The clean energy sector is expanding faster than ever before, and with it, career opportunities and demand for skilled workers are on the rise. From design and development to installation and marketing, there's room to progress in every corner of the industry while positively impacting the planet. Sound exciting? It is!
In fact, the clean energy sector now employs more than 10 million people globally, according to Yale's Center for Business and the Environment. And the US has been a leader in employment, with nearly 800,000 employed in renewable energy and 2.2 million supporting work in energy efficiency as of 2017 — a number that has only grown in the years since.
Now you might be thinking, aren't a lot of these jobs highly technical? What if I don't have years of training or a university degree? Does it matter? Well, the answer is yes — and no. You see, there's a need for all sorts of expertise in the clean energy sector right now, and there's room for every skill set in the push toward a greener future. Here are five clean energy jobs for you to consider.
A residential energy auditor is responsible for conducting onsite energy audits for single-family residential buildings, assessing the efficiency of each room to determine current energy performance and identify ways that homeowners can improve their space to better meet desired efficiency levels.
The role requires a knowledge of sustainability, energy efficiency, and green building principles (particularly where it concerns heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) systems) as well as an understanding of the tools and techniques involved in conducting the audits themselves.
Because of this, residential energy auditors typically undergo two years of technical training. Once qualified, salaries can range from $40,000 to $100,000 or more, with advancement paths available through roles like a commercial energy auditor, building performance diagnostician or home performance contractor.
Plus, demand for residential energy audits is rising thanks to new tax credits available under the Inflation Reduction Act. As of January 1, 2023, homeowners can claim 30 percent of the cost of a home energy audit on their taxes, up to a value of $150 — which means getting a home assessed is more affordable (and appealing) than ever before!
Wind turbine technicians install, repair and maintain the wind turbines responsible for creating wind energy.
A standard workday involves performing ongoing maintenance and assessing and fixing any issues that may cause a turbine to stop working. It's an ideal career choice if you enjoy working outdoors. Just ensure you're not afraid of heights or confined spaces, as most wind turbines are at least 260 feet tall, and technicians must climb to the top in order to access the small space containing most of the machine's electrical components.
Most wind turbine technicians enter the field through two years of training at a technical school and one year of on-the-job training; on average, they make roughly $56,000 annually.
Plus, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for wind turbine technicians is expected to grow 44% between now and 2031, with roughly 1,900 job openings yearly!
Now when you think of careers in clean energy, your mind likely turns to the technical jobs, right? We're with you — and our first two jobs have been just that. But it's important to remember that adoption and education play another critical role in the clean energy marketplace!
For instance, consider the role of a solar marketing specialist. Solar marketing specialists are tasked with assessing a solar company's promotability and creating marketing tools to better reach new consumers and facilitate business expansion.
They have their finger on the pulse of current consumer trends, using data and insights to brand campaigns and craft sales initiatives that drive solar adoption. They also play a crucial role in education, helping to demonstrate the appeal of solar energy alternatives to new customers.
Typically, a solar marketing specialist will have a Bachelor's Degree in business or marketing communications and can make upwards of $60,000 a year, with possible future roles including that of a solar utility procurement specialist and solar project developer.
Proper insulation plays a vital role in the clean energy industry because it helps buildings to run more efficiently, increasing thermal retention and ensuring that additional energy isn't wasted on unnecessary heating and cooling.
From new construction projects to retrofitted buildings, insulation apprentices are the boots on the ground getting insulation products installed throughout commercial and residential buildings.
No prior work experience is required to apprentice with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers' Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) program — just a high school diploma, a willingness to learn and a passion for working with your hands!
Salaries can range from $30,000-$80,000 annually, with countless opportunities for advancement available through higher-level roles such as an insulation/air sealing technician, building maintenance technician or commercial construction foreperson.
Solar site assessors are responsible for visiting potential solar project sites to estimate how much solar energy can be harvested from the location.
Their findings are pulled together into reports alongside recommendations shared with customers to guide them through their project, helping to determine the best solar panel types, sizes and layout, as well as costs and opportunities to save (such as through rebates or financing).
A high school diploma is all that is needed to enter this clean energy career, with technical skills gained through an industry-specific apprenticeship program. Upward mobility is possible through further training and roles such as a solar sales representative or solar PV installer.
On average, a solar site assessor makes roughly $60,000 per year.
We like to think some of the region’s smartest, most passionate people are creating one of the energy market’s most innovative products and experiences here at OhmConnect. A job at OhmConnect is unlike most “jobs”. Join us and you just may do the best work of your life — and make a difference for our planet. See open roles here.
A career in clean energy isn't the only way you can contribute to positive change for the environment! Consider putting your sustainability skills to work at home, too, with OhmConnect's energy savings program. It's a free and simple way to get rewarded for powering down your devices when it matters most! Here's how it works.
As a member, you'll receive a text or email letting you know when energy costs spike in your area, giving you the inside scoop to know when to unplug. By participating in these energy-saving events (called OhmHours or AutoOhms), you'll automatically earn points that can be traded in for gift cards, prizes and cash right back in your wallet.
Sound too good to be true? It's not! The logic is actually pretty simple. OhmConnect takes the energy you save during peak times and sells it back to the grid, sharing those profits with you. It's a win-win for the planet and your bank account!
Ready to get started? Click here to learn more.
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