Anyone from a scientific or engineering related background should consider a career in the energy sector. This also applies to those who are going to be graduating in the near future. This is because, in recent years, renewable energy research and development has been at the forefront of technological innovation in this industry. This has opened up a number of new career paths for those about to graduate, in addition to those already working in this
Working for businesses in the energy sector
By actively being involved in helping to reduce the effects of climate change, the energy sector has become fuelled with excitement once again. Countries all around the world are investing billions into renewable energy generation. This includes things like solar panels, on shore and offshore wind turbines and tidal barrages to name just a few. Consumer awareness of the benefits associated with ‘clean’ and renewable energy sources has also increased demand for this fuel type.
This has led many energy providers in the UK to invest in renewable energy and be less reliant on traditional fossil fuels such as coal and oil, helping lower gas and electricity bills for millions across the country. One quick way to demonstrate this is by using a price comparison site such as Utility Saving Expert, you will be able to see that green energy tariffs are now often more competitive in price compared to their fossil fuel counterparts.
Another key reason why so many professionals and future graduates are considering a career in the energy sector is because governments across the globe have met and signed international agreements to lower carbon emissions by a considerable amount. One of the most significant historical moments was in 2016 when the Paris Agreement was signed by 197 countries and ratified by 187 as of November 2019.
If you’re still reading, you’re likely wondering what opportunities are available in this sector for graduates or anyone already in the energy and environment field.
The renewable energy sector will see unprecedented growth in the near future as international efforts to tackle climate change increase. In the UK alone, onshore and offshore wind, tidal and wave energy currently support more than 30,000 jobs. By 2030, offshore wind jobs are predicted to increase from 11,000 to 28,000. This is a significant jump which could take place in less than a decade.
The International Energy Agency has identified that its renewable capacity will increase by around 50% in the next four years. This growth has been made possible by research and development into solar PV (photovoltaic) systems which incorporate solar panels. Similar to above, there is the potential for further jobs being created in the UK.
To enter the energy sector, you don’t just need one specific skillset. This is because renewable energy projects require the efforts of people from all backgrounds and disciplines. This includes ecologists, engineers, project managers and business developers to name just a few. Transport will also benefit as workers may be required to work in multiple locations, this could be on land or at sea. For those that enjoy travel, opportunities may be available to visit different regions across the world. In addition to working in a fast-growing industry, employees will play a key role in protecting and preserving the planet for generations to come.
Not only will those from a STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) be able to access these exciting new roles. This will also benefit other major industries too, such as PR and Communications, Human Resources, Finance and Construction etc.
Did you know that renewable energy generates 30% of the UK’s electricity? This figure is highly likely to increase in the years ahead. This also means that now is the time for many to consider a career path in this fast-growing industry. A number of firms and institutions are offering apprenticeships and post graduate courses for those that are interested.
Currently, it is estimated that more than 6,500 companies operate in this sector. Newly created jobs aren’t exclusive to just one region either, as roles can be found throughout the country. There are skills shortages, so those who do choose this path could benefit from training and further job security. Graduates with commercial skills are highly sought after, and there are a range of careers on offer. You could be expected to work on solar, wind and tidal projects amongst others.
As for pay, starting salaries will normally range between £19,000 to £30,000, although this will be dependent on the role, company and where you are based. Amongst the energy suppliers, it’s not just the ‘big six’ that offer jobs, as smaller suppliers also have a number of opportunities for those with the right knowledge and skills.
In summary, the energy sector will be boosted by renewable energy generation initiatives. This will likely create thousands of job opportunities for those who wish to enter this industry.