Based on a survey by Zpryme and SmartGridCareers.com of 184 Smart Grid hiring managers and executives, the average annual compensation for experienced smart grid management professionals is $136,000.

"The rapid digitization of the U.S. electric grid has created a lucrative job market for energy industry professionals; the future workforce will be especially impacted by the smart grid; utilities and universities across the U.S. must educate a new generation of energy leaders from diverse backgrounds in computer engineering, computer science, and engineer-focused IT degrees," said Jason S. Rodriguez, Zpryme CEO and director of Research. "As smart meters blanket the U.S., career resources such as smart grid careers will be the go-to job seeking networks for energy professionals." When asked how should current university students be preparing for a career that works closely with the smart grid, a representative from Siemens Smart Grid division suggested to Zpryme that, "Engineering degrees with focus on power systems, plus IT courses, software development and knowledge of the electrical grid, with a masters preferred."

Like no other career track in energy before, Zpryme's Smart Grid Hiring Trends 2012 INFOgraphic reveals that U.S. smart grid hiring will continue to be strong as more utilities seek to deploy smart grid technology. Further, U.S. smart grid vendors will seek out leadership positions in smart grid hotbeds such as Europe and Asia, further increasing smart grid jobs in the United States.

Other findings of note from Zpryme's Smart Grid Hiring Trends 2012 INFOgraphic include:

  • The average annual compensation for new hires without previous experience (outside internships) was $55,600.
  • The average annual compensation for experienced engineers and operational professionals and senior experienced engineers and operational professionals was $93,800 and $119,200, respectively.
  • The average annual compensation for experienced management professionals was $136,000.
  • The average annual compensation for experienced directors and executive managers was $175,000 and $190,000, respectively.
  • Companies with 1,000 or more employees accounted for 60% of the hiring in 2010 and 2011. However, from 2010 to 2011 the average number of employees hired by companies of this size decreased from 53.6 to 45.2.
  • Companies with 501 to 1,000 employees hired an average of 27.0 employees in 2010 and 36.6 employees in 2011.
  • The average number of employees hired by the companies represented in the study increased from 24.8 in 2010 to 25.7 in 2011.
  • The hiring managers and executives identified referrals from industry contacts and word-of-mouth from current employees as their top sources for recruiting experienced industry professionals.
  • When it comes to new hires without previous experience (outside internships), the top two sources for recruiting were headhunters and referrals from industry contacts. Fifty-nine percent said that starting salaries for new hires without previous experience (outside internships) are increasing. Sixty-five percent said that starting salaries for experienced new hires are increasing.
  • Twenty-five percent said the time to recruit new hires without previous experience (outside internships) is getting longer.
  • Forty-five percent said the time to recruit experienced new hires is getting longer. Sixteen percent of respondent said that retention of smart grid employees is a large problem.
  • When asked about how retention of smart grid employees has changed over the past five years, about one out of four (24%) said that employees are staying less time now.