Less than a decade ago, those who made a good living and those who were passionate about the planet were two very different kinds of people, unless they were lucky enough to be ultra-rich philanthropists. But today, the two can go hand in hand.
Some people still believe that renewable energy is something that will happen in the future, but others understand that it needs to happen right now. With the increasing percentage of people choosing to make more responsible decisions in their daily lives, the number of jobs in the sector has also increased. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics , the two fastest-growing occupations are solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine technicians, with growth rates of 63% and 57% respectively.
Careers in renewable energy: combining the compassionate and the lucrative
The green energy market has expanded huge amounts over the past decade. With fossil fuels depleting and a generation of people who bear the burden of climate change, it was almost guaranteed. Government and private funding of renewable energy are increasing, and with it, the number of jobs in renewable energy has gone up. Civil engineers for green energy companies are expected to see a growth of almost 11% by 2026.
So, if you’re considering a career change and are passionate about taking a job that aligns with your beliefs, why not get into renewable energy?
How do I get a job in renewable energy?
If you’re new to the idea of sustainable energy and would like to enter the field, you’re in luck. Renewable energy is a rapidly growing industry, and there are so many avenues to explore. Of course, you’ll need to decide what sort of role you’d like to go into, do some research and follow the path that most appeals to you.
What degree do I need to work with renewable energy?
The necessary education depends on which specific job you’d like to do and in which sector you’re looking to work. For example, engineers have bachelor’s degrees at the very least, and typically have a higher degree on top of that. A renewable energy consultant should have a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as renewable energy, sustainability, engineering, environmental management, or environmental science.
If you’re thinking of getting into farming or basic construction work, the requirements are purely experiential.
What are examples of energy careers?
Engineers: If you already have experience in this field, you’ll have an easier time getting into green energy engineering. What’s great about engineering is that it’s such a broad category of work. So whether you’re looking at mechanical, electrical, chemical, environmental, hydrological, or even aerospace engineering, you’ll have plenty to choose from. When it comes to renewable energy, you’re usually looking at environmental, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Engineers are also critical in the first stages of implementing new technology.
Solar Project Manager/Fabricator/Installer: Solar energy has a huge amount to offer when it comes to jobs. While solar energy is still on the up, it is showing great potential. Researchers have had increasing success in establishing solar power as a storable energy source, which means that entire communities’ lights could be solar-powered even if they do not have photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs. If you have some experience with electronics, mechanics or installation, a job in solar installation could be a great idea. A college degree isn’t necessary for this role but some level of experience is.
Renewable Energy Consultant: This role consists of carrying out energy surveys and audits and informing clients on sources of renewable energy, whether it’s wind, solar, marine, hydro, tidal, or bioenergy. A renewable energy consultant also analyzes technical data and figures out how much energy can be produced from a site. They provide clients in the public and private sectors with energy efficiency advice and complete environmental impact assessments for companies. Pay for this role depends on where you live, your level of experience and the size of the company you work for, but can be anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000.
Farmers: This job can be incredibly varied in what your output is. Traditionally, farmers produced fruits, vegetables and livestock to be consumed by other people. Today, this product is still being grown and reared, but a portion of it goes into cars. A farmer who can produce corn will likely be in high demand due to the growing demand for corn ethanol. Another attractive element of being a farmer is that you can use whole parts of your produce, including the refuse. For example, a farmer who rears dairy cows can use the manure to make biofuel. It’s the wide range of options that makes farming such a great option for those looking to work a “green” job.
Wind Farm Developer: The wind farm industry is expanding quickly, and with it comes a whole host of new job opportunities. Today, more than 120, 000 American workers have careers in the wind industry. Interestingly, the role of wind farm developer has proven to be extremely popular among U.S veterans. The U.S. wind industry employs veterans at a rate that is 61% higher than the national average, providing those who serve our country with employment opportunities after they return from active duty.
Financial Analysts for renewable energy companies. This role is expected to see a growth of 10.9% in the next six years and is ideal for those with experience in the financial sector, consulting, governmental and regulatory administration. The job is also well paid at an average annual salary of around $85,000, so is an option if you don’t want to do something hands-on.
Of course, there are many other careers in renewable energy, from green energy salespeople and green construction managers to operations analysts and software engineers. The demand for renewable energy is rising, and that means more work is available. Depending on your location, experience, and salary expectations, you can choose from a wide range of opportunities.
What renewable energy types offer careers?
Geothermal, water, wind and solar energy all offer exciting career opportunities. Whether you have experience as a mechanical engineer and want to shift your focus to something greener, or you’re an experienced salesperson, and you would like to sell something a little more sustainable, renewable energy is a great option.
Why do you want to work in renewable energy?
If you share our passion for providing clean, sustainable energy that will last, why not join our team here at Inspire? At the time of writing, we are currently hiring for a number of roles, including Director of Strategy and Business Operations, General Counsel to the Office of Inspire’s CEO, and a number of other exciting roles within the company that you can apply for or learn more about here!
Not only are we passionate about saving the planet, but we also believe in investing in our workers. Inspire offers flexible vacation and mental health days, medical, dental and vision plans, and our office spaces are open plan to encourage creativity and collaborative work.
At Inspire, we are curious about what more can be discovered and accomplished when we genuinely invest our time and energy into working on something important. We believe that renewable energy is vital to the conservation of our planet, and we want to make that energy clean, affordable, and easy to access.
If you want to work in a company that helps its teams to push the limits of possibility and is committed to driving positive environmental impact, reach out to us today or click on the links above to learn more about the positions available. We’d love to meet you! (See our current opportunities here.)
What is the fastest growing renewable energy?
Wind power is said to be the fastest-growing source of renewable energy. While solar power is also high up in the list of emerging renewable energy sources, it does rely on the sun. Because the wind blows throughout the day, it offers a more consistent resource than solar power, which is only available during daylight hours. In addition, offshore wind farming means that wind can be harnessed in windier coastal areas where no residential or farming areas are disturbed.
We have harnessed wind energy for hundreds of years, but it’s clear by looking at modern turbines that there have been significant technological advances, even over the last decade. Wind power is becoming increasingly popular as it creates no greenhouse gases, leaves the surrounding nature and wildlife relatively untouched and creates a huge amount of jobs across the U.S.
Choosing a career in sustainable energy can be extremely rewarding for those who wish to pursue a job that allows them to contribute to doing good for the planet. It can also be an amazing opportunity to learn about something entirely new. If you have a transferable skill set such as mechanics, biochemistry, finance, engineering, renewable energy might be the one for you. There is nothing more satisfying than having a job that clearly and unequivocally ties in with something you’re passionate about. So, why not do a little reading, research what you might be qualified for and start your career in the renewable energy sector today!