Top Energy Jobs in 2013

An instructor of CEM training offers his take on new opportunities

By Eric Woodroof, Ph.D., CEM, CRM


Facility or Energy Management

The primary task is taking responsibility for energy consumption and costs in a facility and trying to optimize or reduce it. Skills required are benchmarking, finding wasteful processes, managing improvement projects, and validating their performance. These positions must also keep abreast of the new solutions available. Continuous improvement is required, but if the job is done well, you will be valued in the organization.

If your organization is large and consumes vast amounts of energy, the energy manager may be responsible for purchasing energy. In that case, understanding the various fuel purchasing options – and switching when appropriate – is a risky but rewarding responsibility.

As with many managerial jobs, the energy manager may oversee the work of several direct reports (energy purchasing, maintenance, engineering, etc.), but the energy manager typically reports to the operations manager.

Sometimes, your skills may seem undervalued because energy consumption is seen as a necessary evil, and your improvement projects can be viewed as discretionary or secondary to other needs – even if your projects have a higher return on investment. Politics can be a part of the job. For example, in large organizations, the energy manager may have to fight for attention within the various sectors of the business just to get simple projects approved. Teamwork and selling your projects are key skills for success.

Salaries are in the $50,000-120,000 range and travel requirements are small for this type of position.

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