With new technological advancements, the energy sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. Since one cannot possibly imagine life without energy, it’s also a critical field that naturally comes with a ton of employment opportunities. So, if you’re wondering if energy is a good career path, then the answer’s a resounding yes. However, in this article, we’ll be substantiating the answer to the question “is energy a good career path?” We’ll also explore the different employment opportunities that this field presents.
Firstly, here are some of the reasons why a career in the energy industry is a great idea.
Why is energy a good career path?
Now, the reasons why a person chooses a certain career path vary greatly from one individual to another. While one might go behind fat paychecks and other monetary benefits, another might be looking for job satisfaction, a feeling that whatever they’re doing is genuinely contributing to making the world a better place. So, it’s important that you decide on which of these matters to you the most while picking a career path.
But, in broader terms, let’s try to answer the question, “Is Energy a good career path?”. The reasons for us wholeheartedly saying yes are multifold. Some of the major reasons for the energy sector being a good career path are:
1) Diverse career paths
2) Opportunities to work in other countries
3) Dynamic work culture
4) A chance to actually make a difference
Diverse career paths
The good thing about a career in energy is that there’s a number of sub-industries to choose from. From the oil and gas industry to renewable energy like solar, wind, and geothermal, the possibilities are endless. This diversity spills over to the employment opportunities for prospective students.
While there are a couple of big names in the industry like Alinta Energy, a lot of startups are starting to pop up. The Energy sector sees various small-scale and large-scale industries working together seamlessly. This is yet another factor that needs to be considered while making a life-changing decision like picking a career path.
Opportunities to work in other countries
It’s a continuing trend that youngsters today like to work in different countries. If you’re looking for a job that lets you travel the world, then the Energy sector might be the right fit for you. Since energy is omnipresent and every country across the globe has industries of its own, there’s bound to be a chance for you to work on a project involving an international client.
Surveys have also discovered that this sector is popular among those interested in an active lifestyle. The jobs in this sector will include you getting down and dirty.
Dynamic work culture
Across the globe, the work culture is changing for the better. Today, there are more discussions regarding diversity and inclusion. With a job in the Energy sector, you get to be at the forefront of this change. While there’s still room for improvement, this sector is significantly better than other industries when it comes to embracing this change. So, if you’re someone who values these traits, then this career path might be the right pick for you.
A chance to actually make a difference
With the ever-changing geopolitical landscape, a large number of degree holders are looking for an employment opportunity that allows them to make a difference in how the world functions. This is the section of people that prioritize job satisfaction over hefty paychecks.
With the population climbing steadily, we run into the risk of exhausting the available energy reserves. So, the Energy sector is in need of a workforce that can think of new innovations to ensure that our future generations get to enjoy the luxuries we take for granted today. If you’re someone who’s fiercely committed to the fight against global warming and climate change, then there’s no denying that this is the perfect career path for you.
Career Opportunites in the Energy industry: List of high-paying jobs
According to the Statista Energy report, employees in the oil and gas sector are the highest-paid employees in the energy industry. In 2020, employees of the oil and gas sector in the North American region got an average annual salary of $98,614 and $59,916 in the Middle East. Renewable energy sector employees turned out to be the lowest-paid with an average annual salary of $74,708 in North America and $48,225 in the Middle East.
If the question “Is Energy a good career path?” is still ringing around in your ears, this comprehensive list should help you conclusively answer that question. It covers all the highest paying jobs within the Energy sector. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1) Drilling supervisor
The first job on the list is that of a drilling supervisor. A drilling supervisor overlooks the operations of oil rigs in drill operations. They ensure that operations run smoothly and there don’t run into any unforeseen difficulties. A drilling supervisor is an essential cog in the wheel as they ensure that projects get completed on time.
Unlike other ones on this list, a bachelor’s degree is not mandatory. However, a basic degree in mechanical engineering can still come in handy. Ultimately though, it’s the experience and the ability to lead a crew that becomes the differentiating factor. Drilling supervisors earn up to $148,500 on average every year in the States. Do remember these figures may be subject to change and varies from one country to another.
2) Wind Farm Site Manager
We switch over to renewable sources sub-industry for this entry. Contrary to popular belief, it takes a lot of manpower to manage a wind farm. This necessitates the presence of a manager to oversee operations. Fortunately, this is where Wind Farm Site Managers come into the picture. They’re expected to look into the daily workings of the farm and ensure that there are no shortcomings with regard to the functioning of the wind farm.
Wind Farm Site Managers are usually graduates who hold a Bachelor’s degree. Managerial skills and prior experience are appreciated. They’re usually paid a sum of $ 105,000 on an average in the States and £76,725 in the UK. Are you still asking yourself the question “Is Energy a good career path?”
3) Wind Turbine Service Technician
With the number of wind farms growing, there’s naturally a requirement for qualified technicians for the regular upkeep of wind turbines. This job will need one to have an extensive background in construction, installation, and servicing of wind turbines. Their salaries are around $54,250 in the US and £39,750 in the UK.
4) Green Construction Manager
Sticking with alternate sources of energy, this job requires an individual to plan construction projects and coordinate with the respective firms to ensure that they proceed to completion without any difficulties. The projects offered to them may include either constructing green offices buildings from scratch or retrofitting older buildings to today’s standards. Educational qualifications aren’t really of much value here. Managerial skills and work experience take precedence. Green Construction Managers end up earning $91,500 on average in the States and £67,250 in the UK.
The search for alternate forms of energy is intensifying, and the geothermal energy sector is experiencing a surge in interest; geoscientists are currently in a lot of demand. They constitute one of the most highly sought-after sections of academics today. A bachelor’s or a master’s degree should suffice in most cases. Geoscientists are paid up to $91,000 in the States.
This would be a great opportunity for anyone interested in the field and is dedicated to the cause of protecting the environment from imminent destruction caused by the extensive use of non-renewable sources of energy like oil and gas.
6) Civil engineers
With the demand for power increasing every day, there’s a need to build more and more energy plants. This means the demand for quality civil engineers to oversee their construction is increasing dramatically. The only prerequisites required for this job include a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and prior experience of working on mega construction projects. Their salaries are in the ballpark of $86,500 in the States and £63,000 in the United Kingdom.
7) Solar Project Developers
We go back to the alternate energy sub-industry for this entry. A number of small, medium and large-scale industries are starting to get involved in this space. So naturally, there’s a growing need for Solar Project Developers who work on developing a plan for solar power plants. The construction of a new power plant requires the effort of individuals spread across different sectors like law, engineering, and finance. Solar Project Developers run point on this operation and are constantly in touch with all the stakeholders. They end up earning a sum of $84,00 in the States and £61,500 in the UK.
8) Solar Power Plant Operator
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the developer and their team of workers, a solar power plant has been successfully constructed. But, it will need someone for its regular maintenance and to ensure that it is working optimally. This is where a solar power plant operator will come in handy. Sometimes, larger plants may need multiple operators to be working together simultaneously to keep it running the way it is intended to. Operators are ideally expected to have a background in mechanical or electrical engineering. They’re paid a sum of $83,000 on an average in the US and £60,500 in the UK.
9) Solar Energy Software Developer
We may have a solar power plant on our hands, but it needs to run on some sort of precise software. It’s this software that would help monitor the working of the plant and make fine adjustments when the need arises. Software engineers with a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences who’ve previously worked with industrial systems are preferred for this job. Their salary is generally around $73,000 in the States. The same job description would fetch you around £53,250 in the UK.
10) Solar Energy Technician
Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the functioning of a newly built power plant. It’s the responsibility of these technicians to monitor if everything’s in order. Other than working on larger power plants, Solar Energy Technicians also end up working on projects of a smaller scale like residential homes. More than educational qualifications, it’s the work experience that matters in a profession like this. Background in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is a must for this job. It’s one of the highest-paying jobs that you can apply for without possessing a bachelor’s degree. Salaries vary from $72,000 in the States to £52,500 in the UK.
11) Solar PV Installer
Installing solar panels in your home might sound like a simple task, but in reality, it’s more complicated than it looks. So, a resident who’d like to switch to solar energy will need to hire the services of a Solar PV Installer. This job seems to be experiencing a surge in demand as more and more houses are shifting to alternate forms of energy. The tax rebates offered by certain governments are likely to have led to this trend. Applicants will need to have experience with HVAC installations. They might also additionally go through training programs before starting work. Solar PV installers earn $42,750 on average in the US and £31,500 in the UK.
Roofers, more or less do the same work as a Solar PV Installer but tend to stick to projects of a smaller scale, like the installation of solar panels on a rooftop of residential homes. A basic degree isn’t really a necessity for this job. Firms do look for work experience before hiring. Their salary is generally lesser than that of a Solar PV Installer. The figure’s $40,000 as opposed to $42,500 in the earlier case.
14) Service Unit Operator
Service Operators, by definition, don’t really continue to work anymore. This change is largely due to the oil and gas industry becoming obsolete. But, to their merit, these professionals can quickly adapt to work in the alternate energy field as well. They can put their experience working in the oil industry to good use and contribute to making the world a better place to live in. They are paid a sum of $46,250 on average in the States.
15) Site Assessors
The work of a Site Assessor comes prior to the beginning of the construction of a power plant of any sort. They are tasked with the crucial responsibility of identifying the proper site for the construction of a new plant by analyzing the scale of the project and estimating the cost of systems. Site Assessors tend to have a background in electrical engineering or construction. On average, they end up earning $40,000 in the States and £29,500 in the UK.
While it might sound like a weird proposition, the oil and gas industry does employ chemists. They use their background in chemical and material sciences to come up with lubricants and fuels. Nowadays, they are being roped in by the alternate energy sector to aid in the development of highly efficient biofuels. Only those individuals with an advanced degree in chemical sciences can apply. Chemists are paid up to $70,000 on average.
17) Sales representatives
Like every other business out there, the Energy sector will need to have a dedicated Sales team as well. But, unlike in other sectors, sales representatives will need to be highly informed and knowledgeable about the sub-industry they’re working in. This knowledge is mandatory since they’re the only link between the company and its customers.
A sales representative will need to be quick on their feet as they only get minutes to analyze the needs of the customers and recommend the right services accordingly. Past experience of working in a similar firm can prove to be extremely useful. Sales reps usually end up earning $53,750 on average.
18) Scientific Researcher
There’s a lot of advancement happening in the field of renewable energy, particularly solar energy. Scientific researchers are the ones that have played a major role in this positive trend. This might be the job for you if you hold a Master’s degree in advanced sciences are committed to the cause of fighting against global warming and climate change. $77,000 is the average salary of Scientific Researchers. On average, they’re paid a sum of $77,000.
19) Renewable Energy Consultant
Renewable Energy Consultants are responsible for identifying the demands of prospective clients and suggesting the most viable source of energy to satisfy their demands. Candidates well-versed in renewable energy management are preferred for this job. Excellent communication skills are also a must. They’re paid an average salary of $82,500 in the US and £60,250 in the UK.
20) Environmental Science and Protection Technician
These technicians are an essential cog in the wheel as they monitor the effects of the construction and installation of newer power plants on the environment. They keep an eye on the pollution levels in the workplace and the possible detrimental effects it could have on workers. It’s a meaningful job to have as they’re single-handedly responsible for the welfare of the workforce. Candidates will need to possess a degree in environmental engineering. Environmental Science and Protection Technicians are paid an average salary of $46,250 in the US and £33,750 in the UK.
21) Financial Analysts
The entirety of the renewable energy sub-industry is still trying to find its footing. Since there’s no blueprint to go by and that it’s a relatively new business, management personnel may struggle to make some important financial decisions.
To lessen their burden and to improve the quality of their decision-making, a number of startups end up hiring financial analysts. They’re able to use their expertise to calculate the return of investment on a new offering, estimate the cost of running a power plant, and market the services offered by the firm to improve their brand awareness. Financial analysts are required to possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree along with prior experience of working in a similar firm. Their salaries tend to be in the ballpark of $85,000 on an average.
We hope that we’ve answered the question “Is Energy a good career path” sufficiently. The Energy sector is currently booming, and as shown on the list listed above, the employment opportunities are endless. There are additional benefits in the form of chances to work abroad, an opportunity to be at the forefront of conversations regarding diversity in the workplace, and the chance to leave a lasting impact on the planet we live in when you choose a career in energy.
But, do remember to take your time when picking a possible career path. This isn’t a regular job we’re talking about, it’s an actual career path. You’re likely to be spending a considerable amount of your adult life working in the field you choose to work in. Your skills and interests should ideally take precedence over the number of high-paying jobs within that field. Set your priorities right and decide for yourself if you value job satisfaction over hefty paychecks. Once you’ve done enough introspecting, list down the pros and cons and make an informed choice regarding the career you want to take up in your life.