Power Generation + Distribution

Power Generation + Distribution


If you want to change the world, the power industry is a great place to work. It’s about creating energy for the future: we need to provide for a growing population while conserving natural resources and minimising climate change.

Electricity is the largest sector in New Zealand’s energy industry and employs about 12,000 people. You might find work in energy generation from renewable sources such as hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal, or work in maintaining and improving transmission line networks. Other roles include developing micro-generation, such as roof-top solar panels and small wind turbines, and encouraging energy conservation.

Alternatively, you might want a role in oil and gas production, which is our fourth-largest export industry. This includes working on offshore platforms and prospecting for new gas and oil fields – a major discovery could result in thousands more jobs and billions of dollars.

A lot of people with technology, engineering and science skills are involved in making sure the light comes on when you hit the switch and that your car has petrol in the tank, including:

  • Electrical engineers design systems that produce and distribute electricity, and look after electrical equipment at power stations and throughout the distribution network.
  • Geothermal scientists and engineers focus on underground heat reservoirs that can be tapped to generate renewable electricity.
  • Transmission line engineers improve and maintain the extensive network of power lines that bring electricity from where it’s generated to homes and businesses.
  • Power systems engineers design substations, switchyards and surge protection schemes to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.
  • Geologists use their knowledge of soils, rocks and faults to locate oil, natural gas and mineral deposits.

Other roles in this industry include:

  • Line mechanics and electrical and mechanical fitters, who repair and install electrical wiring and machinery
  • Computer systems technicians

The main employers in this industry are:

  • Power generating companies such as Contact, Genesis, Meridian and Mighty River Power
  • Transpower, which operates the National Grid
  • Regional lines companies such as Unison, Powerco and Vector
  • Engineering consultancies
  • Oil and gas exploration and refining companies

Key tertiary qualifications include:

  • New Zealand Diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering Technology or Bachelor of Engineering, in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Geology, Geophysics or Earth Sciences

Required and recommended senior secondary school subjects:

  • Physics (required for engineering pathways)
  • Maths, especially Calculus (required for engineering pathways)
  • English
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • Technology subjects such as Electronics, Design & Visual Communication
  • Geography

Job roles in this industry

  • CAD Draftsperson

    CAD Draftsperson

    Civil Engineer

    Civil Engineer

    Climate Scientist + Meteorologist

    Climate Scientist + Meteorologist

    Computer Systems Engineer

    Computer Systems Engineer
  • Design/Product Development Engineer

    Design/Product Development Engineer

    Electrical Engineer

    Electrical Engineer

    Engineering Geologist

    Engineering Geologist

    Engineering Technician

    Engineering Technician
  • Geologist

    Geologist

    Geotechnical Engineer

    Geotechnical Engineer

    Mechanical Engineer

    Mechanical Engineer

    Operation or Production Engineer

    Operation or Production Engineer
  • Power Systems Engineer

    Power Systems Engineer

    Project/Contract Manager

    Project/Contract Manager

    Site/Project Engineer

    Site/Project Engineer

    Surveyor/Survey Technician

    Surveyor/Survey Technician

Companies and organisations in this industry

  • Shell Todd Oil Services
    Shell Todd Oil Services
    Delta
    Delta
    Jacobs
    Jacobs
    Unison
    Unison
  • ABB Limited
    ABB Limited
    RCR Energy
    RCR Energy
    AECOM
    AECOM
    Transpower
    Transpower

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