Energy, Construction, & Utilities

As California’s population surges, we not only need to build places for people to live, we need energy and utilities for these structures. Programs in this sector train you in architecture, engineering, electrical, mechanical, and construction roles. Get into these fast-growing industries. They are seeking more efficient, alternative energy sources, which means you are choosing a career path that gives you job security around the globe.

Career paths & salary info (Median yearly salary)

  • Architectural and Civil drafters $57,637
  • Electricians $60,445
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters $51,438
  • Carpenters $38,272
  • Construction Managers $75,221


  • San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Renovate America
  • EMCOR Group
  • EDF Renewable Energy
  • HD Supply
  • AECOM Technology Corporation
  • Sempra Energy
  • Solar Turbines
  • Horizon Solar Power
  • Flatiron Construction

Did you know?

  • The majority of “clean energy” companies in San Diego County specialize in energy efficiency for buildings and renewable energies such as solar power.
  • Employers in the building and construction trades industry prefer to hire journeymen who have completed successful apprenticeships. There are more than 50 apprenticeship programs that train San Diegans for this industry.
  • More than 75% of students who graduated from the San Diego-Imperial community colleges’ Energy, Construction and Utilities programs in 2016 attained living wages.
  • This sector is a great fit for job seekers interested in the environment and working with their hands.
  • For job seekers looking to become more competitive in the sector, obtaining a professional licensure validates the skills that they possess to employers.
Source: San Diego-Imperial Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research & San Diego Workforce Partnership

Programs & Schools

Cuyamaca College

  • 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

Grossmont College


Imperial Valley College

  • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Alternative Energy-Solar Technology
  • Apprenticeship- Instrument Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Meter Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Power Lineman
  • Apprenticeship- Relays Technician
  • Apprenticeship- SCADA/Telecommunication Technician
  • Apprenticeship- Substation-Electrician
  • Apprenticeship-Control Operater
  • 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
  • Wastewater Treatment Specialization
  • Water Treatment Systems Technology

MiraCosta College

  • 3D Modeling and Prototyping
  • 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

Palomar College

  • 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
  • Architectural Drafting
  • Architecture
  • Carpentry - Hands On Skills *
  • Computer Assisted Drafting
  • Construction Math *
  • Construction Print Reading *
  • Drafting Technology: Multimedia
  • Drafting Technology: Technical
  • Eco-Building Professional
  • Electrician - Hands On Skills *
  • Electro-Mechanical Drafting and Design
  • Entry-Level Gas Metal/Flux Cored Arc Weld
  • Entry-Level Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Entry-Level Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • Essential Skills *
  • Foundations in Technical Careers
  • Introduction to the Construction Trades Industry *
  • OSHA 10 Certification *
  • Public Works Management - Level II
  • Sheet Metal - Hands On Skills *
  • Tools *
  • Wastewater Technology Education
  • Water Technology Education
  • Welding Technology
  • * Designates noncredit classes

San Diego City College

  • 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- Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Systems
  • 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

San Diego Continuing Education

  • Air Conditioning and Heating I *
  • Air Conditioning and Heating II *
  • Electronics Technician *
  • Plumbing I *
  • Plumbing II *
  • Plumbing III *
  • Upholestry *
  • * Designates noncredit classes

San Diego Mesa College

  • Architecture Design
  • Architecture Technician
  • Building Construction Technology Inspection
  • Construction Management
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Geographic Information Systems Technician

Southwestern College

  • Construction Inspection
  • Construction Management

Want to know more? Find the college and program that fuels your success.


student success story

Student Story: Dustin Smith

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.

Career videos