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Career Path

There are many opportunities for work in the utilities, refineries, power companies, aerospace, and other related fields after completing the Summer Utilities Responsive Training (SURT) Program, the Power Electronics Certificate, and/or other Certificates and Degrees offered by the Electronics and Computer Hardware Technology programs at El Camino College.  The Certificate programs include Computer Hardware Electronics Technician, Electronics Engineering Technician, and Industrial Computer Control Technician.  The Associate of Science degree has two options, namely - Computer Technology and Electronics Technology.  Below is a partial list of job titles, including those that require additional education, such as a Bachelor's degree (BS) and a Master's degree (MS).

For additional information check out California Career Cafe and  the Get Into Energy page, sponsored by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD).

 Another site to use for occupational information is O*Net.  Use it to explore occupations based on such areas as industry, interests and abilities, or Occupational Code from another career resource such as Occupational Outlook.

Labor Market Information

Within the next 5-10 years more and more highly skilled technicians will begin to retire and replacements will be needed to take their place.  Highly specialized training is needed in these areas, including technicians in the utilities, refineries, power companies, and aerospace, such as Electrical & Electronic Technicians.  The table below is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Utilities Workers.  On that page is information about Nature of the Industry, Working Conditions, Employment, Occupations in the Industry, Training and Advancement, Outlook, and Earnings.  Table 6 is about earnings for the United States, Los Angeles County data is a few dollars more per hour.  Overall the earnings for technicians is about $10 more per hour than the average worker.

Table 6. Average earnings and hours of production workers in nongovernment utilities by industry segment, 2008

Industry segment

Earnings

Weekly
hours

Hourly

Weekly

Total, private industry

$18.08

$608

33.6

 

Nongovernment utilities

28.84

1231

42.7

Power generation and supply

30.26

1290

42.6

Natural gas distribution

26.82

1177

43.9

Water, sewage and other systems

21.47

867

40.4

SOURCE: BLS Current Employment Statistics, 2008.
Below are links to relevant articles about the demand for trained technicians, the worker shortages expected in power industries, and recession-resistant occupations.
Need for trained technicians

http://www.manufacturing.net/Articles/2011/03/Featured-Articles-America-s-Skilled-Worker-Shortage/?menuid=242

Utilities brace for worker shortage

  http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2007-05-16-power-shortage-cover_N.htm

Electrical Technician worker shortage

  http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Electrical+Cabling+Industry+Moves+To+Relieve+Worker+Shortage.-a067872350

High Demand for Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technicians

  (Dept of Labor, LA County, 2008-2018)

Nation’s Recession-Resistant Occupations
Technology is number one area for stability

http://economicmodeling.com/2011/01/03/the-nations-recession-resistant-occupations-by-cluster 

Job Listings

Looking for a job in this economy can be a difficult process.  There are several crucial steps to take prior to applying for a job.  First, you have to know who you are and what you want.  Hopefully you have discovered the El Camino College Career Services and the career counselors who can help you through the Career Decision Making process, including assessments!  Furthermore, El Camino College offers several Human Development courses that focus on Career & Life Planning, Strategies for Creating Success in College & in Life, and Strategies for Success in the Workplace.  Also, the California Career Cafe has a Get Started Page  that has a multitude of resources including four self assessments to help you:

  • Identify your strengths, talents and passions.
  • Define and match your personality to careers.
  • Capitalize on your learning style.
  • Focus on your goals.  

Once you have identified who you are and what you want then you are ready to try out careers through volunteering and internships.  A key person to ask about these is your professor. 

 A great place to start looking for apprenticeships, internships, and paid part time & full time positions is the company site, one good search term would be technician but look at all the open positions:

Edison International, including Southern California Edison

Southern California Gas Company

ExxonMobil

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Northrop Grumman

Los Angeles Metro

There are several on-line sources that are useful in finding openings, here are a few:

CalJobs

Career Builder

Jobing.com

Snagajob.com

Another way people found jobs prior to the internet was searching their local area for company listings.  One way to do this is use Google Maps, enter your zip code and then search the local area using key words such as, energy, power, electrical, electronic, utilities, and aerospace.  Then you can find small, mid-size, and large companies in your neighborhood; perhaps you did not even realize they were there.


 Go back to the Utilities Grant Page

Continue to visit this web page for a sample of job listings and other information.

Feel free to contact me about the content of this page, broken links, etc.

Contact Information

John L Weitzel, Coordinator

Utilities Responsive Training Grant Program

(310) 660-3593 x3609
jweitzel@elcamino.edu

URT Office (Tech Arts 207A) 

 Last Published 5/24/11