Is Energy a Good Career Path? (Renewable Energy Jobs & Traditional)

Interested in going towards energy as a career? Are you not sure of the benefits? Click here to learn if a career in energy is right for you.

Due to technological advancements, a world without energy is unthinkable since it is required in practically every area of our modern life.

The possibilities for advancement in the energy industry are virtually endless. Energy is a well-paid, well-established, and, most importantly, ever-growing and developing field.

Engineering in energy is going to be a strong focal point in this article. But, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are various employers and career path choices available than you first thought. 

And, of course, we’ll also focus on renewable and green energy careers, given that it is an exciting and rapidly evolving market.

So if you are interested in an energy career, please read on to learn about all the benefits!


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Reasons Why to Choose an Energy Career

Now let’s begin by exploring four reasons you might want to opt for an energy career.

You may find these reasons especially helpful if you are currently a college student. Or, you could be a young professional looking to change your career path. Yet never too late for anyone to try and move into a career choice they are passionate about.

1. There Are Many Energy Career Paths and Employers

As mentioned earlier, you’ll be surprised how much opportunity is out there for the taking.

Here are just a few of the large sub-industries that make up the energy industry:

  • Renewable energy
  • Nuclear power
  • Energy trading systems
  • Infrastructure
  • Gas
  • Petroleum
  • Coal power

These sub-industries, in turn, have a variety of occupations that are unique to them.

These can include job titles such as:

  • Renewable Energy Engineer
  • Wind Farm Site Manager
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Solar Panel Technician
  • Maintenance Officer

It’s also important to remember that energy firms range in size. They can be small start-ups like several app-based energy dealers to industry behemoths like AGL, Alinta Energy, and AEMO.

Businesses in the latter category are more likely to create a variety of support positions.

As a result, there are also job roles linked to the energy industry in areas like:

  • Finance
  • Information technology
  • Human resources
  • Design and production
  • Maintenance
  • Procurement
  • Legal
  • Customer service
  • Sales
  • Research

So if you thought before that an energy career was only for engineers, think again!

Related Read: How to Find Ethical & Eco-Friendly Companies to Work For

2. Confront Big Global Challenges

Many argue that energy is among the most significant concerns humanity will confront in the next hundred years.

If you work in the energy industry, you might ensure a reliable and sustainable energy supply for a growing population. You might also be concerned with managing the world’s potable water supply.

As an energy engineer, you could be tasked with updating a nation’s aging distribution networks. Or maybe you’ll be part of a team developing innovative solutions to issues such as waste management, global warming, and increasing population density in urban areas.

Thankfully, there already are ways you can help, whether it’s by investing your skills in the creation of a solar energy business or joining a worldwide corporation’s social awareness campaigns. 

So, if you get a kick out of knowing you’re making a difference, the energy industry might be right for you.

3. Opportunities for Travel

It should go without saying that your own country isn’t the only one that needs people working in energy. And, the skills you earn working and learning in your home nation will allow you to explore the world. 

Yet, there will be plenty of options to travel within the United States if you don’t fancy going too far afield. Several of these jobs, particularly in engineering and maintenance, may need frequent trips to rural and remote locations.

4. Help Developing Countries

This reason is related to the previous one about travel. But, it also presents another reason why traveling might be intriguing to you in your chosen career.

Over the last few years, many poorer countries have been outspending developed ones on renewable energy investments. This is partly because the developing world is expected to account for most global population increases over the next century. These rapid increases are thought to push demand for energy and present an opportunity for early investors.

And, as the cost of renewable and coal-fired energy approaches parity, certain developing countries, such as China and India, have prioritized sustainable projects. Therefore, these nations have opened up a plethora of attractive job prospects for experienced graduates.

Related Read: Online Volunteering: How and Where to Volunteer Virtually (7+ Ideas!)

Energy Engineering

Energy engineers are forward-thinking professionals tasked with discovering new sources of energy and how to harness them effectively. 

If you work in energy, like most engineering areas, you’ll be dealing with a wide range of applications.

Yet, there’s a strong focus on two key goals:

  1. Discovering new ways to provide energy that is both clean and efficient
  2. Reducing current energy usage

Engineers working in the energy sector will need to be excellent problem solvers and adept at streamlining operations.

Energy is a highly technical, specialized area that almost always necessitates a post-grad degree. There are alternatives to this, as certain educational institutions provide energy programs that allow students to proceed into the industry without requiring an advanced degree.

Is Their Demand for Energy Engineers?

The global energy landscape is changing with speed, and the future of energy is changing as well. Jobs for energy engineers are increasing, which is good news. And at each stage of the energy cycle, you can find energy engineers.

Some of the more established energy jobs entail work on oil rigs, which refine oil. Or, at electrical energy towers, on the electrical grid.

But a pressing issue is climate change, which has not slowed, and its consequences are growing more visible and devastating.

As a result, many countries have strengthened their clean energy policies and increased their investments in wind energy, solar, and geothermal. Energy engineers will have more work prospects in the renewable realm because of this.

Clean energy prices have also decreased, resulting in greater adoption of clean energy methods and more excellent work prospects for energy engineers.

Ultimately, energy engineering is here to stay. This has to be true because, in addition to the need for clean energy storage and generation, there is also the responsibility of making existing systems more energy efficient.

Related Read: 65+ Best Earth Day Quotes About the Climate, Environment, and Nature

Careers in the Renewable Energy Sector

This last section will mainly explore some examples of high-paying and in-demand careers in the renewable energy sector. 

Of course, there will still be loads of opportunities in the non-renewables sector, but we’d like to focus on the likely direction the energy industry is moving towards.

For example, you can now see a shift in large energy companies towards cleaner, more reliable, and safer energy such as: 

  • Consumers Energy
  • Dominion Energy
  • Duke Energy
  • Centerpoint Energy
  • CPS energy

So these companies would be a great starting point for researching various job roles in the industry.

Anyhow, here are some job examples to ponder in the energy market.

Wind Farm Site Manager

A wind farm requires more effort than you may expect and need a great deal of management. Also, the larger the wind farm, the more equipment, management, and people it necessitates.

Site managers for wind farms are typically required to have a bachelor’s or advanced degree in management and business-related fields. Plus, they need relevant experience managing employees. 

Solar Project Developer

Many organizations of all sizes take on solar projects worldwide; thus, the number of solar project developers is expanding rapidly. And because of the numerous licenses required and the requirement to connect to the grid, each project needs extensive preparation.

If you choose to be a solar project developer, you can expect to interact with a variety of specialists throughout your projects. These can include professionals such as lawyers, financial analysts, and engineers to ensure that everything runs well.

Related Read: How to Reduce Carbon Emissions & Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Renewable Energy Consultant

This is usually a highly technical occupation within the energy sector, and demand for these positions is increasing. Clients, both old and new, consult with renewable energy experts, who advise them on the best energy sources and solutions for them.

If you aspire for this type of position, you must have specific skills in renewable energy management. The reasoning behind this is that the knowledge set required differs significantly from that needed in other energy disciplines.

Geoscientist

Geophysicists were in high demand in the oil and gas business because possible fuel supplies had to be identified on both land and sea. Yet, geophysicists are rapidly becoming extinct due to recent shifts toward renewable energy and declines in oil prices around the world.

On the other hand, the geothermal energy sector is booming, and geoscientists are among the most sought-after professions in the world today. To work in this industry, most people need a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Although, it could be pretty competitive to get into this field. This may be because geophysicists will have many relevant transferable skills and knowledge to enter this industry.

Should You Choose a Career in Energy?

After reading through this guide, you should have a much better idea of whether an energy career might be for you.

Many of the job roles we’ve looked at do require high levels of study. Yet, there are numerous rewards to gained from working in the energy sector, as we discussed. 

So, good luck with your future career prospects, and stay positive! 

At Goodwall, we provide a next-generation network for students and professionals to connect and find opportunities ranging from scholarships to jobs.

We understand how confusing it can be in figuring out your career pathway, so please consider letting us be the helping hand you need. If you have any questions or feedback on whether a career in energy is right for you, let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Related Read: 55+ Best Climate Change Quotes to Inspire Action for the Environment

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Goodwall Contributor
Written By Goodwall Contributor
This article was written by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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