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Graduate Energy & Utilities Jobs

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    Energy & utilities
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        Helping you find a career in the energy & utilities industry

        The energy and utilities sector covers the power, oil, gas and water markets. Within these markets there are different functions - from building and maintaining equipment to buying power on the wholesale market for resale to customers, or from treating water to make it safe to extracting and refining fossil fuels. The energy and utilities sector also includes the growing renewable energy sector.

        While there are several large businesses operating in the energy and utilities sector (for example: BP, British Gas, Yorkshire Water), there are also a growing number of smaller businesses (SMEs). Positions are even available within the public bodies that regulate the energy and utilities sector in the UK (OFGEM and OFWAT).

        There are a variety of roles available depending on the area of the energy and utilities sector which you are interested in - for instance, within oil and gas you could be a hydrographic surveyor or a geochemist, while in the power sector there are options to be an energy engineer or an environmental consultant.

        Many roles in the oil and gas sector can entail international travel, although only a small percentage of them involve spending time ‘off-shore' on an oil/gas rig. Across all organisations there are roles in core business functions (HR, marketing, finance, etc.) available too.

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        Skills & interests required for a career in Energy & utilities

        Across the energy and utilities sector, most positions outside of core business functions will require:

        • An ability to follow rigorous safety procedures
        • Analytical and problem-solving of complex technical problems
        • Team working abilities - including budget and people management at more senior levels
        • The ability to explain complex technical concepts to non-experts
        • A willingness to work in a flexible fashion, which can mean spending time overseas or offshore
        • An interest in applying innovative technologies to increase production and efficiency in production
        Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Energy & utilities

        The larger energy and utilities sector employers run graduate recruitment schemes spread across their different business functions - for instance commercial, science or engineering.

        Some employers will offer a series of short (3-6 month) rotations in different parts of the business, while others will invite you to specialise when you complete your initial application. Typically, once you begin a graduate scheme you will receive structured training over an 18 month to 3-year period, following which you will be able to secure promotions through developing your technical skills and knowledge, as well as your ability to manage larger projects.

        Tips for getting into the field

        Speak to one of your university's careers advisors to discuss your interest in the energy & utilities sector.

        If you are interested in an engineering/science-based position within energy and utilities, you may need to have had specific practical and theoretical experience during the course of your studies. It is worth speaking to your university department to see if there are specific modules you should study to make sure that your experience matches the roles you are interested in.

        How much can graduates earn in Energy & utilities?

        Graduate careers in the energy and utilities sector can pay significantly higher than graduate roles in other sectors. Oil and gas in particular is renowned as a high paying industry.

        Typically, a graduate starting salary in energy and utilities will average c. £32,000, though for core business functions (such as HR, finance, marketing) this may be lower. The higher salaries are given to the technically-demanding positions in science or engineering.

        What qualifications do I need for a career in Energy & utilities?

        While most organisations within the energy and utilities sectors will run apprenticeship programmes to recruit school leavers, most positions will require an undergraduate degree at 2:1 or above, while some more scientific or technical positions may require a postgraduate qualification (including some PhD level positions for research roles) in a related discipline.

        For roles in the commercial and core business functions, employers will not require you to have studied a particular subject (although for finance/trading positions a financial/business-based degree can be an advantage).

        In scientific or engineering positions, you will typically need to have a degree in an approved discipline - for example in chemistry/chemical engineering, or geology. Check the graduate programme websites of potential employers to make sure that your academic background matches the requirements for the roles you are interested in.

        Read more about the Energy & utilities industry

        Energy UK
        Energy & Utilities Alliance
        Oil and Gas UK
        United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas
        Association of Oil and Gas Producersh Ofgem
        Ofwat