Career Tips

Is Energy Sector a Good Career Path?

Energy is an essential commodity that we all depend on for survival. So, if you are considering a career path in one of the most lucrative, profitable, and in-demand industries, the energy industry is one you should go for.

This article will help you with what you need to make an informed decision by outlining and discussing:

  • Various opportunities that are available in the energy sector
  • The demand for energy engineering professionals.
  • If energy is a career worth considering and pursuing in 2022
  • List of the Best Paying Jobs in the Energy sector.

Is Energy a Good Career Path?

Certainly yes. The energy industry comprises all industries directly or indirectly involved in the production and distribution of energy, including fuel extraction and refining.

There’s a long chain process in the making of energy a final product. From exploration and production down to refining, marketing, storage and transportation of oil and gas, coals, and biofuels. And down the pipeline, there are millions of jobs across the world, which means an endless opportunity for young professionals to pursue a career in energy.

You wouldn’t want to think twice when you understand what lies for you in this industry

The energy industry is not just an in-demand one, it is a constantly growing and evolving career field with lots of benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for flexible work
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Competitive package
  • Growth and personal development
  • Retirement plans

You are entitled to many other perks working as a professional in this sector.

Although there is a wide range of roles, as an energy engineer, your basic responsibility will be to discover new sources of energy, harness them and convert them efficiently.

Typically focusing on two main objectives: 

  • creating and developing new ways to create energy cleanly and efficiently.
  • reducing current energy consumption. 

What qualities you must possess are the ability to think, come up with great ideas to solve existing problems relating to power consumption and utilisation and optimize the workflows.

While the energy sector is a technically and highly specialized field reserved for professionals with postgraduate degrees in energy-related disciplines, it is not uncommon to find hundreds of people working in an energy company with bachelor’s degrees.

Some educational institutions run energy programmes that allow students to progress into the energy field without advanced qualifications.

Are Energy Engineers in Demand?

Climate change (global warming) has been on the increase and the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution explain most of the overall warming.

In order to slow down the rate of emissions, many countries are stepping up their clean energy protocols and investing in renewables such as solar, geothermal and wind energy. Thereby, creating additional job opportunities for energy engineers especially those who can’t fit in the non-renewables (oil and gas industry).

The recent innovation in technology such as clean energy production coupled with nano-technology has seen the prices of clean energy reduced; making it affordable for everyone. 

This has led to high demand in the market and created more jobs for energy professionals and engineers.

With the need for the storing and generation of clean energy, there is also the task of making existing energy systems more efficient.

Energy engineers are absolutely needed at every stage or cycle of energy production. 

For instance, in the oil and gas industry, oil rig engineering professionals are needed in the production and refining of oils.

The biggest employers of energy engineers are companies like Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, EON, British Gas and National Grid.

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Below is a list of popular and high paying companies in the energy sector:

Company nameTRBC industry group nameCountry or region of headquarters
Acea SpAMultiline UtilitiesItaly
Aker SolutionsOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesNorway
Amec Foster WheelerOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesUnited Kingdom
AnadarkoOil & GasUnited States of America
AndeavorOil & GasUnited States of America
AvangridMultiline UtilitiesUnited States of America
Bharat PetroleumOil & GasIndia
BPOil & GasUnited Kingdom
Cairn IndiaOil & GasIndia
Canadian Natural ResourcesOil & GasCanada
Chevron CorporationOil & GasUnited States of America
China Petroleum & Chemical (SINOPEC)Oil & GasChina
CMS EnergyMultiline UtilitiesUnited States of America
CNOOC LimitedOil & GasChina
ConocoPhillipsOil & GasUnited States of America
DCCOil & GasIreland; Republic of
E.ON SEMultiline UtilitiesGermany
EcopetrolOil & GasColombia
Électricité de FranceMultiline UtilitiesFrance
EnagásOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesSpain
Enbridge IncOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesCanada
EncanaOil & GasCanada
EngieMultiline UtilitiesFrance
EniOil & GasItaly
ExxonMobilOil & GasUnited States of America
Fairmount SantrolOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesUnited States of America
First SolarRenewable EnergyUnited States of America
Formosa Petrochemical CorporationOil & GasTaiwan
Galp EnergiaOil & GasPortugal
GazpromOil & GasRussia
Global Pvq SE i IRenewable EnergyGermany
Grupa LotosOil & GasPoland
Halliburton CompanyOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesUnited States of America
Hellenic PetroleumOil & GasGreece
HeraMultiline Utilities Italy
Hess CorporationOil & GasUnited States of America
Hindustan Petroleum CorporationOil & GasIndia
Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd.Oil & GasJapan
Indian Oil CorporationOil & GasIndia
Inpex CorporationOil & GasJapan
IRPCOil & GasThailand
JXTG HoldingsOil & GasJapan
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Oil & GasIndia
Marathon Oil CorporationOil & GasUnited States of America
Marathon Petroleum Corporation  Oil & GasUnited States of America
MOLOil & GasHungary
Motor Oil HellasOil & GasGreece
National GridMultiline UtilitiesUnited Kingdom
Neste OyjOil & GasFinland
NiSourceMultiline UtilitiesUnited States of America
LukoilOil & GasRussia
RosneftOil & GasRussia
Occidental Petroleum CorporationOil & GasUnited States of America
Oil and Natural Gas CorporationOil & GasIndia
Oil Refineries Ltd.Oil & GasIsrael
OMV AGOil & GasAustria
ØrstedMultiline UtilitiesDenmark
Pennon GroupMultiline UtilitiesUnited Kingdom
PetroChina Co., Ltd.  Oil & GasChina
PetrofacOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesJersey
PetronasOil & GasMalaysia
Phillips 66Oil & GasUnited States of America
PKN OrlenOil & GasPoland
PTTEPOil & GasThailand
PTT Public Company LimitedOil & GasThailand
Reliance IndustriesOil & GasIndia
RepsolOil & GasSpain
Royal Dutch ShellOil & GasNetherlands
RubisOil & GasFrance
RWEMultiline UtilitiesGermany
SaipemOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesItaly
SantosOil & GasAustralia
SarasOil & GasItaly
SasolOil & GasSouth Africa
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)Oil & GasSaudi Arabia
SchlumbergerOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesUnited States of America
Scorpio Tankers Inc.Oil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesMonaco
Sempra EnergyMultiline UtilitiesUnited States of America
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.Oil & GasJapan
Siemens Gamesa Renewable EnergyRenewable EnergySpain
SK Innovation Co., Ltd.Oil & GasKorea; Republic (S. Korea)
SnamOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesItaly
S-OilOil & GasKorea; Republic (S. Korea)
StatoilOil & GasNorway
Suncor EnergyOil & GasCanada
SunPowerRenewable EnergyUnited States of America
Técnicas ReunidasOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesSpain
TenarisOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesLuxembourg
Thai OilOil & GasThailand
TotalOil & GasFrance
TransCanadaOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesCanada
Tullow OilOil & GasUnited Kingdom
TuprasOil & GasTurkey
Ultrapar ParticipaçõesOil & GasBrazil
VallourecOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesFrance
VestasRenewable EnergyDenmark
Weatherford InternationalOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesSwitzerland
Woodside PetroleumOil & GasAustralia
WorleyParsonsOil & Gas Related Equipment and ServicesAustralia

These companies have the resources and have multiple ventures with many departments in various fields all over the world. And to keep the company running,  they need to employ engineers and other professionals including accounting specialists, medical practitioners and advisors, technicians and project managers to ensure every department functions optimally and projects get completed successfully.

Apart from private organisations, there are also energy-related job opportunities in the government departments. Many agencies of the government exist in overseeing mining and oil production activities, waste management and recycling and lots more.

What Are the Best Paying Jobs in Energy?

1. Drilling Operations Manager 

A drilling operation manager is a person who manages daily drilling activities, including production, and engineering operations for onshore and offshore projects from planning to execution of drilling projects.

Drilling operation managers also ensure the proper use and maintenance of site equipment. They also plan and develop revisions or enhancements to solve and troubleshoot drilling problems.

A Drilling Operations Manager requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering course. 

The average salary for a Drilling Operations Manager is $138,628.

2. Wind Farm Site Manager

Wind farm equipment needs a lot of maintenance and management.

Today, many people are investing in wind farm technology, especially large-scale, commercial farmers.

Basically, they are responsible for the daily operations of the wind plants including planning, logistics, and execution.

Wind farm site managers are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in management and/or business together with a few years of experience.

3. Green Construction Manager

Green construction management involves planning, budgeting and coordinating construction projects from beginning to end. They oversee the business side including the basics and the newer technology in modern green projects.

Green construction managers are paid on average $91,500 per year.

4. Geoscientists

In the energy sector, geophysicists and geologists work hand in hand throughout the production cycle of oil and gas, especially in the exploration stage.

The role of geoscientists is not limited to the oil and gas industry alone. The geothermal energy sector and mining are among the top industries where there is a high demand for geoscience experts.

To qualify for this role anywhere in the world you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in geoscience (geophysics or geology).

Geoscientists earned a median salary of $93,580 per year.

5. Civil Engineer

Civil engineering is widely applicable across all fields in the energy sector. 

Every energy and the electricity-generating firm requires the professional services of a certified Civil engineer in the planning, designing and building of new power plants.

Candidates applying for Civil engineering roles must have completed their bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

The best-Paying States for Civil Engineers

The states and districts that pay Civil Engineers the highest mean salary are California ($113,200), New York ($105,210), New Jersey ($100,690), Alaska ($100,160), and Oklahoma ($98,940).

California – $113,200

New York – $105,210

New Jersey – $100,690

Alaska — $100,160

Oklahoma – $98,940

6. Investment and Financial Analyst For Renewable Energy Companies

Financial advisors and analysts are among the highest paying jobs in the energy field. They may not be directly involved in the engineering processes, but when it comes to calculating returns from investments, marketing budgets and price forecasts, they are invaluable.

Every company whether in, the energy or non-energy sector is in business to make money.

Professional investment and financial analysts in the energy field would need to have obtained at least a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and some quality experience working in the same industry.

Financial analysts earn an average of $85,000 per year in the US (£62,000 per year in the UK).

7. Solar Project Developer,

The renewable energy industry is growing at a high rate. In the past decade, the world has seen an increase in the demand for solar project developers.

Small to large companies are investing massively in solar and wind energy including thermal energy after the developing nations reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As a solar project developer, you will be responsible for maximizing the efficiency in the implementation of detailed project plans, keeping track of goals, and organising tasks, resources, schedules, costs, and contingencies. And also keeping projects on time and on budget.

The average solar project manager’s salary in the USA is $100,000 per year or $51.28 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $70,000 per year.

8. Solar Power Plant Engineers

Solar power plant engineers handle the installation and operations of solar energy infrastructure. A big solar power plant requires the knowledge of mechanical and electrical engineering professionals to monitor and keep every component of the solar system running.

The base salary for Power Plant Operator I ranges from $54,055 to $76,891 with the average base salary of $63,285.

9. Renewable Energy Consultant

Renewable energy consultants oversee the installation of renewable energy systems. They work with different clients; investigating, understanding their goals, and factoring in their budgets in order to increase efficiency and reduce cost while mitigating environmental impact.

Ealy career Renewable Energy Consultants with 1-4 years of experience earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $56,000 per year.

While mid-career Renewable Energy Consultants with over 5 years of experience earn an average total compensation of $60,000 per year.

10. Scientific Researcher

The renewable energy industry is new and every project needs research for sustainability and efficiency of project implementation and deployments.

So, the solar energy industry demands for scientific researchers are at an all-time high.

The notable research field is the development of extremely efficient electric vehicle batteries and solar rechargeable home appliances.

Many of these research projects are conducted in universities and colleges across the globe where Master’s and PhD research students participate in the sustainability and improvement of renewable energy sources.

They get funding for their research from companies and possible employment opportunities after graduation.

The national average salary for a Scientific Researcher is $83,996 per year in the United States. 

11. Industrial Engineer

industrial engineer’s responsibilities include analysing operations, designing workflows and production processes, reducing inefficiency, and ensuring that all systems integrate well.

They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service. It is a department that many industries including the energy sector cannot do without.

The average annual wage of an industrial engineer is $92,660, according to the latest data from the BLS.

12. Solar Energy Software Developer

Software developers are on every day expanding their niche.

And now, even the production of solar energy relies heavily on software, which monitors, fine-tunes and measures the relevant equipment. 

They help with scalability and efficient use of resources while collecting relevant data with the help of software applications.

Prior experience in the development of industrial systems is vital to function in this role. 

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is a plus for any aspiring young professional looking to join this department in the energy sector.

Solar energy software developers earn on average $73,000 in the US (£53,250 in the UK).

13. Solar Energy Engineers and Technicians

Solar Energy Engineer is responsible for the designing, manufacturing and monitoring of Solar Power Plants. And the technicians are to install solar panels, do maintenance, electrical wiring, operate equipment and test the solar system’s components.

According to the BLS, solar energy technicians made a median annual salary of $46,470 in May 2020.

On the other hand, a Solar Energy Systems Engineer earn an average salary of $79,360 per year.

14. Chemical Engineers

Chemical Engineers can contribute to the development of energy production in many ways.

Some of the significant ways are:

  • renewable fuels and chemicals from wastes and biomass.
  • Production and treatment of specialised lubricants and fuels.
  • Chemical engineers can work on the flow and reactions of materials used in the build-up of the solar systems, and as such can contribute to many parts of the solar cell’s development.

The average salary for chemical engineers was $108,540 in May 2020 according to BLS The lowest 10 per cent earned less than $68,430, and the highest 10 per cent earned more than $168,960.

15. Wind Turbine Service Technician

Is energy sector a good career path? - ng job alerts

Apart from the solar power plant system, the wind turbine is also a good source of renewable energy where technicians work on the electrical installation plus any other aspect of wind turbine installation.

Wind turbine service technicians earn an average of $54,250 in the US (£39,750 in the UK).

16. Sales Representative

Sales representative’s job roles include:

  • analyzing customers’ requirements,
  • taking note of existing equipment,
  • be the main point of contact between the company, installer and customer. Sales representatives are paid on average $53,750 in the US (£39,250 in the UK).

17. Environmental Engineering Technician

The energy field is still constantly growing and changing, and technicians that can work very closely with engineers and analyse the impact of new facilities are highly sought after. The highest demand for new technicians is in hydro-energy and geothermal plants such as dams.

Environmental engineering technicians are paid on average $50,500 in the US (£37,000 in the UK).

18. Service Unit Operator

The oil and mining fields have let many workers like operators of construction equipment go in recent times, and to their advantage, they have been able to fulfill roles in the renewable energy field. Relevant experience in oil and mining is a big advantage and this can be a great chance to offer their skills to a role that benefits the environment.

Service unit operators are paid on average $46,250 in the US (£33,750 in the UK).

19. Environmental Science And Protection Technician

Environmental Science And Protection Technician laboratory work in the field – focusing on the impact that the installation and maintenance of renewable energy producing facilities have on the environment. 

They collect data, assess it, and monitor the pollution levels in the workplaces or homes and the likely effect that those installations might have on the workers and surrounding environment.

Environmental science and protection technicians earn an average of $46,250 per year in the US (£33,750 in the UK).

Other high paying jobs in the energy industry

20. Solar PV Installer

A solar photovoltaic (PV) installer simply assembles, set up, and maintains rooftop or other solar components that convert the energy in the sunlight into Solar PV 

The highest salary for a Solar Installer in the United States is $66,190 per year.

21. Solar Power Plant Construction Worker

Setting up a Solar Power Plant is not a man’s job or a day job. Depending on how large the plant is, construction workers’ services are important and needed if they must achieve their goals.

Construction workers are needed for the installation and operation of solar panels.

To qualify for this position, you must have skills in welding, scaffolding and building.

Solar power plant construction workers are paid on average $42,000 in the US (£31,000 in the UK).

22. Site Assessment specialist

A site assessments specialist is the first set of people to work on any project. This department falls under HSE

In order to work on these industrial or commercial projects, you must have at least a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Site Assessors are paid on average $40,000 in the US (£29,500 in the UK).

23. Roofers

are responsible for the installation of solar panels on the roofs of homes.

This doesn’t require a college degree but Candidates must have good experience in the construction industry.

Roofers are paid on average $40,000 in the US (£29,500 in the UK).

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