Careers Service Occupations

Renewables, Nuclear and Utilities

Renewables, Nuclear and Utilities

About

The energy sector has a wide range of opportunities available to graduates, whether in large international companies or small organisations developing specialist technology.

Careers advice (general)

Careers advice (renewable energy)

The Careers Service held an 'Insiders' Guide to Renewable Energy' event in February 2012. The speakers' PowerPoint presentations are available here:

Careers advice (nuclear)

Science Career Pathways: Nuclear careers gives examples of the different roles within the industry.

National Skills Academy for Nuclear: Nuclear careers also gives insight.

Careers advice (utilities)

TARGETjobs provide a utilities industry overview while UK Groundwater Forum displays careers information.

Industry news

Power-technology.com provides industry news on current and future projects in the power industry.

Nuclear Engineering International has articles and a company A-Z of buyers and suppliers to the industry.

Utility Week gives you news and articles about the UK utilities industry. 

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them and sector skills bodies on LinkedIn or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

Professional societies/institutes

Research councils and research centres

Sector skills councils/industry associations

Intergovernmental and not-for-profit organisations

Making contacts

Talking to people in the sector can give you an insight into roles and be useful for networking and speculative applications.

You could start with:

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our Energy industry Twitter list.

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events for this sector include Employer Presentations and Recruitment Fairs.

For more events for this sector see External Events

Related sectors

You may also be interested in EnvironmentEngineering or Civil Engineering, Geomatics and Construction.

Or see our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

Many large companies offer graduate training schemes, particularly in the nuclear and utilities industries.

There are opportunities in either technical or commercial roles.

Technical roles

Examples of the type of technical roles found across most sectors of the energy industry include:

You can find more examples of specialist roles below.

Commercial roles

Examples of commercial careers include:

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

Roles (renewable energy)

Electrical engineer

Wind analyst

Hydrographic surveyor

Energy manager

Roles (nuclear)

Nuclear engineer

Roles (utilities)

Power/utilities engineer

Electrical engineer

Control and instrumentation engineer

Geoscientist

Hydrologist

Water quality scientist

Energy manager

Skills employers look for

Employers in this sector are looking for skills including:

  • excellent problem-solving, maths and IT skills
  • strong technical knowledge and skill with specialist software
  • good communication skills and an ability to convey complex information
  • an ability to plan, prioritise and manage projects
  • commitment to keeping up-to-date with new developments
  • leadership skills and an ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams

Gaining Experience

Finding a job in the energy industry is competitive.

Relevant work experience is invaluable in developing expertise. It helps show motivation and commitment to this area of work. Below are some suggestions for finding relevant experience.

Many large engineering companies, particularly in the power sector, advertise summer or year-long placements early in the first semester. 

These are usually aimed at students in and above their second year of study. Applications open early in the autumn and closing dates are usually between December and March.

Examples of companies that offer placements and/or summer internships include:

Work experience opportunities with smaller companies are not always advertised. You may need to contact the employer with a speculative approach.

Professional bodies and research councils also advertise opportunities. See About for a list of organisations.

For more advice, read TARGETjobs' Engineering work experience: a beginner's guide

You can also look at what to do if you can't find an internship over summer. These are specific to engineering, but offer useful advice for most degree disciplines.

Internships and placements

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch – with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Finding Jobs

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and also research employers for speculative applications.

Professional bodies and research councils also advertise graduate positions. See About for a list of organisations.

Vacancy sites (general)

Renewable energy

See also:

Nuclear

Utilities

Specialist recruitment agencies

  • Allen-York - opportunities in environment, renewable energy, waste and recycling, and energy services
  • Acre - environment and sustainability recruitment service
  • Utility People

Finding companies

Find organisations that interest you and get in touch always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Showing your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Also try: