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Center for Energy Workforce Development and ScottMadden Release the 2023 Energy Workforce Survey Results

In 2023, the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and ScottMadden conducted the 10th Energy Workforce Survey. This survey has been conducted biannually since 2006 to explore trends in the size of the energy workforce, demographic composition, forecasted retirements, and attrition data to support utility companies with their strategic workforce planning. 

Forty-one utility companies participated in the survey, representing nearly 315,000 jobs. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) provided information on electric cooperatives. Nuclear companies outside of CEWD were also invited to complete the survey. 

The 2023 analysis focused on four key job categories: Lineworkers, Technicians, Plant/Field Operators, and Engineers. In addition, Emerging Technology jobs were tracked (which include data scientists and solar, wind, storage, and electric vehicle engineers and technicians). 

ScottMadden was proud to administer the CEWD Biannual Energy Workforce Survey which highlighted four key results: 

AGING WORKFORCE AND RETIREMENTS – The utility workforce is trending younger—millennials now represent the largest share of the population, and 56% of all employees have less than 10 years of service. Workforce planning efforts will need to prioritize training and mentorship going forward to ensure the success of these newer workers. 

GROWTH IN EMERGING TECHNOLOGY JOBS – Early trends suggest significant growth in emerging technology jobs with the number of jobs growing approximately 4x from 2021 to 2023. This transition will require a focus on programs to retrain and reskill displaced workers to perform new energy jobs. 

POSSIBLE NEW NORMAL POST-COVID – When analyzing the potential lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy workforce, data show that both non-retirement attrition and total attrition have increased significantly in the last two years to their highest levels since CEWD began surveying in 2006. Ultimately, it is too early to determine if these elevated levels of attrition reflect a new normal post-COVID or if they indicate some natural adjustments after a period of very low turnover during the height of the pandemic. 

TRENDS IN DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION – The survey highlights that the bulk of utilities have established strategies, goals, and programs for attracting diverse talent. The data suggests these efforts are having an impact in terms of recruiting, but retention of diverse employees may be lagging. A combined focus on hiring and retention is needed to create a more diverse workforce that better represents the communities utilities serve. 

For more information about CEWD, please visit If you have any questions about this survey or need assistance administering a similar survey, please contact us here.