The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing industries internationally, and for those who really want their careers to provide the chance for them to make a positive impact on the world. For example, pursuing a sustainability consultant job in this sector can be massively rewarding. Besides the benefits for the environment, the renewable energy sector has the potential to alleviate poverty in developing nations by providing cheap, clean energy and creating jobs too. In the US alone, jobs in wind and solar power are growing at an estimated rate 12 times that of the economy itself!
And even if you don’t have a natural aptitude for math and science, there are some surprising fields of study that can provide an inroad to working in the industry. Let’s take a look at a few of the options, what kind of positions you might be able to fill, and how to get there!
At Secondary School Level
The most obvious pathways into the renewable energy sector are those related to science and engineering, so if you enjoy math and science, then it’s a good idea to make sure you’re taking these subjects at the higher grade level. This will allow you to pursue a relevant undergraduate course later on.
But if you’re not good at math – fear not! There are other career paths you can follow that will allow you to find a job in renewables too. Many universities and colleges offer MBAs in Sustainability, which you can pursue after completing a standard BA degree.
If you’re still at high school, then getting in touch with the student advisors at your local universities and colleges now and discussing your options is a great idea, especially if you’re at the stage where you need to decide on your final secondary school subjects.
Even if you’re not academically inclined or you simply prefer a more hands-on approach to things, there are an increasing number of trade schools and technical colleges that offer courses towards becoming a solar installation technician, wind turbine technician, and in related trades. Even better, there’s an ever-increasing demand for these kinds of technicians, so it’s definitely worth pursuing!
Putting together a renewable energy project, whether it’s making use of biofuels, taking advantage of the home energy tax, geothermal, wind or solar energy, requires people with a huge range of talents and skills. Here are just a few of the more traditional roles:
• Electrical engineers
• Structural engineers
• Project managers and planners
Increasingly however, these projects also require skills from less obvious professions such as:
• Business developers
• Communications professionals
• Carbon Finance professionals and accountants
• Sustainable building experts
• Data scientists
• Machine learning experts
• Big data analysts, to name but a few
Whatever your skill set and current qualifications are, it’s worth getting in touch with the best engineering recruitment agencies in your region and letting them know you’re particularly interested in any position that come up in the renewable energy sector. Once you have some working experience in the field, it becomes easier and easier to find even more rewarding positions that let you make a real difference.
At Tertiary School Level
More and more universities have dedicated renewable energy science departments. UPES and TERI University in India, Stanford, Oregon Tech and UT Austin in the USA, Oxford, Imperial College London, and the University of Leeds in the UK, the University of New South Wales, University of Newcastle and the University of Adelaide in Australia, Carleton University and the University of Alberta in Canada, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, The University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Aalborg University in Denmark are just a few examples.
Even more universities offer dedicated postgraduate degrees in the field, such as an MSc in Carbon Finance, Applied Carbon Management or Renewable Energy Management, MBAs in Energy and Clean Technology, Sustainable Energy Technologies and Management, and Renewable Energy and Environmental Management.
Examples Of The Fastest Growing Jobs In Renewable Energy
Can you guess what the fastest growing occupation in the whole of the USA is? We’re delighted to say that the honor goes to: Wind Turbine Technicians. In an economy where jobs are increasingly harder to come by, choosing a career in renewables is a no-brainer. Some of the other fastest growing jobs in renewable energy include: Clean Car Engineers, Sustainability Professionals, Solar Installers, and Sustainable Builders.
If you’re passionate about the environment and want the work you do to make a meaningful contribution to the world around you, then pursuing a career in the renewable energy sector is definitely one of your best options – whatever your unique skills and talents are.