Danny Wilson has more than 20 years working in technology-related fields. He's a retired member of the United States Air Force and holds a number of degrees, including a master's in business administration. He has a family and also works full time. Soon, Danny will have one more item to add to his extensive and impressive resume — a degree in power utility technology.
Ecotech Institute talked to Danny about why he chose a career in power utility, what his plans are after graduation, and what advice he has for others interested in entering this field.
Why are you interested in becoming a power utility technician? What sparked your interest in this field?
I've studied communication, computer science and network security. The only aspect I didn't have under my belt and have knowledge of was the electrical side. I was looking to master something in a field of study I didn't already understand and that was a driving factor for me to go back to school.
What is your favorite part about working in the power utility field?
My favorite part at this point, since I'm almost done with my program, is seeing how it meshes with telephone technology and computer science. I enjoy the PLC (programmable logic controllers) aspect, motors and controls, and generators and transmissions. I'm the kind of person that I like looking at trying to advance different technologies. I've also really enjoyed the instructors I've worked with in my program.
Why did you decide to go back to college to pursue this field?
I started looking at the jobs I could get with a power utility technician degree. I thought about what could be coupled with the knowledge I already have and go into the energy industry. I've been very fortunate to have a lot of training, and have different perspectives and viewpoints when it comes to implementing things like electrical grids or other equipment.
What is the most interesting or fun thing you've learned so far?
I would say the basic properties of electricity and magnetic fields. I have liked learning about all their different components and equipment — learning about how they work and what they do.
What are your plans after you complete your program?
My plans are to send out resumes and look for jobs at power and electrical companies. I also want to look into research and development regarding some ideas that I have about improving some of the technology that already exists.
What advice can you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in this field?
I would tell them that the possibilities are limitless. You just have to have a creative mind and master the basic technology and safety mechanisms in place. I would recommend looking at what's currently going on and then look at where the weaknesses are. Then think about what you would implement instead.
What should they be looking for in a power utility technician program?
The first thing is that the program is tailored to industry standards — the equipment, tools and instruction. You want to be ready to go work in the field immediately. You want to have the knowledge of what is currently going on in the field.
Download our free career guide, "The Complete eBook to Starting Your Career as a Power Utility Technician", to learn more about getting a job in power utility.