Green Jobs in Smart Grid Infrastructure - dummies

Green Jobs in Smart Grid Infrastructure

By Carol L. McClelland

It’s easy to see that the green economy includes renewable energy sources; it may be less immediately obvious to consider more traditional forms of electrical generation in an eco-conscious career transition. Remember, though, that electricity is an integral part of our lives and an absolute must for commercial and industrial entities. That’s why a sustainable future relies on the idea of the smart grid — a buzzword for the successful combination of traditional and new energy sources within a reliable, secure, efficient infrastructure. Don’t discount the many facets of this when looking for job opportunities with a positive environmental impact.

Industry experts have known for some time that the electrical infrastructure in the U.S. was due for a major overhaul. The sheer costs, number of players, and inherent complexity of an end-to-end revision make this difficult.

Smart grid is a huge, vague term. It involves all the components of the electricity supply chain: generation, transmission, distribution, storage, and consumption management. As such, several entities play critical roles in delivering electricity to power our world: utilities, manufacturers, market analysis and creation, and service providers.

The smart grid’s potential to change our world could be larger than the impact of both the Internet and the telecommunications revolutions. For the smart grid to reach its full potential, a social/cultural shift will be required. If you think programming your VCR was hard, imagine having to set up all your appliances to communicate with the grid? Luckily, home energy management systems will give us one access point to manage all the things that go beep.

If you’re interested in a career in smart grid infrastructure, here are a few jobs that could be key to its creation and adaptation

  • Systems: Smart grid standards leader, smart grid chief technology officer, smart grid partner director, smart grid solutions architect, smart grid director, smart grid electrical engineer, smart grid engineer, transmission systems engineer, project manager, smart grid solutions architect/engagement manager, transmission systems engineer, test engineer, renewable systems engineer, systems project manager, distribution systems engineer, smart grid systems project manager, critical infrastructure consultant

  • Standards: Smart grid standards leader, smart grid systems interoperability validation manager, grid security director

  • Software: Smart grid software engineer, smart grid manager infrastructure development, software infrastructure subsystem leader, lead software engineer, software infrastructure quality assurance leader, software infrastructure test engineer, senior software systems engineer, advanced metering engineer

  • Marketing and sales: Smart grid marketing, smart grid sales, director business development, strategic commercial manager