GETI 2023: Grid projects drive surging power sector salaries

  • Power sector salaries have rebounded above pre-pandemic heights with 50 per cent reporting a pay increase.
  • The power workforce is the most settled in the energy industry with only 41 per cent considering joining another sector.
  • Green infrastructure investment makes Europe and the US the top relocation destinations for power workers.

LONDON, UK, 14th February 2023: The seventh annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s most established and comprehensive energy workforce trends report, released today, has found that surging grid infrastructure investment has seen power workers’ salaries rebound above pre-pandemic levels and improved sector-wide talent retention.

The report by Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider to the STEM industries, found that as many regions invest in major power grid expansions and upgrades, 50 per cent of power workers report a pay increase and only six per cent had a pay cut last year, compared with 16 per cent two years ago. Seventy-two per cent of hiring managers anticipate further sector-wide pay rises this year, and 46 per cent anticipate rises above five per cent, while only three per cent expect pay to fall.

This is producing a settled workforce with only 41 per cent of power workers currently considering leaving for another sector, the lowest proportion among any energy sector. Job satisfaction is also relatively high, at 64 per cent.

With the US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act pumping $13 billion into power grid upgrades and expansion and the EU mulling a €584 billion investment in electric grids, Europe and the US now top the list of relocation destinations for power workers. Career progression is cited by 58 per cent of respondents as the prime driver for relocation, an increase of 49 per cent on the previous year, while lifestyle and low cost of living is second as inflation continues to increase.

Janette Marx, CEO at Airswift, says: “Record investment in decarbonisation and digitalisation of power grids across the US and Europe have helped sector-wide salaries bounce back above pre-COVID levels. Amidst a cost-of-living crisis, high salaries are helping the sector retain its workforce but lower costs of living also creating powerful ‘pull factors’ for workers to move abroad.

“Employers should include living cost assistance in benefits packages to help keep skills in the company and the country. The sector’s high salaries and its pivotal role in the energy transition could also help attract an idealistic and ambitious young workforce that seeks well-paid work in environmentally sustainable industries.”

John L. France, CEO & Managing Partner at Bear Peak Power, adds: “Rising investment in new transmission networks to intersect with renewable power sources is driving huge demand for skills and rising salaries. Long-term infrastructure investment will also provide greater job security and stability for workers than more cyclical sectors such as oil and gas, which is further boosting talent retention.”

Further findings include:

  • Seventy-two per cent say that rising supply chain prices have caused the most disruption over the past year, whilst rising inflation is second on 69 per cent.
  • The biggest impact has been felt in reduced or delayed salary and benefit increases which could impact on future recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Pay and benefits have been cited as the biggest factors in job satisfaction.

Airswift interviewed sector experts and surveyed 10,000 energy professionals and hiring managers of 149 nationalities across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. The report is available to download at

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