From oil and natural gas to renewable energy, like wind and solar, the energy sector continues to expand, creating good-paying American jobs and helping to grow the U.S. economy. Yet beyond traditional energy jobs, many Americans are contributing to the energy economy by helping the U.S. build a cleaner, safer energy future. Energy.gov’s #EnergyJobs series shines a spotlight on a wide range of people and energy careers that are making a difference in the larger energy economy.
Phil Haupt is the owner of Phil Haupt Electric, Inc., which installs electric vehicle supply equipment -- an industry term for charging infrastructure.
What does your job entail?
My job entails meeting with clients to discuss and educate them on the design and installation of electric vehicle charging stations, estimating projects, project management, job-site supervision and being a parts-runner. I also work closely with local utility companies and electric vehicle equipment manufacturers in an effort to provide information to our residential and commercial clients.
It is also important to maintain a professional working relationship with the local jurisdictions to ensure an open line of communication. It is important to know what jurisdictions require when completing these installations. Most require site plans, load calculations and one-line drawings.
Editor’s note: One-line drawings are electric industry diagrams that use simplified notation to show the electrical power system.
How did you end up in your career?
After approximately 20 years as an electrician in various oil refineries, in 2005 I felt it was time to start my own business. In 2010, my company, Phil Haupt Electric, made the decision to move forward in the electric vehicle industry rather than adding solar installation to our services. We felt that there were too many solar companies and nobody was focusing on electric vehicles.
I find it much more rewarding than working in oil refineries!
What education and training do you need to be an electric vehicle charging station installer?
It requires the broad skill set of electrical contracting, as well as knowledge of each specific electric vehicle -- where their charge ports are located and their own individual power requirements. Additional knowledge about American Disability Act accessibility laws, parking space requirements, electric vehicle supply equipment brands and capabilities and permitting is required.
Is there a pretty direct career path? Or is this something that people take multiple routes to end up at?
The career path to installing electric vehicle supply equipment begins with a solid proficiency in electrical work. The specialties involved come with working in the field and understanding the vehicles and the various electric vehicle supply equipment brands.
What is the best part of working in your field?
To me, the best part is our customers. Whether they have been building and driving their own electric vehicles for 20 years or are a new Nissan Leaf or Tesla owner, they are passionate!
I enjoy watching the paradigm shift from internal combustion engines to electrically powered vehicles. Once a person experiences the difference, there is no going back. I also love the fact that I am providing a “green” opportunity.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start a career in charging station installation?
Start an electrical apprenticeship. The growth rate of electric vehicles is vertical, so the jobs will be there.
I appreciate everything the Department of Energy has done to seed the advancement of electric vehicles. I am excited to see what happens in the fields of energy storage and distributed energy systems.
The future looks good!
Check out the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Clean Energy Jobs page for more information on this and other clean energy careers.