Is Energy A Good Career Path?
Yes, energy is a good career path that is filled with a variety of careers that can offer long term stability and fair wages. There are positions for an energy career exist for those with degrees, and those that are focused on skilled trade careers.
Energy is a necessity in our daily lives and even as automation continues to grow and develop, there will always be a need for great workers to take part in the energy sector. There are so many ways we get energy – including from the oil and gas industry, solar power, wind power, natural gas, and fossil fuels.
If you are a student in high school, you should definitely speak to your parents and counselors to see if you are a good fit for this sector!
Below are a variety of the most common careers in the energy industry. Although we focus on profiling skilled trades, we have included other jobs as well – even if they do require a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
Why Consider A Career In The Energy Sector
If you are just starting your career path search, then working in the energy sector should definitely be high on your list. Not only is energy a good career path due to the stability but they offer some of the highest paying jobs and most diverse career paths.
Some other reasons you may want to consider energy career paths include:
Impact. There is not a lot of jobs that make as much of an impact on the world as energy. In the past some energy companies were not as concerned about the environment, but things are changing with concerns about global warming. With more energy coming from renewable sources, you have a chance to help make the world a better place and have a large selection of renewable energy jobs to choose from.
Travel. Energy is everywhere! No matter where you are in the world there are lights, phones, computers, and a need for power. If you want to work anywhere in the world, this is a career that will let you do that.
Stability. When the economy is not doing well, the chance of the energy industry being affected is less than many other careers. It is an industry that is needed, so layoffs or cuts are rare.
Income. As a whole, the energy sector pays much better than other industries. Even without a college degree there are opportunities for high paying jobs for skilled talent who is willing to work hard.
Growth. Demand is increasing in this area and the need for workers who want to grow is strong. Get in on the ground floor and you will find opportunities to grow and improve your earnings if you work for it, especially as renewable energy sources continue to grow.
Paths. The traditional energy sector can also open the doors to other paths like careers in the oil and gas industry, sustainable energy industry, renewable energy industry, or even in environmental science.
What Types Of Energy Sectors Are There
Energy is a very broad industry, and within it lies many other industries that you should consider.
- Oil and gas sector
- Nuclear power
- Renewable energy
Many of the jobs in the energy field do require a college degree, and some even require a Master’s degree – but there are still opportunities for those that prefer a trade career as well.
What Types Of Energy Industry Careers Exist?
There are a lot of career opportunities in the energy industry, and while many do require college degrees – there are also many that would be considered a skilled trade. Many of the opportunities are in the renewable energy industry as the world explores new avenues for energy that can help improve our natural resources.
Energy Careers That Are Skilled Trades
The careers below are all skilled trades that can you can look into that do not require college. Most do require additional training, trade school certification, or an apprenticeship so you should be prepared to invest some time for education and gaining of experience.
Average salary of $127,280
Drilling supervisors definitely fall under the category of skilled trade as an official degree is not required and experience is much more important. As a drilling supervisor you will be responsible for making sure the onsite drilling area is safe and functional. A few of the main responsibilities include understanding local regulations, developing a plan for implementation, controlling costs, and managing staff.
It is a well paying job that has opportunities around the world if you are looking for a travel opportunity.
Power Line Installers
Median salary of $68,030
We all see these workers around our neighborhoods. Power line installers are the people who handle the power lines that deliver electric to our homes and businesses. The job may require working high in the air or underground and they often will work in any weather conditions. The core responsibilities are installing, maintaining, and replacing power lines.
No degree is needed, but technical training and an apprenticeship are needed.
Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Median salary of $46,470
Solar panels are only going to grow in popularity and the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows jobs as solar PV installers growing a whopping 52% through 2030. Day-to-day solar PV installer will be responsible for the setup, maintenance, and installation of systems that change sunlight into energy. You may work outside, indoors, or even on construction projects with this job. Solar farms are another opportunity for those that choose to work as solar installers.
Solar Power Plant Operator
Median salary of $89,090
Job decline of 14% through 2030
This is a job that not that many even know exist! A solar power plant operator will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the equipment that creates energy from solar power. On a daily basis you may be responsible for troubleshooting and repairing issues and ensuring all safety protocols are in place. In larger power plants there may be several operators on duty to ensure all is running safely.
This job does not always require a degree, but it is highly recommended. A minimum of vocational training will be needed to ensure you have the required aptitude. Many power plant operators do also receive on the job training. This career is showing a decrease in need because many plants are becoming more automated and self-sufficient which require less human man power.
Wind Turbine Technician
Median salary of $56,230
Job growth of 68% through 2030
Working on wind turbines as a wind turbine technician is a great way to help the earth – and you can get paid very well to do it. Of course, you should like heights since wind turbines can be several hundred feet high. More of our energy reserves come from wind energy each year, so there is so much growth in this sector of energy.
Wind turbine technicians are one of the fastest-growing jobs and do require some vocational training, but in just a short time you can start an amazing career that is filled with growth and opportunity.
Energy Careers That Require A Degree
The jobs below do require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, with several requiring even further education.
Bachelor’s degree required, many often have Master’s degrees
Median salary of engineers is over $95,000
Energy engineering is an in-demand career in the energy sector. This can include civil engineers, electrical engineers, industrial engineers, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, just to name a few. Energy engineers will be a part of the process by ensuring that energy is being processed in the most efficient ways. This can include auditing energy production and making sure all environmental impacts are minimal and in line with local requirements.
Renewable Energy Consultant
Median salary of $43,595
A great opportunity for those that prefer to work alone and have control of their schedule. Working as a renewable energy consultant means you will work with different companies and organizations to help them design and implement renewable energy systems.
While many energy consultants work on their own, you can also work for a company that provides these services. This is definitely a career that will require advanced education and qualifications in renewable energy management.
Solar Energy Software Developer
College degree required
Median salary of $99,195
College is highly recommended for this one as it requires a lot of computer science knowledge. This is one of the higher-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector. In this job, you will be responsible for making sure the software that solar energy technicians and workers use to measure and adjust solar equipment. Having a background or interest in industrial systems can be a great asset.
Solar Project Developer
College degree required, Master’s Degree recommended
Median salary of $105,060
Solar project developers (sometimes also called solar engineers) are critical to making sure that solar energy systems are developed properly. They are typically the main contact for all aspects of solar project development which might include land procurement, budgeting, financing, and construction management. You may work closely with other team members including green construction managers. An advanced degree is usually required with many even acquiring a master’s degree.
Wind Farm Site Manager
College degree is highly recommended
Average salary is $58,680 annually
Wind farms are growing in use as a source of renewable energy which means a lot more people will be needed to manage them. Wind farm site managers would be responsible for making sure the wind farm is operational and working and will work with various staff members to deal with any issues.
While this specific career does typically require a college degree, you can consider working as a wind turbine technician which is one of our most recommended trades.
Power generation is another phrase that is sometimes used when describing what technology is being used to create electricity. This can include wind turbines, steam boilers, or other electricity making technologies that are out there.
Power generation is a good career path with other opportunities that can help us get our energy!
The above profiles are just a small part of all the career paths you can take within the energy sector. Below are a few more jobs that are often available in energy:
- Financial analysts
- Sales representatives
- Scientific researchers
- Customer service
- Information technology
There is clearly something for everyone in the energy industry.
So, we hope at this point you are no longer wonder “is energy a good career path”! The energy sector is definitely a good career path to consider. With the global energy landscape changing so so quickly and an increase in wind energy, energy efficiency and the quest to use less fossil fuels, there will be many new opportunities in the coming years.
If you have a passion for helping to make the world a better place, want a stable career path, and are open to learning and working hard – the energy sector is a great place to be.