Getting a graduate job in energy and utilities

November, 2015

Discover what employers in the energy and utilities sector are looking for, the qualifications you might need and where to find the latest jobs

A 2:1 at Bachelors level is almost always required, but many of the jobs in this sector – especially those that are technical in nature - also require an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification in a specific engineering discipline.

For commercial functions such as marketing, sales or human resources (HR), any degree subject is usually acceptable. However, a business, accounting or numerical degree may be preferred for some finance or trading roles.

The nuclear industry may prefer candidates who've studied degrees with nuclear technology modules. For a list of accepted degrees, visit National Skills Academy for Nuclear.

What skills do employers want?

You will need to show:

  • flexibility and willingness to work outdoors, offshore, or overseas;
  • problem solving and analytical skills;
  • technical skills and knowledge;
  • the ability to work in a team, and manage projects, budgets and people.

Where can I get work experience?

The sector has a long-established tradition of sponsorship and sandwich placements where you can spend a year of your degree on a paid industrial internship.

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;
  • RWE npower;
  • Shell.

The Energy Institute Knowledge Service (EIKS) Internship Programme provides paid placements for recent graduates, in areas such as bioenergy, energy management and offshore renewables.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Power Academy, meanwhile, provides an engineering scholarship fund and paid summer placements for undergraduates in electrical and power engineering.

To secure an opportunity within a smaller company, you may need to make speculative applications and network.

To find work placements and internships in the energy sector, search for work experience.

How do I find a graduate job in energy?

Large energy and utilities companies offer graduate schemes in commercial, technical, engineering and environmental functions.

A good example is the RWE npower Bespoke Graduate Scheme, where you can mix and match placements across several different areas of the business. These include sales, marketing, real estate and human resources (HR).

The nucleargraduates scheme, meanwhile, is a two-year science, engineering or commercial placement that can lead to permanent work opportunities.

For a list of 270 companies that operate in the energy sector, plus a directory of specialist recruitment agencies and details of accredited graduate schemes, visit the Energy Institute (EI).

There are a number of useful websites to help you consider different careers and find a job in this sector:

To find jobs in the sector, search graduate jobs in energy and utilities.