Getting a graduate job in energy and utilities

Dan Mason, Senior editor
January, 2017

Find out about the skills and qualifications you'll need to get into the energy and utilities sector - and how to find the ideal graduate job

A 2:1 at Bachelors level is almost always required for graduate jobs and graduate schemes in this sector. Many roles, especially those that are technical in nature, require an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification in a specific engineering discipline (such as chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering).

For commercial roles such as marketing, sales and human resources (HR), any degree subject is usually accepted. Business, accounting or numerical degrees are often preferred when it comes to finance and trading jobs.

Some employers advertise research posts for those with PhDs.

Once you're working in the sector, achieving postgraduate or professional qualifications can help you to progress and develop specialist areas of expertise. Continuing professional development (CPD) is supported by most organisations.

For example, some employers will offer you the chance to study for a Masters, in some cases paying the fees as well. Others will offer training to help you achieve incorporated or chartered engineering status.

For more information on entry requirements and career development, see graduate jobs in in the energy and utilities sector.

To find relevant postgraduate programmes in the UK, search postgraduate courses.

What skills do employers want?

In general you will need to show:

  • flexibility and a willingness to work outdoors, offshore or overseas
  • problem-solving and analytical skills so that you can deal with complex technical issues
  • specific skills and knowledge of increasingly specialised technology
  • the ability to work in a team and manage projects, budgets and people
  • communication skills, for example to explain designs or problems to non-technical staff.

Where can I get work experience?

This sector has an established tradition of sponsorship and sandwich placements that give you the chance to spend a year of your degree in a paid industrial internship. Find out whether this option is available when choosing your university and course by asking the institution.

Summer placements for students and graduates are provided by many large companies, such as:

  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • BP
  • Centrica
  • Chevron
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • ExxonMobil
  • National Grid plc
  • Npower
  • Shell.

Other major companies will have similar schemes. Meanwhile, to secure an opportunity with a smaller firm, you may need to make speculative applications and network to find openings.

Find work placements and internships in the energy sector by searching for work experience.

How do I find a graduate job in energy?

There are a number of useful websites to help you as you consider different careers in this sector, including:

You can also search for graduate jobs in energy and utilities.

Large energy and utilities companies offer structured graduate schemes in commercial, IT, engineering and environmental functions. You can find details of these on their websites.

For graduate programmes in the nuclear industry, see nucleargraduates.

For roles with smaller companies, search specialist recruitment sites such as: