, which can be used by their equipment.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Successful Power Engineer?

According to Energy.gov, power engineers need to be detail oriented, have superior math, communication, and project management skills. These professionals often work together with other engineers, so they need to enjoy being in a team environment and working with others. They also need to be able to plan out their projects in line with budgeting and time constraints. They spend a lot of their time writing reports on the systems they manage, so good technical writing skills are essential. Lastly, good leadership skills are important for power engineers, since they often oversee large teams. 

How Do You Become A Power Engineer?

Typically, power engineers have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, according to Energy.gov. However, they may also have degrees in civil, industrial, mechanical, or construction management. Employers in this field tend to favor candidates with graduate degrees, as well as those who have completed internships and certifications in professional engineering.

Explore the different engineering fields within engineering to discover the right one for you.