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Energy, Construction, & Utilities

The United States is not only one of the world’s leading suppliers of energy, it is also one of its largest consumers. With the increase of public and governmental interest in renewable energy, clean energy generation, and energy efficiency, job opportunities are growing rapidly, especially with the existing workforce expected to retire in the upcoming years. Firms in this sector need people who can work with their heads and hands to design and build office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, and housing communities. Once architects come up with a design, it takes a team of skilled people such as plumbers, electricians, masons, roofers, framers and more to turn it into a finished structure. Craftsmen in this industry sector need a strong math background, good technology skills, and solid on-the-job experience.

San Diego County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Carpenters $26 ($54K)
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $28 ($58K)
  • Electricians $29 ($60K)
  • Construction and Building Inspectors $34 ($71K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians $27 ($56K)
  • Electrical and Electronics Drafters $29 ($60K)
  • Architectural and Civil Drafters $31 ($64K)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians $36 ($75K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • AECOM Technology Corporation
  • EDF Renewable Energy
  • EMCOR Group
  • Flatiron Construction
  • HD Supply
  • Horizon Solar Power
  • Renovate America
  • San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Sempra Energy
  • Solar Turbines
  • ECOSUN - Aquatherm Industries, Inc.

Imperial County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Carpenters $23 ($48K)
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $27 ($56K)
  • Electricians $29 ($60K)
  • First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers $29 ($60K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Construction Managers $24 ($50K)
  • Architects, Except Landscape and Naval $33 ($69K)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians $32 ($67K)
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers $34 ($133K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • Imperial Irrigation District
  • Rain for Rent
  • Granite Construction Company
  • Clean Rite Drain & Plumbing Service
  • Erickson Hall Construction Company
  • MidAmerican Renewables
  • Ormat Technologies

Fast Facts

  • 135,477 people employed
  • 3% (4,440) 5-year projected job growth
  • 10,603 businesses
  • 9% of the sector's employment in California
  • $89,316 average earnings per job
  • 10% of the sector's businesses in California
Source: Labor market data derived from EMSI 2021.03; QCEW, Non-QCEW, Self-Employed; 2020-2025 projections.

Programs & Schools

Cuyamaca College

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  • Backflow and Cross Connect Cont
  • Building Design Industry
  • Environ Health & Safety Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Technician
  • Landscape Design
  • OSHA Management
  • OSHA Technician
  • Surveying
  • Wastewater Collection Systems
  • Water Treatment Plant Operator
  • Water Dist Systems Operations
  • Water Resources Management
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
  • Water/Wastewater Technology
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Grossmont College

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Imperial Valley College

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  • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
  • Apprenticeship- Instrument Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Meter Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Power Lineman
  • Apprenticeship- Relays Technician
  • Apprenticeship- SCADA/Telecommunication Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Substation-Electrician
  • Apprenticeship-Control Operator
  • Apprenticeship-Electrician
  • Apprenticeship-Generation Mechanic
  • Apprenticeship-Hydro Operator
  • Apprenticeship-Telecommunications Technician
  • Building Construction Technology
  • Building Construction Technology-Carpentry Specialization
  • Electrical Technology
  • Electrical Technology: Electrical Wiring Specialization
  • Electrical Technology: Electronics Specialization
  • Electrical Trades
  • Low Voltage Systems Technician
  • Water Treatment Systems Technology – Wastewater Treatment Specialization
  • Water Treatment Systems Technology
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MiraCosta College

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  • Applied Design
  • Architectural Design
  • AutoCAD Certified User
  • Computer-Aided Drafting
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
  • Construction Management
  • Drafting Fundamentals
  • Irrigation Technology
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Landscape and Turf Management
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Palomar College

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  • Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration
  • Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Entry Employment Ready
  • Apprenticeship - Acoustical Installer
  • Apprenticeship - Carpentry
  • Apprenticeship - Drywall/Lather
  • Apprenticeship - Inside Wireman
  • Apprenticeship - Plasterer
  • Apprenticeship - Sheet Metal
  • Apprenticeship - Sound Technician
  • Architecture
  • Architectural Drafting
  • Drafting & Design CADD/CAM Technology
  • Drafting & Design Technician - AutoCAD
  • Drafting & Design Technician - Creo
  • Drafting & Design Technician - SolidWorks
  • Drone Applications and Technologies
  • Drone Operator 1
  • Eco-Building Professional
  • Entry-Level Gas Metal/Flux Cored Arc Weld
  • Entry-Level Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Entry-Level MasterCAM Programmer
  • Entry-Level Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • Getting Started with Drone Careers and Safety *
  • Preapprenticeship *
  • Tools *
  • Wastewater Technology Education
  • Water Technology Education
  • Welding Technology
  • * Designates noncredit classes
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San Diego City College

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  • Advanced HVAC/R Mechanical Systems and Repair
  • Advanced HVAC/R Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair
  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology
  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology - Advanced Air Conditioning and Direct Digital Control
  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology - Air Conditioning, Heating, and Advanced Refrigeration
  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology - Basic Refrigeration and Control Systems
  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology - Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems Design
  • Apprenticeships
  • Basic HVAC/R Mechanical Systems Installation
  • Drafting Option (Engineering)
  • Electricity
  • Electricity - Electrical Control Systems Option
  • Electricity - Electrical Recertification Preparation
  • Electricity - Lineman
  • Electronics
  • HVAC/R Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair
  • Mechanical Systems and Solid-State Electronics Technician
  • Mechanical Systems Project Development
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SD College of Continuing Education

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  • Air Conditioning and Heating Program *
  • Plumbing Program *
  • * Designates noncredit classes
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San Diego Mesa College

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  • Architecture Design
  • Architecture Technician
  • Building Construction Technology - Inspection
  • Construction Management
  • Interior Design
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Southwestern College

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  • Construction Inspection
  • OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Standards *
  • OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Standards *
  • Construction Management
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Dustin is intrigued by the minerals and materials making up our planet. He wants to make sure these resources are around for a long time, so he chose to study geographic information systems right out of high school. Career education at a community college made the most financial sense for Dustin, and as he approaches graduation, he couldn’t be happier with his decision. Watch now to see what happens when tech meets dirt.

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