Approximately 140,000 people employed are in the U.S. hydropower industry, according to the National Hydropower Association (NHA). Hydroelectric production managers work in hydropower plants that are located throughout the United States. The Institute for Energy Research reports that the states with the largest hydroelectric generation are Washington, California, New York, Oregon, and Alabama. Hydropower projects include large hydropower projects run by the federal electric utilities and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation (https://www.usbr.gov) and the Army Corps of Engineers (https://www.usace.army.mil/About/Centers-of-Expertise), and nonfederal hydropower dams licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Hydroelectric production managers often get started in their careers by participating in an internship program while in college or an apprenticeship program. They gain valuable work experience as well as the opportunity to receive a job offer upon graduation. Ask your school's career services office for information on apprenticeships or internships in hydroelectric power generation facilities. Search companies' Web sites for job listings in their career sections, and also search employment Web sites such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, LinkedIn.com, and Recruiter.com, among others, for job openings. Professional associations such as the National Hydropower Association (https://www.hydro.org/job-board) offer helpful job-search resources.
Hydroelectric production managers may advance after three or more years on the job to become senior-level production managers. They may become heads of departments, overseeing greater numbers of employees and handling more complex aspects of production facilities. Advancement may also come in the form of getting an advanced degree in industrial management or other field, or getting certification. Some managers advance in their careers by increasing their participation in professional associations, such as by teaching workshops and speaking at industry-related conferences and events.
Keep up with news and trends in the industry and learn more about the different types of hydropower companies by reading publications such as the International Journal on Hydropower & Dams (http://www.hydropower-dams.com) and International Water Power and Dam Construction (http://www.waterpowermagazine.com).
Visit https://www.hydro.org/job-board and http://www.hydrofoundation.org/job-postings.html for job listings.
Get involved in a professional association such as the National Hydropower Association and the International Hydropower Association to take advantage of networking opportunities and resources that can help you in your career.
Attend industry-related conferences and events for hydropower professionals to keep up with current topics of interest and learn about potential employment opportunities. Find event listings on professional associations' Web sites, such as https://www.hydro.org/events.