Recession Proof Jobs â€“ Utilities
There probably is no such thing as recession proof jobs, but there are several that I can think of that are about as close to recession proof as you can get. If you and your family are interested in steady work and insulation from economic ups and downs, then I have a suggestion â€“ go work for one of the utility companies.
Almost everyone needs basic utilities â€“ electricity, gas, water and sewer. If you focus your employment in one of these areas, youâ€™re much more likely to ride through a recession without even noticing it. Have you ever heard of anyone having their utilities turned off voluntarily as a means of saving money? I havenâ€™t.
My experience as a consultant in the electric utility industry â€“ both power generation and power delivery â€“ suggests that this general industry is relatively recession proof. Iâ€™ve been through several recessions, but never saw any of them with respect to employment or income. For the most part, utilities provide a service that folks canâ€™t easily do without.
The downside to working with a utility is that theyâ€™re probably the closest thing to a government operation that you can find. They tend to be pragmatic, unimaginative, procedurally oriented, structured, risk averse, large, cumbersome, and filled with people focused on job security instead of achievement. I was once told that utilities are filled with amiable and academic types. Itâ€™s an over-simplification, but thereâ€™s a kernel of truth in there as Iâ€™ve seen plenty of both personality types in that industry.
One of the upsides of working with a utility is that there is a wide range of skill sets needed in the industry. They need technicians, mechanics, electricians, planners, analysts, managers, marketers, trainers, system operators, equipment operators, facility operators, security personnel, librarians, clerks, custodians, writers, lawyers, chemists and many other general as well as specialized workers. In addition, if youâ€™re achievement oriented, you can rise to the top and generally thatâ€™s a good thing from the perspective of keeping your job.
In addition, the utility industry includes federal government organizations, private consulting and engineering firms, publicly traded companies, municipal utilities, cooperatives, alternative energy producers and a host of others. My experience in the industry has been positive, so itâ€™s a good place to investigate if youâ€™re looking for a wide range of seemingly recession proof jobs.
Clair Schwan has never worked for a utility, but has served as an industry consultant. Heâ€™s never seen an appreciable change in demand in the utility sector, regardless of what the economy looks like. He thinks itâ€™s a good place to look for recession proofing your source of income.