Tucson Electric Power will join utilities across the country in promoting Careers in Energy Week Oct. 16-20. The annual event, sponsored by the nonprofit Center for Energy Workforce Development, is intended to highlight the benefits of working in our industry.
But TEP also promotes utility careers year round through training and recruitment for a wide range of jobs, from information technology and security to engineering and trades.
Here are ways that TEP promotes energy careers:
Southern Arizona Construction Career Days
TEP serves as one of the sponsors for this event, which is expected to attract more than 1,250 high school students from throughout Southern Arizona to learn about careers Oct. 25-26.
TEP will send about 40 employees to talk to students about career opportunities in their work areas, including renewable energy, safety, generation, transmission and distribution.
The company will promote awareness of crafts and trades that don’t require a college education. TEP also will highlight opportunities for women in non-traditional roles in construction and maintenance.
Students will participate in hands-on activities, ride in bucket trucks and attend a safety gear fashion show. Find out more about Southern Arizona Construction Career Days.
TEP’s apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training and education to those who want to get into craft jobs.
Much like college degrees, the programs take about five years, with a pre-apprenticeship followed by a full apprenticeship to those who qualify. Apprentices are paid while they undergo training. Often there are hundreds of applicants for each job. Pre-apprentices must take classes and pass tests to qualify for an apprenticeship.
“The programs are extremely competitive. Apprenticeships offer an excellent opportunity for training and a career at TEP,” said Jamie Carpenter, TEP Transmission and Distribution Training Coordinator.
Pima Community College (PCC)
PCC is a great place for prospective employees to start their paths toward apprenticeships or other jobs at TEP.
The college offers an associate degree in Building and Construction Technologies, which prepares students for technical-level positions in the building and construction trades.
In addition, a certificate is available in Electrical Utility Technology, which provides training for entry-level energy jobs. The program was previously called Get Into Energy.
One TEP employee who started in a certificate program is Martin Salazar.
Salazar is the first member of his family to graduate from high school and attend college. After high school, Salazar at first had to work two jobs, including in fast food, to support his family. He wanted to join the program, but he told a PCC coordinator that he didn’t have time to go to school at the time.
“She said, ‘When you get tired of flipping burgers, you’ll be back,’” Salazar said. “I got tired of flipping burgers.”
When he was able to cut his work hours, Salazar joined the PCC program, which includes classes onsite at TEP. After earning his certificate, he began an internship that led to a full-time job as a Field Technician. Now he works with customers on service upgrades and electrical connections.
“I feel like I landed in the perfect spot,” said Salazar, who plans to later seek an apprenticeship. “It’s a journey from here.”
Variety of Opportunities
Customers sometimes assume TEP only needs workers who fix power lines and keep the power plants running. But the company provides diverse opportunities, with careers in accounting, customer service, legal, human resources, security and other fields. TEP even employs a meteorologist.
The hardest to fill positions are in computer science, information technology, cyber security and engineering. TEP is constantly recruiting for those positions and has created pipelines and training opportunities for engineering jobs.
“Most people don’t know about the great variety of jobs we have here at TEP,” said Marji Morris, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Development Program Manager. “Those who are looking for a job should check out the excellent opportunities and our generous benefits package.”
Find available jobs and more about TEP opportunities on the career website.