Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by
Are you wondering if a career in energy is right for you? If so, it’s important to do your research on salaries and other job characteristics to determine the best career path.
Jobs within the energy industry can vary greatly from working as an engineer in a renewable power plant to maintaining solar-powered systems.
Knowing what kind of salary these jobs offer is essential for making informed decisions about your professional future.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what kinds of income are available in different types of energy jobs and discover possible paths for advancement. Stay tuned for insights into some of the best-paying opportunities out there!
What do energy jobs pay?
As the U.S. energy sector rebounds from the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, its employment growth has surpassed that of the overall workforce in 2022.
This trend is due to the need for fresh expertise, with many proficient workers in the industry nearing retirement age.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the best-paying energy jobs, we’ve curated a list of promising roles along with their salaries that are currently in demand.
Petroleum engineers are responsible for designing and creating strategies and tools used to extract oil and gas from subterranean reservoirs. They evaluate existing wells’ output and explore new procedures and approaches to reduce costs.
Types of petroleum engineers consist of completion engineers, drilling engineers, production engineers, and reservoir engineers.
To become a petroleum engineer, it is necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or an allied field. Employers may favor those with a master’s degree.
It isn’t mandatory to acquire a license for entry-level petroleum engineer roles, but it may be beneficial to get the Professional Engineering (PE) license later on as that permits more autonomy in selecting roles and duties.
Petroleum engineers typically receive an annual salary of around $145,720. As part of their job, they often need to travel frequently and work overtime on occasion.
To be successful in this role, one needs to possess strong interpersonal, analytical, and troubleshooting abilities. The job usually requires working full-time in both office and field environments, such as well sites, and drilling sites.
Wind Farm Site Manager
Professionals in the wind farm sector take on the responsibility of overseeing and maintaining wind plants. To qualify for this role, a minimum of a high school diploma and three to five years of experience in the renewable energy industry are typically required.
However, some employers may demand a bachelor’s degree. Site managers are responsible for supervising personnel, systems, and tasks related to the wind farm.
Wind energy jobs require a unique combination of focus and vigilance as operators, which is a broad term for those in charge of wind farms, interface with powerful machinery that carries high voltage levels.
On top of this responsibility, these professionals typically face arduous working conditions; such as rotating shifts. In return, they are compensated well with an impressive average salary of $83,740 per year.
Nuclear engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and supervising the use of nuclear equipment. They research methods of safe handling of nuclear materials and fuels, as well as explore solutions to issues concerning nuclear energy.
Depending on their specialties, they can be involved in defense, medical production, research and regulation, space exploration, or utility power generation activities.
To become a nuclear engineer, applicants need at least a Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a similar discipline (with some employers preferring more advanced levels of qualifications).
On top of that, they must complete on-site job training and undertake continuous courses to stay updated on regulations.
Nuclear engineers in the U.S. typically make an average annual salary of around $121,760. These professionals primarily work in office environments, full-time.
To be successful in this field, engineers must have a penchant for detail-oriented problem-solving and a solid understanding of math and science.
Renewable Energy Consultant
Renewable energy consultants strive to reduce or eliminate the negative environmental impact caused by businesses. They gather data from surveys and audits, analyze it, and propose environmentally friendly energy solutions.
To pursue a career in this field, one typically needs a bachelor’s degree related to renewable energy and possibly a postgraduate qualification.
Employers may also require experience. Ideal applicants should possess strong analytical, critical thinking, communication, and project management skills, as well as a solid understanding of environmental issues.
Environmental experts and specialists, which includes renewable energy consultants, earn an average of $81,240 annually.
These professionals can be employed by private consulting firms, corporate entities, and the government or work on their own as independent contractors.
While some specialties spend much of their time inside the office setting, others regularly venture outside to conduct fieldwork.
Atmospheric scientists examine and examine atmospheric data, executing research and delivering weather reports.
They use scientific instruments and graphics software to prepare weather predictions and alerts. Popular careers in this field include broadcast meteorologist, climatologist, forensic meteorologist, research meteorologist, and weather forecaster.
To become an atmospheric scientist, a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a related area is typically needed. For those wanting to focus on research, gaining a master’s degree or Ph.D. may be beneficial.
Some employers require additional training after hiring, and though certifications aren’t essential, they improve the possibility of employment.
Atmospheric and space professionals can expect an average annual salary of $96,880. While some meteorologists work regular hours, others may need to be on call for unexpected weather occurrences.
This can involve extra hours and additional responsibilities such as monitoring conditions and issuing warnings of potentially hazardous weather events.
Furthermore, those who work in space science might be asked to work shifts in order to keep track of satellite data and other events that occur outside the norm.
Solar Energy Technician
Solar technicians specializing in solar energy are responsible for the assembly, installation, and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) systems.
From planning the set-up to regularly evaluating safety hazards, they carry out a range of tasks. This profession is one of the riskier solar energy jobs as technicians may experience burns, falls, or shocks; thus, safety gear and techniques must be used.
A bachelor’s degree is not essential for a solar energy technician; many obtain knowledge from experienced professionals while on the job. In some states, a license might be needed to install PV systems and some employers require you to hold a driver’s license.
Solar photovoltaic technicians can make an average salary of around $50,710 annually. Their duties are predominantly conducted outdoors, generally on the tops of buildings.
Such professionals may take on tasks independently or collaborate with electricians and roofers for assistance. The job requires a great deal of knowledge, attention to detail, and physical stamina as they work in varying conditions.
Civil engineers in the energy sector play a key role in designing, constructing, and managing energy infrastructure plans and systems.
They assess projects, review maps and data, evaluate costs, and examine building materials before reporting their findings to customers.
To get started in this field, an individual must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related area of study. Pursuing additional education can help one qualify for managerial roles.
Professional engineer licenses are often essential for certain energy engineering jobs and to be a contractor.
Beyond good problem-solving and decision-making, civil engineers must have strong leadership skills and communication abilities.
Civil engineers in the U.S. typically earn an average yearly salary of $95,490. Most of these professionals work regular full-time hours, though overtime is often required.
While some civil engineers work primarily outdoors at job sites, others conduct their duties from the comfort of an office environment. Regular travel and relocation may also be required.
Does the energy industry pay well?
The energy industry, encompassing a wide range of sectors such as oil, gas, renewable energy, and nuclear power, is known for offering lucrative career opportunities for professionals.
Being one of the driving forces behind global economies, the industry has a high demand for skilled workers which translates into competitive remuneration packages.
Salaries in this field usually surpass those in many other sectors as they often account for factors such as geographical location, job complexity, and level of expertise.
As the world pivots towards sustainability and cleaner energy sources, the industry continues to evolve, offering numerous prospects for growth and financial security.
Consequently, considering a career in the energy industry can be an attractive option for individuals seeking long-term prosperity and professional development.
Is energy a good career path?
The prospects of pursuing a career in the energy sector present numerous opportunities and potential for personal and professional growth.
As the global demand for sustainable power sources rises, the industry constantly seeks bright minds and innovative solutions to meet this challenge.
Venturing into this field offers not only the chance to work on groundbreaking technologies but also the satisfaction of contributing to a cleaner and more environmentally responsible world.
Moreover, as governments and corporations increasingly prioritize renewable energy investment, job stability, and long-term growth in this field appear promising.
Do renewable energy jobs pay well?
In recent years, the focus on renewable energy has been paramount in driving the world toward a sustainable future. Amid this transitioning landscape, a common concern arises regarding the potential compensation for careers in this field.
In actuality, renewable energy jobs have exhibited an encouraging trend in offering competitive salaries, often surpassing those of traditional fossil fuel-based industries.
A multitude of factors contributes to this, including the increasing demand for skilled professionals, governmental incentive programs, and the substantial economic benefits of transitioning to cleaner energy sources.
Fundamentally, the growth of the renewable energy sector is poised to generate highly-skilled and rewarding career opportunities, inspiring individuals to seek employment in fields that can not only provide financial stability but also gratifyingly contribute to global environmental preservation efforts.
Which energy makes the most money?
While the global energy landscape is undeniably complex, with diverse sources jostling for dominance, it is crucial to recognize that fossil fuels – comprising oil, natural gas, and coal – have traditionally held the mantle as the most profitable sources.
A testament to their economic preeminence is reflected in the gargantuan revenues amassed by major oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP.
However, the current zeitgeist showcases an expanding impetus towards sustainable and renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.
This gradual transformation has engendered a paradigm shift that sees fledgling industries vying for profitability, ultimately intensifying the competition in the global energy market.