Renewable Energy Careers: A Growing Workforce
A career in renewable energy gives you the opportunity to contribute to the production of clean energy sources that will help to keep our planet and people safe in the future. Renewable energy focuses on improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. With climate change being a main topic across the world, jobs in renewable energy are popping up in all industries.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is energy from sources that are naturally replenishing. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, they are “inexhaustible in duration, but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time.” When electricity is supplied by wind or solar energy, it replaces the energy produced by natural gas or coal, which helps reduce emissions. All over the world, companies, organizations, and individuals are turning to renewable energy rather than to natural gas or coal.
Renewable Energy Common Career Paths
You can find jobs in renewable energy in many different industries and at many different levels. Information on some of the most popular career paths, shown below, was reported from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most jobs require at least some college and on-the-job training. However, several jobs also require a four-year degree or more for entry-level positions, as well as to move into leadership roles. At Excelsior College, you can earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in different fields that can help prepare you for a career in renewable energy.
Engineering Project Manager
Industry: Environmental engineering, manufacturing, construction
What they do: Engineering project managers coordinate, plan, direct, and manage the development of new products and projects within a particular firm.
Average Annual Salary: $149,500
Job Outlook: Employment opportunities are expected to grow three percent by 2029.
Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians
Industry: Environmental protection, engineering
What they do: Environmental engineering technologists and technicians set up, test, operate, and modify equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution. They are responsible for analyzing samples and maintaining project records to report back to the engineers.
Average Annual Salary: $51,630
Job Outlook: Employment opportunities are expected to grow seven percent by 2029.
Industry: Green construction, construction, environmental protection
What they do: Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects. They oversee all aspects of the construction process including other people working on the project.
Average Annual Salary: $97,180
Job Outlook: Employment opportunities are expected to grow eight percent by 2029.
Wind Turbine Technicians
Industry: Renewable energy, environmental protection
What they do: Wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.
Average Annual Salary: $56,230
Job Outlook: Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 61 percent by 2029. This increase is so large due to the reduced cost of wind power generation, making it more competitive with coal, natural gas, and other forms of power generation.