The essential energy and utilities sector covers the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; the transportation, distribution and supply of gas; the collection, purification and distribution of water; waste management and the collection and treatment of sewerage; and nuclear fuel processing.

Keeping gas, electricity and water supply in check isn’t easy. By nature, gas hates being in an enclosed space and is always looking for a place to escape. A gas leak could potentially cause an explosion, so anyone working with this substance needs to be highly skilled—any mistake could have serious consequences. This section also features new apprenticeships in the growing nuclear industry, which produces roughly 20% of the electricity in the UK. The provision of nuclear power and the safe decommissioning (or closing down) of the UK’s older nuclear power plants both rate highly on the government agenda. This sort of work involves skills that are transferable to other sectors within this industry, as well as skills that are specific to the nuclear industry.

As part of its energy strategy, the government has set a target for smart meters to be installed in all 27 million homes in the UK by 2019. The Apprenticeship in Smart Meter Installation will train a competent workforce to install these. Or take a look at the Energy Assessor and Advisor Apprenticeship. Domestic energy advisors analyse the energy efficiency of buildings and suggest improvements so that homeowners can improve the energy efficiency of their property. They also advise customers on the government’s Green Deal initiative, which helps to finance the installation of energy improvements.

The many roles in this sector require people with all sorts of skills. Practical roles such as pipe fitting, line repair and cable jointing are in high demand, as are plant operatives. There’s also a large administrative and commercial side to the industry. Every household and company in the country has an electricity bill to pay—that’s a lot of customers to look after, and a lot of administrative work. All the major supply companies have large contact centres to deal with areas like customer service and sales.

At a glance

  • People with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) qualifications are in high demand from employers
  • Key challenges facing the energy sector are the need to increase productivity, meeting increased demand for energy and reducing the environmental impact of energy production
  • Opportunities are available in the following industries: electricity, gas, nuclear and water


  • Be practical and good with your hands
  • Have a sound understanding of technology and scientific principles
  • Awareness of safe working practices and potential hazards
  • Be able to take responsibility and act on your own initiative
  • Have good IT skills
  • Take in technical information and put it into practice
  • Be friendly and polite when dealing with the public

Useful contacts

Cogent—Strategic body for skills in the science industries

Energy & Utility SkillsUK authority on professional development and employment in the energy and utilities industries


Nuclear health physics monitor apprenticeship

Nuclear health physics monitors provide radiological monitoring services at the workface within the nuclear industry to protect people, plant and

Junior energy manager apprenticeship

Junior energy managers help their company to reduce the cost of energy consumption, while ensuring the business meets its targets

Gas network craftsperson

The main role of a gas network craftsperson is to safely build, maintain and repair components of the UK’s gas

Gas network team leader

The main role of a gas network distribution team leader is to safely build, maintain and repair the UK’s gas

Gas engineering apprenticeship

Gas engineering apprenticeship involves the safe installation, commission, decommission and the ongoing service and repair of gas appliances in either

Electrical power protection and plant commissioning engineer

An Electrical Power Protection and Plant Commissioning Engineer apprenticeship will give you detailed knowledge of electrical power systems and plant

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The Energy assessor and advisor apprenticeship is for new entrants to the energy sector and existing staff moving to a

The Gas Industry apprenticeships cover a range of job roles in the gas industry, which itself consists of two distinct

Nuclear health physics monitors provide radiological monitoring services at the workface within the nuclear industry to protect people, plant and

The Nuclear Scientist and Nuclear Engineer apprenticeship is a Degree Apprenticeship that will train you for a wide variety of

Nuclear welding inspection technicians perform a quality control and welding inspection role for the nuclear industry. They perform inspection work

A well-trained and highly skilled workforce of over 24,000 people is employed in the operation and decommissioning of the UK’s

The UK’s nuclear industry employs over 50,000 people and provides about 18 per cent of the country’s electricity. Apprenticeships are

The power sector covers activities associated with the generation, national transmission and local distribution of electricity, up to, and including,

The main role of a power network craftsperson is to safely construct, maintain and repair the UK’s electrical power network

The Power Sector apprenticeship focuses on the installation and maintenance of plant and equipment associated with electricity distribution, transmission and

Smart meter installations (dual fuel) apprenticeship

Smart meters are gas or electricity meters that provide energy companies with detailed information on how much energy a customer

Sustainable resource management apprenticeship

The waste-management and recycling industry is developing rapidly as populations grow and governments and businesses look for alternatives to landfill

Water industry apprenticeship

The Water Industry apprenticeship covers a range of occupations within the water industry. Every day, the UK water industry collects,

Water process technicians perform reactive and routine tasks on equipment and processes to ensure safe and efficient operations, supporting other