Is Energy a Good Career Path? [Complete Guide]

The term “energy sector” refers to a broad and all-encompassing network of businesses that are both directly and indirectly engaged in the production and distribution of the energy required to drive a nation’s economy and support its means of production and transportation.

Different forms of energy are used by companies in the energy sector. Energy providers are often divided into one of two groups according to where the energy they generate is sourced:

1. Non-Renewable

  • Petroleum products and oil
  • Natural gas
  • Gasoline
  • Diesel fuel
  • Heating oil
  • Nuclear
  • Coal

2. Renewable

  • Hydropower
  • Biofuels such as ethanol
  • Wind power
  • Solar power
  • Hydroelectric

Benefits Of A Career In The Energy Sector

1. Fast-Paced Work Environment

If you enjoy a fast-paced work environment and find learning to be an interesting and crucial aspect of your profession, then being an energy specialist is for you. It demands personnel who are continually learning and growing their expertise to keep up with the most recent industry advancements because the industry is evolving rapidly. Continuous learning is necessary for ongoing transformation.

2. Insatiable Need For Energy

The fact that there will always be a need for energy is another reason why you should work in this field. Energy is a crucial component of the way we live and work in the contemporary world.

3. Suitable For Innovative Minds

Working in the energy sector is never boring since there are constantly lofty goals to achieve and little time to spare. Innovation in the sector never stops, from solar panels and vertical gardens to electric automobiles and smart meters. Why not think about a career in green technology if you have a love for solving problems and a creative mind? You never know. You may invent the next breakthrough technology!

Careers In The Energy Sector

Energy is often used in several functions, whether through conservation, reduction, or replacement, to carry out everyday tasks. These professionals frequently use their investigative or problem-solving abilities to create solutions that will benefit the earth and the population as a whole. In this article, we examine popular energy job paths and the usual duties of each.

Energy-related careers entail employing sustainable resources to fulfill tasks and improve the environment. Many of these professions frequently employ cutting-edge technology to develop solutions for improving energy efficiency, reducing pollution, and saving energy. Many different jobs focus on energy conservation or the development of substitute solutions. Examples include producing renewable power, creating and manufacturing clean energy houses, and managing sustainable transportation.

1. Power Plant Operator

Average annual salary: $95,618

Operators of power plants perform a wide range of duties to guarantee the security of all operational electrical power equipment. Controlling various pieces of power generation equipment while they are in use, maintenance and repair procedures, checking meters, control boards, and gauges to make sure they meet operational requirements, and testing equipment pieces to make sure they comply with all regulations and adhere to proper safety maintenance protocols are some of their additional duties.

2. Nuclear Engineer

Average annual salary: $91,346

Nuclear engineers are in charge of nuclear reactor design, building, and operation. They are essential in creating new technologies that employ radioactive elements to diagnose illness or catch criminals.

Nuclear engineering fundamentals, mathematics, physics, and chemistry must all be thoroughly understood by nuclear engineers. They must be able to use this knowledge to find solutions to challenging issues about the production and security of nuclear energy.

To develop tools, methods, and procedures to utilize diverse radioactive materials for industrial and medicinal purposes, nuclear engineers engage in a variety of types of research. Writing operating manuals to be used in nuclear plant operations, performing studies to assess the efficacy of nuclear goods, and creating nuclear equipment like radiation shielding, reactor cores, or related instruments are just a few of their duties.

3. Mechanical Engineer

Average annual salary: $90,279

It is the responsibility of mechanical engineers to design, develop, and execute new products. They turn an idea into reality by using their understanding of physics, arithmetic, and engineering concepts to build devices or systems that adhere to strict specifications.

A mechanical engineer creates, develops, tests, and evaluates a variety of mechanical devices, such as robots, transportation equipment, and heating and cooling systems. Other important duties include carefully analyzing issues to identify how mechanical and thermal devices might assist in addressing specific issues; creating mechanical systems using computer-aided design tools, and looking into various equipment failures to offer accurate diagnoses.

4. Environmental Engineer

Annual average salary: $82,301

Common environmental problems like climate change, environmental sustainability, and clean drinking water are addressed by environmental engineers using ideas from engineering, biology, and soil science. They frequently create plans to enhance recycling, public health, and the management of air and water pollution. Drafting environmental investigation reports, initiatives to safeguard the environment, and perform quality-control checks based on data science.

5. Petroleum Engineer

Average annual salary: $75,189

Finding natural reservoirs with petroleum resources is the focus of petroleum engineers. They seek new sources of these priceless commodities using their expertise in geology, physics, and engineering.

Petroleum engineers could also work on the creation of new methods or technologies that aid businesses in increasing the amount of oil and gas they can take from already-existing wells. Additionally, they devote attention to creating ways of efficiently and effectively extracting petroleum. Reviewing geological formation data to build long-lasting extraction techniques, assessing fresh reservoirs to generate low-cost drilling strategies, and creating computer-simulated models to depict drilling apparatus and formations are additional tasks.

6. Industrial Engineer

Average annual salary: $74,228

It is the job of industrial engineers to make sure businesses run as effectively as possible. They accomplish this by researching various industries’ processes and looking for methods to make them better.

An industrial engineer creates production schedules and methods to assist businesses in saving waste, boosting productivity, and cutting expenses. They may also be in charge of creating control systems to reduce economic and environmental waste across the organization, analyzing production schedules for an organization and making recommendations, and developing facility layouts.

7. Chemist

Annual salary: $80,583

Chemists are researchers who focus on the structure, composition, and characteristics of matter. To comprehend how various elements, interact with one another, they use observation, experimentation, and analysis.

A chemist could focus on organic or physical chemistry as their area of specialization. While some pursue careers at the cutting edge of science, others use their expertise to create novel industrial processes or products.

Chemists conduct tests on several chemicals to examine quality control or to develop new goods. To keep goods safe for customers, many carefully check the chemical composition of various components often utilized in the manufacturing sector. Additional duties could include planning and providing guidance for standard test procedures, creating and improving goods, formulations, and analytical techniques, and working closely with scientists and engineers to interpret and carry out tests.

8. Geologist

Average annual salary: $67,177

Geologists research the rocks, minerals, and history of the planet. They are employed by several organizations, such as governments, oil firms, and colleges. Geologists might also work for themselves or as consultants.

A geologist carefully examines and investigates the earth’s composition, history, and processes. They use  this knowledge to comprehend the effects on the ecosystem and maintain its sustainability for both people and animals. Other duties can include coming up with novel ways to gather data and conduct research without harming the environment, doing experiments and surveys to examine different geophysical and geological phenomena, and giving environmental protection advice to governments and building firms.

9. Solar Panel Installer

Average annual salary: $62,663

Solar panel installation is a growing market as society seeks methods to reduce its environmental impact. The installation of solar panels on roofs or in other areas is the responsibility of solar panel installers.

Solar power is converted into energy by solar panel installers working with solar panels and other associated technologies. Their primary responsibilities often include mounting and installing panels on rooftops, maintaining solar panels and cables, and adhering to the necessary safety procedures to guarantee they properly install and remove each panel.

10. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Typical annual salary: $61,924

Nuclear power reactors are intricate devices that use the energy generated during nuclear fission to generate electricity. It takes a lot of highly skilled employees to run and maintain these systems constantly during the nuclear power generation process.

Operators of nuclear power reactors oversee and manage every element of the nuclear reaction inside their reactor. To ensure everything is operating well, they must continually check indications such as pressure, temperature, and others. If something goes wrong, they must act immediately to fix it before it results in harm or damage.

11. Water Treatment Specialist

Average annual salary: $61,089

The safety of the water we consume, bathe in, and use for various everyday activities is the responsibility of water treatment specialists. They frequently collaborate with public utilities or private businesses to evaluate the water’s purity, provide any required treatments, and ensure it satisfies all applicable criteria before dispensing it to customers.

It may also be necessary to consult water treatment experts to notify the public about water quality. It can involve delivering talks at educational institutions or civic gatherings on subjects like how to maintain a household water filtration system or how to spot indicators of tainted water sources.

12. Survey Technician

Average annual salary: $56,578

Data on the earth’s surface is gathered by survey technicians. They frequently measure and record data on landforms, topography, and other characteristics using tools like Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, total stations, and other surveying gear.

Technicians who conduct surveys may operate alone or in groups. They must be meticulous people who can appropriately evaluate intricate technical facts in both scenarios. To properly communicate their results to other members of their company, they also require good communication skills.

13. Electrician

average annual salary: $55,532

In both household and business settings, electricians are in charge of putting up, maintaining, and fixing electrical equipment. Circuit breakers, transformers, switches, wires, cables, and other devices are only a few of the many tools they use.

Electricians need to be able to read blueprints and diagrams to comprehend a building or structure’s plan before starting any installation or repair work. To recognize and address problems as they emerge, they also need to possess good problem-solving abilities.

14. Wind Turbine Technician

average annual salary: $48,810

Wind turbines are becoming more frequent on the horizon, but they’re more than aesthetic features. They offer a clean energy source that is becoming more significant as our reliance on fossil fuels wanes.

Technicians who work with wind turbines make sure that this enormous equipment runs correctly and safely. Their task is taxing, requiring them to ascend to heights of hundreds of feet while working in inclement weather.

15. Transmission System Operator

average annual salary: $44,810

The safe and effective delivery of energy to households and businesses is the responsibility of transmission system operators (TSOs). To ensure supply and demand are balanced, they keep an eye on the energy flowing via power lines and substations and make adjustments as needed.

The upkeep of hardware or software used to regulate the flow of power may also fall within the purview of transmission system operators. It encompasses anything from automatic switches that open and close passageways for energy to travel through to circuit breakers.

16. Welder

average annual salary: $38,877

A welder operates the equipment that creates or repairs different metal objects, such as tools, buildings, or equipment. Their primary responsibilities include planning layouts using blueprints, measurements, or drawings; welding beams, pipes, and other components; inspecting welded surfaces for faults or problems; and making repairs as needed.

Challenges In The Energy Sector

By examining the energy industry now, we can see several indications that future advancements in the sector will undergo a fast transition. Governments all around the globe enact laws to include sustainable energy sources and technology to allow for the effective use of energy systems.

1. Use Of Renewable Energy

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources has proved challenging. As renewable energy creates little to no harmful emissions, switching to it helps protect the environment. Utilizing renewable energy means drawing it from a consistent source in the environment, such as the sun, wind, or geothermal sources. The conversion of the source into power or fuels is the next crucial component. One of the changes in the energy sector is the variety of technologies available to address the many aspects of producing heat or power from renewable sources. It entails lowering the cost of building infrastructure for renewable energy sources and producing power more effectively.

2. Internet Of Energy

Electric power networks are built using a central design, which presents significant difficulties for the sector. The IoT provides better efficiency and optimal design for building energy systems while addressing a number of these issues. The Internet of Energy (IoE) uses energy exchanges among its users to create intelligent distributed control. The macro-energy system’s coordination and optimization are enhanced by this new energy-generating paradigm, which also creates a smart grid.

3. Energy Reserves

The generation levels offered by today’s technologies are adequate, but options for cost-effective energy storage are lacking. Energy storage ensures prices remain steady by actively controlling customer demand. Consumers may store up energy during favorable conditions by having the option to buy it for later consumption. In the future, this stored energy will aid in decreasing grid loads during peak hours, allowing consumers to make more money as energy prices rise.

4. Blockchain

It may be difficult to attain currently,  but with the help of blockchain technology, the whole energy sector will be integrated into a single, decentralized network. Smart contracts may be advantageous for traders, financial service providers, distribution network operators, electricity producers, meter operators, and meters. These agreements ensure that every energy-related transaction goes via a secure, unchangeable network, preventing possible losses. By making electricity more accessible to more people, blockchain can also bring about some degree of equity between energy producers and users.

5. Service-Based Energy

The EaaS model was developed to measure the benefits of increased energy efficiency. By switching to more energy-efficient technology, consumers can save money, although they frequently don’t do so because of a combination of market and behavioral problems that prohibit them from acting in their own best interests.

The incentives for utilities, customers, and society to minimize energy use are not aligned. Electric utilities have a little financial incentive to promote energy efficiency (unless mandated by government policy), although customers and society can frequently benefit from lower energy consumption. Instead, they are financially motivated to increase electricity sales to increase revenues.

6. Energy Resources From Various Sources

Distributed energy resources make it possible to produce heat or power where it is needed. The loss and expense of energy transmission are eliminated when there is no network. It suggests the existence of several customers who generate energy for their own purposes and then send any excess to the shared network. Small and medium power generation units function as distributed energy generators within the context of this idea. Additionally, it lowers the cost of producing energy and makes the most use of the capacity already in place.

Conclusion

There are various prospects for growth as the sector expands. Energy is another crucial economic area, and jobs in this industry may often remain highly secure even during recessions. Additionally, when searching for employment in energy, you should be aware of the following disadvantages: many occupations need specialized knowledge and training, and roles may be quite physically and emotionally draining. All in all, it is a career path worth taking.