The New Energy Crisis: Power Industry to Need Workers


latest available figures

from the national Center for Energy Workforce Development in Washington, D.C., show that anywhere from 40 to nearly 50 percent of engineering, technical and lineworker jobs in the energy industry may need to be filled by 2013.

Each year, the center conducts a survey that looks at hiring trends in the industry five years out. And while the dramatically weakened economy has delayed retirements in the energy industry and has impacted capital expenditures in the industry, the fact remains that high percentages of current utility employees in the United States are at or close to retirement age.

It’s anticipated that industry will need to hire significant numbers of lineworkers, power plant operators, technicians, pipefitters/pipelayers and engineers.

The latest 2008 CEWD survey suggests the following potential changes in the energy industry by 2013

  • 49 percent of skilled technicians may need to be replaced.

  • Nearly 48 percent of employees who operate gas- and coal-fired power plants will be eligible to leave.

  • About 45 percent of engineering jobs in all energy-related disciplines could become vacant.

  • About 40 percent of lineworker jobs may need to be filled.