You might feel a little overwhelmed if you’re a young professional or looking to start a second career. After all, there are dozens of different options and fields you can go into, whether you want to pursue a specific degree or start job hunting right off the bat.
With all the news buzz surrounding green energy in recent years, you might wonder about entering the energy industry.
Is energy a good career path going into 2023 and beyond?
The importance of energy in the future
The world runs on power, and energy will only become more critical in the future as the industry shifts, global warming accelerates and more people are born. According to Stanford University, fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil make up 80% of the world’s energy.
However, renewable energy technologies and extraction techniques will need to be developed soon.
If the planet is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, global emissions must be reduced by half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. In other words, the world will need lots of people working in the energy industry in the near to long-term future.
People won’t stop using lights, heaters, vehicles and other technological advances. Instead, global society must develop new ways to harness and extract energy from the environment. Energy is sure to be even more critical in the years to come than it is now.
So, is energy a good career path?
Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to suppose that getting into energy could be a wise career choice. This is true whether you are starting your professional life or looking to change careers.
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Working in the energy industry could have you learn skills or tackle problems like:
- Solar panel installation
- Energy research
- Energy technology development
- Climate control solutions
- And more
You’ll have to determine whether you want to work on these problems and solutions for your professional future. Entering the energy industry may set you up for long-term success and plentiful career opportunities.
But it’s a far cry from the arts or more creative pursuits. Consider your degree major, personal and educational interests, and other factors before committing to this path.
Advantages of choosing energy as a career path
There are many advantages to choosing energy as your career path going into 2023.
For starters, you’ll likely get to work in a wide range of different job environments, not just in a cubicle or the same office daily.
For instance, as a wind turbine technician, you’ll sometimes work in an office, a garage, and outdoors at different wind turbines the rest of the time.
The same is true if you become an energy consultant or a similar professional. Energy consultants help businesses determine how they can maximize their green energy consumption and minimize their carbon footprints.
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As a result, they travel around the country, visit many different people and places, and develop novel solutions in terms of architectural setup or energy grid access.
If you’re craving a little variety in your professional life, the energy industry could be the place to find it. Of course, keep in mind that if you become an administrator in this industry, you may work primarily in office or corporate professional environments instead of “in the field.”
In addition, the energy industry is home to many secure jobs. If you get a career in the energy industry, you likely won’t have to worry about your job being cut or downgraded soon.
Why? The world will continue to need energy in 2023 and beyond. That means it will need knowledgeable, highly trained professionals to efficiently access, harness and distribute that energy.
This could be a refreshing difference if you’ve already worked in an industry where your job was constantly on the line.
Job security is important to many Americans. When you get an excellent job in the energy industry, you can work that career for decades, providing much-needed financial stability for you and the future family you hope to raise.
Possibilities for advancement
On top of that, the energy industry will provide ample opportunities for advancement for go-getters and rockstar employees. For instance, you can start working for a local energy company, become a supervisor or manager, and become an administrator.
On the research side, the world will always need new inventions and ways to access clean energy. This will give creative, bright individuals a chance to prove themselves and make a significant difference in this industry for years to come.
Put another way, getting into the energy arena will allow you to distinguish yourself and make a real career, not just hold down a job. That’s important for many Americans, particularly those who get much life satisfaction from their professional achievements and accolades.
Do good for the world
Perhaps most importantly, getting into energy as your career path will let you do some good for the world.
As noted, the effects of climate change are already being felt, and things will likely get worse before they get better. Increased storm frequency, flooding, animal species extinction, and more are all minor side effects compared to what the world likely faces over the next few decades.
But if you join the energy sector, you have the chance to do some good and mitigate those effects. With the right technologies and energy advancements, the world can reach carbon-neutral by 2050 or even earlier.
Joining the industry will let you contribute to this great project and help keep the planet as comfortable and beautiful as it is now.
If you’ve always wanted your work to mean something beyond a paycheck and job stability, good news — the energy sector is a place where you can find work like that.
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Good paying jobs in the energy sector
Should you choose to get into energy as your career, you’ll have a plethora of well-paying jobs to choose from.
Take wind turbine technicians, for example. According to some sources, wind turbine technician is America’s fastest-growing job. It should grow by up to 108 percent by 2024; in other words, there will be plenty of open positions in this field over time.
As a wind turbine technician, you’ll work to build, repair, and maintain wind turbines to facilitate the collection and distribution of clean energy across the electrical grid.
But that’s not the only high-paying, in-demand job in the energy sector you can pursue. Here are some more examples:
- Architectural manager: Such professionals make plans, direct and coordinate projects, and design eco-friendly buildings that facilitate lower energy costs by gathering more natural light or conserving heat. Architectural managers earn upwards of six figures annually, usually around $140,000 annually.
- Petroleum engineer: Petroleum engineers will still be needed in 2023 and beyond as the world pivots from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Petroleum engineers devise new ways to extract fossil fuels from inside the earth. They may also be needed to do this in as clean and efficient a way as possible. They earn over $137,000 a year on average.
- Chemical engineer: Chemical engineers produce energy, develop metallurgical solutions to industrial problems, and much more, often making well over $100,000 per year.
- Wind farm site manager: These experienced professionals earn around $100,000 per year, and they oversee wind farms and wind energy generation operations. They often work closely with wind turbine maintenance technicians and engineers, as described above.
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Of course, you can also get into this industry as a scientist. The world will need knowledgeable scientists coming up with new solutions and ways to collect green energy in ways that maintain the expected electrical grid consistency.
The primary challenge to renewable energy, after all, is consistency and collection. The sun emits plenty of energy for the world multiple times, but it’s not always shining in the sky. Furthermore, there are limits to how much solar energy modern batteries can store.
Joining this industry could allow you to solve these problems by designing better batteries, coming up with new energy collection methods, or something else entirely. The sky is literally the limit.
Who should work in the energy industry?
Many may find that the energy industry is an excellent professional fit.
You might consider working in the energy industry if:
- You are interested in solving climate change and global warming challenges and want to leave the world better off than it was when you were a child.
- You want to pursue a stable job with ample opportunities for promotions and advancement. If you join the energy industry and do a great job in your position, you won’t need to worry about cuts or job downgrades in all likelihood.
- You are already interested in one of the related fields, like chemistry, physics, and energy science.
Note that most jobs in the energy industry are heavily based on math and science. These are STEM jobs, so it may be wise to acquire a degree from a technical college or institution before applying to open positions.
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Ultimately, getting into the energy industry could be an excellent choice for your career and your professional ambitions in the long term.
Getting a job in energy could lead to excellent job security, opportunities for advancement, and fantastic pay. Plus, there are many different jobs you can pursue.
Want to explore your options before settling on a career? Visit Entrepreneur for more info on the energy sector and everything else you need to help you build your career or business.