Jobs in renewable energy are increasingly being sought after by people looking to either start a career in energy or shift from one segment of the energy industry to another.
Our research into the best paying jobs in energy revealed that while jobs in oil and gas still hold the highest pay on average, renewable energy jobs are increasingly seen as more stable and desirable.
Jobs in renewable energy have a few things going for them, not only relative to other industries, but relative to oil and gas as well.
Better Than Average Pay
While there is certainly variation across industry segments, jobs in energy pay better than average – and that includes renewable energy jobs.
The GETI 2022 Global Energy Talent Index Report showed that all energy segments outperformed median pay across the economy.
We can’t recommend it strongly enough to read through the complete GETI report, which you can download here. It’s a great resource to aid in your career decision.
You just can’t go wrong with a career in energy as far as pay goes!
Job Stability in Renewable Energy
The difference with renewable energy jobs versus those in oil and gas is job stability.
Most renewable energy jobs are related to electricity generation. This segment of the energy industry is intrinsically less prone to boom and bust cycles like oil and gas (especially upstream operations).
Additionally, long-term trends are in support of a consistent growth and investment in renewable energy for decades to come.
A career in renewable energy is not fighting these trends. Billions of dollars are being diverted into building out renewable energy capacity and the jobs in this sector will ride this wave of investment for decades to come.
Renewable Energy Jobs Are Everywhere
Jobs in energy are everywhere. The global energy system relies on markets being linked to supply.
However, there are certainly clusters that have traditionally been the preferred location for energy sector jobs when related to oil and gas consumption and refining.
Renewable energy jobs are shifting some of these locations and are becoming almost ubiquitous within the economic landscape.
This means that pursuing a career in renewable energy won’t necessarily require relocating to Houston or the Permian Basin.
In fact, one subset of renewable energy jobs, those in energy efficiency in particular, were found in almost every county in the US. Meaning, building a career in this field would mean there are jobs practically everywhere in the country.
This freedom of movement, or ability not to move, comes with distinct advantages.
Renewable energy is a rapidly growing industry, and as such, there are many job opportunities in this field.
Some of the most common renewable energy jobs include:
- Solar panel installer
- Wind turbine technician
- Energy auditor
- Electrical engineer specializing in renewable energy
- Renewable energy project manager
- Energy efficiency consultant
- Biomass plant manager
- Hydroelectric power plant operator
- Geothermal engineer
- Energy storage technician
These are just a few examples of the many different types of jobs that are available in the renewable energy industry.
As the demand for clean energy continues to grow, so too will the need for skilled workers to design, build, and maintain the infrastructure required to support it.
What are entry level renewable energy jobs?
There are many entry-level jobs in the renewable energy industry that don’t require previous experience or extensive education.
Here are some examples:
- Solar panel installer helper: Assist experienced solar panel installers with tasks such as panel mounting, wiring, and other installation tasks.
- Wind turbine maintenance technician assistant: Assist experienced technicians with wind turbine inspections, cleaning, and maintenance tasks.
- Energy efficiency analyst: Collect and analyze data on energy usage and make recommendations for energy efficiency improvements.
- Renewable energy sales representative: Sell renewable energy products and services to customers.
- Administrative assistant: Provide administrative support to renewable energy companies, such as scheduling meetings, answering phones, and managing files.
- Data analyst: Collect and analyze data on energy production and usage for renewable energy companies.
- Customer service representative: Provide customer service and support to customers of renewable energy companies.
- Lab technician: Assist with testing and development of renewable energy products in a laboratory setting.
- Manufacturing technician: Assist with the production of renewable energy products such as solar panels and wind turbines.
These are just a few examples of entry-level renewable energy jobs.
Keep in mind that some positions may require specific education or certifications, so be sure to check job listings and requirements carefully.
Renewable Energy Jobs Salary
The salary for renewable energy jobs can vary widely depending on the specific job, location, education, and experience.
Here are some general salary ranges for a few common renewable energy jobs:
- Solar panel installer: $15 – $25 per hour
- Wind turbine technician: $20 – $35 per hour
- Energy auditor: $40,000 – $70,000 per year
- Electrical engineer specializing in renewable energy: $70,000 – $120,000 per year
- Renewable energy project manager: $70,000 – $130,000 per year
- Energy efficiency consultant: $50,000 – $90,000 per year
- Biomass plant manager: $60,000 – $100,000 per year
- Hydroelectric power plant operator: $50,000 – $80,000 per year
- Geothermal engineer: $60,000 – $100,000 per year
- Energy storage technician: $40,000 – $60,000 per year
Again, these are general salary ranges and can vary based on many factors. It’s important to do your own research on salary ranges for specific jobs in your area.
What are the highest paid renewable energy jobs?
The highest paid renewable energy jobs typically require advanced education and specialized skills.
Here are some examples of some of the highest paying renewable energy jobs:
- Renewable Energy Project Manager: Renewable Energy Project Managers oversee the development and implementation of renewable energy projects. They are responsible for ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget. Salaries for Renewable Energy Project Managers typically range from $70,000 – $130,000 per year.
- Solar Energy Systems Engineer: Solar Energy Systems Engineers design and develop solar energy systems. They are responsible for overseeing the installation, maintenance, and repair of solar systems. Salaries for Solar Energy Systems Engineers typically range from $80,000 – $150,000 per year.
- Wind Energy Engineer: Wind Energy Engineers design and develop wind energy systems. They are responsible for overseeing the installation, maintenance, and repair of wind systems. Salaries for Wind Energy Engineers typically range from $70,000 – $120,000 per year.
- Energy Storage Engineer: Energy Storage Engineers design and develop energy storage systems. They are responsible for overseeing the installation, maintenance, and repair of energy storage systems. Salaries for Energy Storage Engineers typically range from $70,000 – $120,000 per year.
- Renewable Energy Lawyer: Renewable Energy Lawyers specialize in the legal aspects of renewable energy development and investment. They are responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and managing legal disputes. Salaries for Renewable Energy Lawyers typically range from $80,000 – $200,000 per year.
Keep in mind that salaries can vary based on location, education, and experience.
Renewable energy jobs vs oil and gas jobs
Renewable energy jobs and oil and gas jobs are very different in terms of the industries they are a part of, the types of jobs available, and the long-term outlook for the industries.
Here are a few key differences:
- Environmental impact: The environmental impact of renewable energy jobs is generally much lower than that of oil and gas jobs. Renewable energy jobs are focused on developing clean energy sources that have a much lower impact on the environment, while oil and gas jobs are focused on extracting and processing fossil fuels that are major contributors to climate change.
- Long-term outlook: The long-term outlook for renewable energy jobs is generally positive, as the world continues to transition towards cleaner energy sources. Conversely, the long-term outlook for oil and gas jobs is less certain, as the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
- Job growth: The renewable energy industry is growing rapidly, with job growth outpacing that of the oil and gas industry. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years as renewable energy becomes more cost-competitive and more countries adopt policies that support clean energy development.
- Pay and benefits: Salaries for both renewable energy jobs and oil and gas jobs can vary widely depending on the specific job and location. However, in general, salaries in the oil and gas industry tend to be higher than those in the renewable energy industry. Additionally, oil and gas jobs often come with more comprehensive benefits packages, such as retirement plans and health insurance.
Ultimately, the choice between renewable energy jobs and oil and gas jobs will depend on a variety of factors, including personal values, job preferences, and career goals.
Whether its oil and gas training, power, or renewables, EKT Interactive’s Energy 101 course series has you covered.
These courses were developed with input from industry SMEs and corporate clients. This combination ensures you get the best information, concisely delivered to save time.
Learn more about our courses here:
Oil 101 | Power 101 | Renewables 101
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