Energy careers | Ara Mahi Pūngao

Students in high vis at a genesis power station

Inspiring the energy innovators of the future  

Power stations and schemes are operated and managed by experts to keep the lights on in Aotearoa. From engineers to data scientists, project managers to generation controllers, there are multiple career pathways to choose from.

Explore the exciting jobs below. 

Male and female students in high vis

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are where you make your start in a career. You will learn the skills needed to become a qualified tradesperson in the discipline you choose.

Trades are in demand and provide great career options, after completing your apprenticeship you can continue developing your skills in your chosen area, and you can also continue learning and progressing through qualifications - many engineers started their career in trades and enjoy the blend of applying the theory while still being involved with the practical ‘hands on’ work.

Electrical engineer

Electrical Engineer

Mataaro Pūhiko

Electrical engineers design, construct and maintain electrical equipment and systems. They provide technical expertise and support for the electrical systems that enable the generation of electricity.

They also develop engineering strategies, provide oversight for testing on electrical systems and work with our maintenance teams to rectify faults. Practically everything that plugs in, from smartphones to electric vehicles, would not exist without electrical engineers.

You will learn a range of skills in areas such as circuit theory, power distribution, electronics and how to apply theory to help solve problems big and small. There are several pathways to pursue a career in electrical engineering. A tertiary study path is pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Moahango Dam

Civil Engineer

Mataaro Metarahi

Civil engineers design and oversee the building and maintenance of structural work that serve the needs of the public. We would not have the Auckland Harbour Bridge, hospitals, roads, and sewerage systems without the expertise of civil engineers.

Civil engineers are logical thinkers and love problem solving, with broad knowledge of different kinds of materials and how they work. This role allows you to specialise in several different fields, for example environmental, structural, dam, ground stabilisation or geotechnical engineering. You could be planning and designing buildings, roads, dams and drainage systems.

You will really enjoy learning, resulting in a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering or a Diploma in Civil Engineering.

Mechanical engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Mataaro Pūhaka

Mechanical engineers design, build, install and maintain the mechanical equipment on our generation sites, ranging from water and steam turbines to pumps and pipework. They figure out ways to fix faults and keep machines running reliably and efficiently.

As a mechanical engineer you will have awesome problem-solving and mathematical skills and be able to apply these in a practical way. Some days the mahi is ensuring that machinery is operating safely, reliably, and efficiently and other days it involves designing and modelling plans on the computer.

If taking a University path, you will be looking at a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering.

flow tracker at hydro plant

Hydrology Technicians

Mātai Arowai

Hydrology technicians provide specialist knowledge of water resources to support electricity generation, which is particularly important for hydro power schemes. Hydrology technicians collects and analyse water-related data, both in the field or remotely to monitor and manage lakes and rivers to ensure efficient and compliant operations.

The role could involve development of or the use of models of hydrological systems, and predictions of the likelihood of potential outcomes to guide decision-making or the assessment of potential impacts of climate change.

You will have amazing practical and problem-solving skills and enjoy data interpretation. Hydrologists typically come from a range of tertiary level science pathways, including earth or environmental science, physical geography, or civil and environmental engineering.

woman in high vis mountain lake background

Operator Maintainer

Pou Aroturuki

Operator maintainers at power schemes are responsible for hands-on operations and maintenance tasks across complex power generating units. They are pivotal in ensuring safe operations.

An operator maintainer monitors the condition of power scheme assets, responding to defects when they occur and undertaking preventative and defect management of generation and auxiliary assets. You would have a passion for machinery, how systems work and working safely.

This role would take you to many beautiful places across Aotearoa New Zealand where power schemes are located. This role can be learnt on the job, with people coming from many different pathways, having an enthusiastic attitude and a passion for learning is paramount. An electrical or mechanical trade certificate would also be really helpful.

Man in high vis industrial chemist

Industrial Chemist

Kairarau Matū

An industrial chemist provides responsive and efficient chemistry services to prevent chemistry-related plant failures and develops efficient plant chemistry practices. They carry out sampling, analysis and inspections to identify and eliminate chemistry-related risks.

An industrial chemist is an analytical thinker, great at problem solving with attention to detail. A large amount of time is spent in the interesting world of the laboratory, interpreting monitoring data and sample results using a wide knowledge of analytical and process chemistry.

Your education pathway would look like a Bachelor’s Degree in Science or Engineering, with a major in Chemistry or a Diploma in Science with experience to support this study.

Technician in high vis

Technician

Kaihangarau Take Pūhiko

Technicians provide specialist knowledge, working alongside engineers to carry out system upgrades and changes. Control and Instrumentation technicians have sound knowledge of control systems and the components that make them up. A large part of their role consists of installing and maintaining measurement instruments, for example temperature, flow or vibration measuring devices.

As a Technician, you will undertake investigations of plant and equipment to support the implementation of new systems and technologies to create optimal performance, while utilising digital systems to capture all plant knowledge through comprehensive reporting of failures and glitches.

To be a control and instrumentation technician, you will need to complete an electrical trade followed by a certificate in instrumentation qualification. To become a systems technician, you need to complete a Diploma in Engineering – Electrical or equivalent degree. There are also several pathways to becoming a technician through an apprenticeship.

Two men in high vis generation controllers

Generation Controller

Tumu Pūngao

Generation controllers work remotely across power schemes ensuring optimised operations while meeting electricity trading and market requirements, ensuring the safety of people and compliance with resource consents.

They work in a complex role in which they adhere to safety and electrical regulations and policy requirements while also trying to generate as the energy market requires. A good way to understand this role is to think of energy generation as an airplane and a generation controller as the pilot.

You will be a great mentor, leading a team and respond well to emergencies – managing the protection of people, environment and the machinery. A common pathway is provided internally, learning on the job from the existing team members and through pathway documentation provided.

Environmental advisor cleaning water way

Environmental Advisor

Kaitohutohu Taiao

The electricity sector uses energy from water, wind and sun to generate electricity, which requires careful management of natural resources. An Environmental Advisor is responsible for helping ensure environmental laws and regulations are complied with.

They oversee collection of a range of different environmental data and communicate the results to regulators and a range of other parties, such as environmental organisations and mana whenua. They also prepare assessments of environmental effects of proposed activities to obtain resource consents.

Environmental Advisors get to be out and about looking at the world around us and interacting with a wide range of people. They typically have a resource management, environmental science or planning tertiary qualification.

Man at computer data science

Data Scientist

Kaitātari Raraunga

Data Scientists collect and analyse data to identify trends and make predictions about the future. Using statistical knowledge and specialised software, data scientists help organisations solve problems and achieve their business objectives. Data scientists impact key decisions in a workplace.

Working with data can be broad but it essentially boils down to extracting and compiling, analysing and presenting data to help make decisions and create meaningful change for people. As data is becoming an integral part of modern business, there is high demand for data scientists.

You will be curious, great at data analysis and creating meaningful reports. The study pathway for this career could be a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) majoring in Data Science or Data Analytics.

men in high vis project manager

Outage and Project Manager

Project managers are responsible for the planning, resourcing, scheduling, and administration of projects to successfully deliver them on time and within the estimated budget. They manage discrete large maintenance projects from start to finish.

This role has lots of interesting variation, working alongside stakeholders and suppliers. You will be really organised, have great people management skills and be passionate about both the details and the big picture. A large variety of qualifications can lead to this pathway.