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Fastest Growing Jobs in the Renewable Energy Industry

There are a wide variety of professions available in the renewable energy industry. This article will help you to find your dream job in this industry.

Renewable energy is one of the most innovative and fast-growing industries currently. Finding a career in this industry may not be easy but it is definitely not as hard as it was one or two decades ago.

More people, particularly in the energy sector are trying to maximize their odds by incorporating courses that also cater to the renewable or clean energy sector.

A report done recently on jobs and the economy by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed that by end of 2017, the renewable energy sector created more than 500,000 new jobs. This was an increase of 5.3% from the previous year. The total number of people employed in the sector (comprising those in hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million worldwide, finally exceeding the 10 million figure. This was according to the 5th edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs-Annual Review which was presented at IRENA’s 15th Council on May 8, 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

This post will be looking at a few of the many career areas the renewable energy sector offers.

Engineering

Engineering is a more generalized term that encompasses a broad spectrum of job titles. There are three main spectrums which are then allocated the numerous job titles that we shall enumerate here. These three areas are in mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering. From here we get the different job areas of specialization which include and not limited to:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuel
  • Clean Tech
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
  • Hydro Dam Jobs
  • Hydro Electric Jobs

Engineering has a major role to play when implementing new technology or shifting the purpose of old technology in the renewable energy sector.

Engineers are responsible for installation and maintenance of most if not all physical technologies in hydroelectric, solar and wind sources of clean energy.

Engineers go further to plan and design ways of storing and distributing the energy sourced from these renewable sources. Let’s just say an engineer is responsible for you enjoying a hot shower this morning!

Engineering in the renewable energy sector offers infinite opportunities in green-energy applications and specialties. This makes engineering a top job for a multitude of talents and interests. Engineering is a career path which is quite customizable and adaptable.

Another aspect that draws more people to be engineers in the renewable energy sector is the competitive remuneration package. According to Simply Hired, (Website that offers salary estimations for different job titles) engineers are able to earn an average of $66,000. The number is usually high depending on your specialty. Some specialties can easily earn you six figures. This will come in handy when paying for your student loans.

Most engineering jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and some may require advanced degrees. Although engineering in the renewable energy sector is not a quick-entry career, it can offer a great, long-lasting and versatile prospect.

Solar Fabricator/Installer

With the increased demand for PV-laden roofs where entire community developments are incorporating solar panels, a career in solar-panel fabrication and installation is very promising. Most developments coming up, especially in sunny locations, prefer to install solar panels to cater for water and pool heating. This is inarguably cost-efficient compared to using power from the grid to heat up an entire pool.

Engineers continue to develop new technologies that will finally push PV systems to breaking-even as a source of 100% power for home use. Solar water heating is actually a standard practice around America and in other developed countries such as Israel. In order to become a solar fabricator or installer, having a mechanical, electrical or constriction background is a great start. Fabricators and installers ought not to have a college degree but a certificate in solar installation can go a long way in securing you that contract. Most fabricators and installers earn an hourly wage that can range from $15 to $20. This mainly depends on experience and certification according to JobMonkey.

According to PayScale, manufacture, and distribution of solar panels can be able to earn you anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 annually.

For those who don’t have acrophobia, a career in solar power will earn you fair pay. The Solar power industry continues to mushroom as a significant segment of the renewable energy industry.

Some other job titles in the solar power career segment include:

  • Solar Energy Electrician
  • Solar Power plant operators
  • PV Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Wind-farm Developer

According to BP, wind power generation grew by more than 17% in 2017 to attain 1120 TWh (Terawatt hours). This is 4.4% of total world electricity generation; this is more than the total power generation of most developed nations according to the report. China was leading in wind power production last year, recording a growth of 21% and contributing 30% of total global growth in wind power generation. Career opportunities in Wind energy are infinite. Wind farms are made up of many huge turbines connected to very high poles erected in areas with adequate wind blowing constantly. The wind farms have been growing in the last decade spreading around many developed and even developing countries. Off-shore wind farms have been very successful thus encouraging even further growth in the industry.

Those who have the ability, resources, and determination to create such huge projects from the ground up will definitely rip the rewards in the renewable energy market of today. This endeavor will present a few very challenging obstacles in terms of securing land, legal permissions and government regulations. However, all this will be worth your while as wind-farm development is quite lucrative for people with enough drive to get it done. More and more large utility companies are currently expressing interest in clean energy which is very good for wind-farm developers.

Although wind power has a long way to go for it to compete with other fossil forms of power generation, many developers find it fulfilling to contribute to cleaning up the electrical grid. For forward minded individuals, wind energy is the best bet; the profits don’t hurt, either.

AWEA’s will help you to disseminate the steps involved setting up your own plant through their 10 Steps in Building a Wind Farm.

Wind-turbine Fabricator, Installer, Operator

As the wind power industry continues to expand and grow so does its need for a workforce. Wind-farms require workers to set up, service and maintain turbines, operate the turbines and supply the energy generated from the turbines.

Wind energy production is a tremendously growing prospect, fabricators, installers, and operators are all technical aspects required in the farms. Pay scales in this segment rages widely as do with solar. They also depend on experience and specialty. Most of the time the pay is reflective of how much-skilled construction workers get.

Wind energy being the most realistic alternative in the renewable energy industry, most governments in the 21st century are very enthusiastic.

The bigger the wind farm, the more job opportunities present in every stage of development: building and installing turbines, putting up the power distribution, servicing the structures when they break down etc.

Having an occupational background or experience in construction, mechanical and electrical work, and heavy machinery is a definite plus for someone eager to get employment as a fabricator, or installer. Your background and experience will also be used as a base for determining how much you will be earning.

The renewable sector offers so much in terms of career opportunities. Green energy is huge in most developed economies, and unless fossil fuels suddenly become limitless and good for the environment, the renewable energy industry is only going to be bigger. This can only mean careers in the renewable energy industry will definitely increase.

In a nutshell, there’s reliable work to be found in clean energy generation.

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