Posts tagged smart grid engineers

Smart Grid To Provides Jobs of the Future

America’s Smart Grid is set to change our lives and the lives of our children. Today’s energy grid is ‘dumb’ – it essentially has remained stagnant for the past hundred years.  It doesn’t adapt to the needs of homeowners and businesses based on their demand for energy; it simply pumps out a standardized amount of electricity, much of it going to waste. Our current energy grid doesn’t make use of new eco-friendly technologies like solar and wind – it still relies on harmful and waste producing coal and oil.

The Federal Government has pumped billions of dollars into the new Smart Grid to turn things around on a number of levels.  The grid will be intelligent for one: fluctuating the amount of energy sent to various corners of the country based on the current demand while also integrating new sources of energy from solar and wind power.  This new system of energy distribution will not only conserve valuable electricity, but also will save our country billions of dollars in wasted energy costs over the next ten years.

There’s another huge benefit to the smart grid as well – green jobs.  The New York Times recently published an interesting article that  details the Grid’s predicted job producing effect, as well as how a portion of the federal stimulus money is going towards training a new generation of workers who are proficient in utilizing the Smart Grid.

From the New York Times:  “The Energy Department estimated that some 30,000 workers would be trained because of the grants, which range from $87,000 for the Preparing Occupations for Lineman Education, or Pole, program at the Austin Community College District to $5 million to Florida Power & Light to develop its Gateway to Power Program, which aims to bring industry and academia together to develop power system and smart grid education.”

Just like how a previous generation of workers became invaluable due to their expertise in nuclear and chemical engineering, this new generation of smart grid technologists will be equally as important.  Today, one of the highest paying jobs in the country is a chemical engineer – within the next decade it will certainly be an engineer who specializes in some niche within the vast array of smart grid technologies.

There also will certainly be a plethora of small and medium sized businesses that evolve and revolve around the smart grid ecosystem; providing services and products that make the grid even more effective in each local environment.   For these businesses, adept grid technologists will be in high demand, creating a healthy and competitive market for talent in the sector.

Finding and hiring this valuable new generation of smart grid talent will be another challenge for the government and businesses alike.  Competition will be fierce for the brightest minds in the field, and companies and projects will succeed or fail based on their ability to secure the best.  Not only will higher pay grades, perks and benefits provide ammunition to hire talent, but also a company’s ability to use cutting edge technology to make hires.  Smart Grid organizations that utilize applicant tracking and hiring programs that are able to intelligently seek and attract workers in specific sectors will be able to gain an edge in the field.    These will be the individuals and companies that shape the future of energy.

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