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Utility Technician

Utility Tech photo

The Utility Technician field employs people involved with the generation, distribution or use of electrical or gas utilities. Last Dollar ScholarshipThese workers need a mechanical aptitude along with knowledge of mathematics, computers, electronic equipment, and map and schematic reading. There are job opportunities in Iowa and in virtually all parts of the country. No matter where you’d like to live, there will be jobs available in this field. Some technicians are also drawn to employers who allow them to travel across the country, particularly in response to natural disasters. It can be a great way to see the country and meet new people, with your employer paying the expenses!

With a 1 or 2-year degree, you can earn a base pay of $70,000 per year!

  • Every day you’re doing something new.
  • In the next few years, approximately 400-500 utility technicians will retire in Iowa … thousands more in other states.
  • You can stay in Iowa or travel across the country.
  • Job prospects are greatest for those who can work indoors or outdoors, operate heavy equipment, monitor machine operations, and demonstrate proper safety procedures (all of which is taught in the MCC degree programs!).

Bottom line: if you graduate from our program, we can almost guarantee you a job. Many employers come to the MCC campus to interview and recruit our students before they’ve even graduated from our programs!

Utilities Industry Working to Attract Young People in ‘Graying-Out’ Workforce (WHO TV-13 news story featuring MCC Natural Gas instructor Ron Estabrook)

MCC’s Utility Technician Programs

Marshalltown Community College offers several Utility Technician programs, depending on your career interests:

  1. A two-year Natural Gas Technician Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree prepares students to work in and around gas line utilities. Those employed in this field would be working at an electric/gas utility, rural gas cooperative, municipal utility, or for a utility construction contractor. Work performed includes installing, maintaining and operating natural gas plastic and steel mains, services, and related equipment to provide natural gas service to customers. During the two-year AAS degree you will earn four certificates that include: Natural Gas Basics Certificate, Natural Gas Advanced Fundamentals Certificate, Natural Gas Construction Certificate and the Natural Gas Customer Service Certificate.
  2. A one-year Powerline Technician Diploma prepares students to work in and around electrical line utilities. These graduates would be working at an electric utility, rural electric cooperative or municipal utility, or for a utility construction contractor. Work performed includes construction, retirement, maintenance, replacement, repairs and operation of underground and overhead electric conductors, structures and related equipment. During the one-year diploma program you will earn your Powerline Basics Certificate and Powerline Advanced Skills Certificate.

The links under Degrees Awarded (below) specify our different program course requirements.

These six short-term certificate trainings also offered:

These certificates will be included in the Natural Gas Technician 2-year program or the 1-year Powerline Technician program.

Additional career information

The median annual wage for Electrical Powerline Installers & Repairers was $59,080 in 2019 (median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less). The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,650. The Occupational Outlook Handbook doesn’t list Natural Gas Technicians, but has the average hourly rate as $32.78.

Follow this link to find additional up-to-date information on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook website:

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