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What Are the Different Types of Jobs for Power Engineers?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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As humanity's reliance on electrical power continues to grow throughout the world, jobs for power engineers are also likely to increase. The sectors of the power industry that provide jobs for power engineers cover a wide area of individual job titles and responsibilities. For example, a power engineer may serve as one of many types of electrical or mechanical engineer, an overhead line engineer, a power plant control engineer, software engineer, or a service and repair engineer. The educational requirements vary greatly for each of these positions. Some jobs require only a secondary or high school degree while some will require an advanced engineering degree. Most require some sort of prior power engineering experience.

Mechanical engineers wishing to find jobs in this area must have the ability to read and interpret technical drawings, equipment schematics, complex blueprints, computer-generated reports, and diagrams. The duties included in these jobs involve research, design, installation, operation and maintenance of electrical and mechanical systems and equipment. Good people skills are a plus in power systems engineering positions as power engineers will likely consult with or manage other engineers. Those in this position will communicate and consult with various power systems personnel regarding new and updated technical information, power systems, operating procedures, power system malfunctions, and fabrication of equipment for mechanical and electrical power systems. These jobs can require a college degree in mechanical engineering and several years of prior experience.

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Power plant control engineers need knowledge about mechanical processes and the various tools used for relevant power systems equipment. They must also have some knowledge of chemical composition, substances, and processes used in transformers and other power systems equipment. In addition, a working knowledge of the relevant materials, processes, actions, events and general surroundings associated with power plant control systems is critical. Power plant control engineers typically manage and work with other engineers, technical staff, and other personnel so effective communication is essential in this position. The ability to sense when a problem is likely to arise or when something may be wrong is probably one of the most desired sensitivities in this type of work. Jobs for power engineers in this area will typically require an associates degree or some college and several years experience.

Electrical engineers are always needed in the power systems engineering field. Jobs for power engineers in this sector include power systems engineers who can design power system facilities, coordinate construction of those facilities, and provide ongoing maintenance of facilities that generate, receive, and distribute electrical power. The ability to estimate labor, materials, equipment and construction costs is essential. Design and layout of power generating plants, power transmission lines, power receiving, and power distribution stations are also part of this job. Jobs for power engineers in this area will likely require a bachelor's or master's degree in electrical engineering and some previous electrical engineering experience in the power industry.

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