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Smart Grid Hiring Trends Offer Several Valuable Green Career Tips

Green Career Tip of the Week
"The Smart Grid is a vision, a collection of technologies and services,
and a series of projects to upgrade our current electrical system,
which is a marvelous machine that has reached its limits. 
It represents a massive infrastructure investment to
ensure economic and energy security, as well as a
safe and comfortable quality of life for everyone."

All the best,

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Green Career Tip: Smart Grid Hiring Trends Offer Several Valuable Green Career Tips

Green Career Resource: Smart Grid Hiring Trends Research Study

Research Conducted by: and Zpryme's Smart Grid Insights

Respondents: Responses were collected from 184 executives responsible for hiring candidates for Smart Grid roles in the United States.
Infographic: For a quick visual display of the data associated with each of the conclusions described below, download the Smart Grid Hiring Trends Infographic.

Topline Results:

The following conclusions make up the first results from the study. More detailed results are coming soon.

Under each conclusion, I've included a Green Career Tip so you can see how to take results like this and make decisions about your own job search strategies.

1. Average Compensation Exceeding Industry Averages for Engineering and Engineering Management Roles in the Smart Grid Sector:

Average compensation for experienced engineers in Smart Grid roles outpaces the industry average by 8%. Senior level engineers employed in the Smart Grid sector earn 4% more and engineering managers take home an average of 20% more than their counterparts in other industries.

(Industry average based on comparative national average data for electrical engineers from

Green Career Tip -Gaining good information about salary trends in an emerging industry can be tricky. This information is great to have during your job search so you know how to answer questions about salary expectations.

2. Hiring Activity Increasing More Rapidly Among Mid-Sized Smart Grid Players:

Companies with 501-1000 employees hired 35% more Smart Grid candidates in 2010 than in 2011. Hiring in the 1000+ employee sector declined, largely due to extensive merger and acquisition activity. Overall, hiring increased by 2%.

Green Career Tip - If you are searching for a smart grid job, make sure you are including mid-sized companies in your target list! Also, be aware of what's happening with the major players in your industry. Stay alert to signs of possible mergers and acquisitions.

3. Starting Salaries for Smart Grid Roles on the Rise:

65% of respondents indicated that starting salaries are on the rise for experienced hires. 59% reported increases for new hires (those with no previous work experience outside internships).

Green Career Tip - Great news for both experienced and new hires within Smart Grid.

4. Recruitment of Experienced Hires Is Becoming More Challenging:


45% of hiring executives stated that it is taking longer to identify and recruit experienced hires. 25% reported the same challenge for new hires.

Green Career Tip - This finding tells you there's a need within this industry for good employees--especially experienced employees. If you are trying to enter this field, be sure your resume is well-crafted and highlights the specific experience these hiring executives are searching for. If you can communicate your value within the 5-10 seconds they are reviewing your resume, you may be just the kind of person they are looking for.

If you are new to the field, do online research and have research conversations with people in the field to determine the most effective ways you can enhance your experience and training.

5. Retention of Smart Grid Employees Becoming Problematic:

While only 24% of respondents said that retention has declined over the past five years, 72% indicated that retention of Smart Grid employees is a problem on some level. Rising salaries and the increased level of difficulty associated with recruiting experienced candidates are the most likely factors contributing to respondents' assessment of retention as a problem.

Green Career Tip - Information about retention within an industry is helpful for job seekers for two reasons.

First, it's good to be aware of retention issues. You can ask questions during your research conversations to see if you can tease out the reason employees are leaving companies. Are employees moving out of the industry or are they transitioning within the industry to better, higher paying positions? The topline results of this study don't provide us with the details...but the more details results may.

Second, the fact that there is some turnover within the industry means that you have a better chance of getting hired!

6. Recruiters Playing an Integral Role in Identifying New Hires for the Grid:

Recruiters were named the top source for helping Hiring Managers identify new hires for Smart Grid roles and one of the top three sources for experienced hires.

Green Career Tip - The data behind this conclusion is rather interesting to review. In the details of the infographic you'll discover that nearly 2/3s of the experienced hires are finding jobs through relationships and conversations...whereas only 13% are finding jobs through job listings and the internet.
Your Next Step:
Remember to download the free Infographic to see the specific results. The salary numbers referenced above and the various ways people are finding positions within the Smart Grid industry are included.

Keep in mind that you'll need to provide your email to download the infographic. In return you'll receive complimentary copies of the detailed reports as soon as they become available.
Copyright 2012 Transition Dynamics Enterprises,


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About Us

Green Career Central(TM) is an online coaching and resource center designed to help mid-career professionals, students, new grads, and career counselors make sense of the green economy and the green job market.

Carol McClelland, PhD, author of the award-winning, Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation's leading green career experts and founder of Green Career Central. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find careers that match their values and interests. 
Copyright (c) Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc. 2007-2012.
All Rights Reserved.


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