Top Energy Jobs in 2013

An instructor of CEM training offers his take on new opportunities

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


Clean-Tech Industries

The discussion of expanding energy job opportunities would not be complete without mentioning the sustainability market, which offers jobs requiring various skill sets. From being a solar panel installer to doing research on bio-fuels for vehicles, there are several avenues available.

In 2012, new wind energy installations exceeded new fossil fuel installations in many countries, including the U.S., and solar panel prices are dropping. There will be many openings for electricians, mechanics, and other skilled labor to install and manage this equipment. On the research front, the DOE is investing in the development of these technologies for commercialization. There are additional positions sprouting up and you can track these opportunities by being on the DOE’s email list or visiting www.energy.gov.

According to the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the 2013 budget is $350 million (up 27% from 2012). It is used to enable “transformational energy technologies” such as the development of biofuels for commercial application. The U.S. military has also made significant investments in biofuels because it offers strategic interest and reduces dependency on foreign oil. Considering the sheer size of these investments, jobs are being created at a steady pace.

There are also opportunities that involve capturing energy and water from waste streams. There are numerous new carbon projects that reuse it to generate power or heat. As mentioned in the CRM course, I have seen nearly “closed-loop” energy recovery systems at manufacturers because using waste heat is an energy benefit and a sustainability benefit, which offers the client some strong marketing material to improve their green image.

There are a lot of opportunities in the energy field and because energy is getting more expensive on a price per kWh basis, there is more attention to it than in previous years. These jobs are less traditional than others described, but they offer incredible upside.

Many job descriptions can be found online, with examples including: www.Indeed.com or www.EnergyVortex.com. Although somewhat generalized, salary descriptions can also be found here.

If you want to connect to headhunters, you are welcome to peruse to my LinkedIn network and reach out to them. I wish you prosperity in your search. Happy hunting!

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