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Career Definition of a Power Systems Engineer
A power systems engineer specializes in working with power systems, with job duties ranging from conducting power system studies to testing wind turbine components. Power systems engineers can work for wind turbine manufacturers, electric utility companies, or wind owners/developers. Most power systems engineers work full-time. They may work in an office environment, but often travel to client sites.
Specific duties for a power systems engineer will vary based on the type of power system they work with, such as wind turbines or electrical power systems. General job duties may include analyzing results of power systems studies and providing recommendations, assisting organizations with upgrading their electrical systems, and preparing cost estimates and bid proposals. Power systems engineers can oversee the quality aspects and technical support for projects. They could be responsible for creating project plans and overseeing resource allocation, as well as the financial profiles for projects. Power systems engineers may also provide guidance to junior engineers on improving technical skills or project management skills.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent technical abilities, strong communication skills, strong analytical abilities, and project management skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$71,957|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||1% (Electrical Engineers)|
Sources:*PayScale.com,** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field to work as a power systems engineer. A background in power systems operations or planning may be beneficial. Interested individuals can join a professional organization like the Power and Energy Society. The organization provides members with relevant updates in the electric power industry and training resources.
Excellent technical abilities are one of the most important skills for a power systems engineer, as they analyze and work with various power systems. Relevant technical skills and knowledge may include power system analysis software like EasyPower, Adobe Professional, electrical design and network architectures, and load flow analysis and protective device coordination. Power systems engineers should have strong communication skills in order to collaborate with colleagues and interact with clients. Strong analytical skills are essential for assessing power systems and creating solutions to issues. Power systems engineers should have project management abilities in order to oversee staff and manage multiple clients or projects.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect information on power systems engineers; however, they reported a 1% growth for the category of electrical engineers during 2014-2024, which is slower than average for all occupations. In October 2017, PayScale.com reported a median annual salary of $71,597 for power systems engineers.
Individuals considering a career as a power systems engineer might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their technical skills in other engineering positions.