Utility operators are skilled in the installation and repair of utilities. They operate and control different machines and are in charge of maintaining the equipment, spotting malfunctions, and keeping the work area clean and organized. They also conduct weekly site safety audits and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Utility operators earn a median sum of $18 per hour, which amounts to $38,000 per year. Utility operators work with all sorts of utility systems, such as water piping, wastewater plants, electrical cabling, and many more, to create finished products. Then, they test the products and package them in preparation for shipment, and all these things are done within a sterilized environment to prevent contamination. They also respond to emergencies and perform casualty operations when needed.

Utility operators typically have a high school diploma or its equivalent. It will be best to have a higher academic degree, such as a bachelor's degree in business, for candidates hoping to advance in the field. They are also expected to be dexterous and have a significant level of hands-on training. Some employers also prefer candidates with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

What Does a Utility Operator Do

There are certain skills that many utility operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and math skills.

Learn more about what a Utility Operator does

How To Become a Utility Operator

If you're interested in becoming a utility operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 21.1% of utility operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.4% of utility operators have master's degrees. Even though some utility operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Utility Operator

Utility Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Utility Operator

Utility Operators in America make an average salary of $38,693 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Utility Operator Salary
$38,693 Yearly
$18.60 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Utility Operator

The role of a utility operator includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general utility operator responsibilities:

  • Essential functions/responsibilities loads trucks, feeds bins with various aggregate materials, maintains proper quantities of material to be loaded, moves earth or material from one location to another,
  • Ability to operate all machinery and perform each duty within the department. Set-up
  • Provide general support to hydro department work closely with opposing shift

There are several types of utility operator, including:

Machine Operator


Someone has to operate the machine - why not you? Machine operators are able to transfer a variety of objects through the use of machinery. So if driving a forklift around sounds like your idea of fun, then maybe this is the job for you.

Some machine operators need training in order to operate certain machinery such as cranes and excavators. The hours you work as a machine operator can vary, but often include overtime, night shifts, and weekend shifts.

As a machine operator, you have lots of industries you could go into, from warehousing and storage to food manufacturing and construction. The list goes on and on. Depending on the industry, your work can take you outside or you may get to work inside.

  • Average Salary: $32,874
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Forklift Operator


As a forklift operator, the majority of your time will be spent riding around on a forklift. You'll use it to move objects around so, unfortunately, there will be no time for any funny business. In fact, you'll probably need to follow some safety rules to ensure no one gets hurt.

There really aren't any formal education requirements, but you will probably need to be trained on how to operate the machine. Since products and materials are shipped at all times, you may need to stay late or even work an overnight shift from time to time.

And you better believe you'll get some overtime hours from being a forklift operator, which will be a nice little surprise when it's payday. Plus, did we mention you get to drive a forklift around. Sure, you have to be careful moving objects and trying to avoid running over your co-workers but, hey, at least you get to drive a forklift.

  • Average Salary: $34,213
  • Degree: High School Diploma



As an operator, it's your job to know how specific equipment or machines work. You should know how to install and repair certain machinery as well as knowing how to use tools to help with the manufacturing process.

Operators often spend their time checking in on equipment and making sure it's properly working. Every problem that is detected, you'll often call upon an operators to come and save the day. They're essentially the superhero in an office setting.

In most cases, operators work full-time, normal hours. But when a client needs help, you'll need to be available. which means that sometimes duty calls at night or on the weekends.

  • Average Salary: $37,928
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Utility Operator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active utility operator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where utility operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Utility Operator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
10New Jersey853$45,011
11North Carolina765$32,123
14New York541$45,831
22South Carolina335$27,835
35New Hampshire164$40,066
36Rhode Island147$44,301
45South Dakota77$39,947
46West Virginia75$41,219
48New Mexico63$36,293
49North Dakota55$50,659

Utility Operator Education

Utility Operator Majors

24.1 %

Utility Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

39.2 %


22.5 %


21.1 %

Top Colleges for Utility Operators

1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Lafayette, LA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Utility Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.1% of utility operators listed safety standards on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Safety Standards, 23.1%
  • Safety Procedures, 4.7%
  • Hand Tools, 4.5%
  • Ladders, 4.1%
  • Preventative Maintenance, 3.8%
  • Other Skills, 59.8%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Utility Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Utility Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Utility Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Utility Operator diversity

Utility Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among utility operators, 16.6% of them are women, while 83.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among utility operators is White, which makes up 71.0% of all utility operators.

  • The most common foreign language among utility operators is Spanish at 74.2%.

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Best States For a Utility Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a utility operator. The best states for people in this position are Idaho, Washington, Maine, and California. Utility operators make the most in Idaho with an average salary of $61,878. Whereas in Washington and Maine, they would average $60,018 and $56,149, respectively. While utility operators would only make an average of $54,596 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Vermont

Total Utility Operator Jobs: 81
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total Utility Operator Jobs: 111
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Maine

Total Utility Operator Jobs: 103
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Utility Operators

How Do Utility Operators Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Utility Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Utility Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Kraft Group$48,452$23.2921
3Schreiber Foods$43,636$20.9817
4Osram Sylvania$42,521$20.4417
5Land O'Lakes$42,371$20.3779
10International Paper$39,821$19.1460

Utility Operator Videos