Can a career in energy be satisfying? This is a complex question with many potential answers, including the best paying energy jobs right now, the state of the oil and gas industry, and the availability of “green” energy-related jobs.
Energy is a necessity for the entire planet. Energy is required for a wide variety of transportation, lighting, computing, appliance, healthcare, and other modern conveniences.
Experts in the field of energy are also in high demand. It requires experts in energy conversion, those who can take a raw material and turn it into something useful like propulsion for a vehicle, heating for a home, or lighting for a classroom.
The energy industry employs people from all walks of life. There are many different types of experts working in any given field, including programmers, chemists, engineers, technicians, managers, and many more. I’m curious about the energy industry’s job outlook. The number is probably in the millions when you factor in all the different occupations, from accountants to engineers to technicians.
One of the most lucrative fields is energy, and the right online education can set you on the path to a successful career in either creating a new form of energy, improving an existing energy resource, or simply managing and leading people in a ground-breaking sector. Earning a degree online can provide the flexibility and convenience necessary to pursue careers in this fast-growing and lucrative industry.
Best paying jobs in energy
Oil and gas are extracted from underground reservoirs using plans and equipment designed by petroleum engineers. They analyze well output and look for ways to improve efficiency for less money. Completion engineers, drilling engineers, production engineers, and reservoir engineers are all common subspecialties of petroleum engineers.
A bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a closely related field is usually required for entry into the field. A master’s degree is a desirable qualification for some job openings. To begin working as an entry-level petroleum engineer, a license is not necessary. Later in your career, though, you might decide to pursue a Professional Engineering (PE) license so you can pick and choose the types of projects that interest you.
Petroleum engineers earn a median annual salary of $145,720. The vast majority of professionals work full time, with overtime available on occasion, in an office setting or at a well or drilling site. The position calls for someone with strong communication, problem-solving, and analytical abilities who is also comfortable with frequent travel.
Nuclear engineers are responsible for the design, development, and research of nuclear equipment, as well as the study of methods for the safe and efficient management of nuclear materials and nuclear fuel. Defense, medical manufacturing, research and regulation, space travel, and utility power generation are all fields that employ professionals with varying levels of specialization and interest.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a closely related field is usually required for entry-level nuclear engineering positions. A master’s degree or doctorate may be required by some companies. New hires at nuclear power plants are required to undergo induction training at the facility. Engineers are required to take ongoing training to ensure they are compliant with current standards.
The average salary for a nuclear engineer in the United States is $121,760 per year. The vast majority of them are office workers. Nuclear engineers need to be detail-oriented problem-solvers with a strong grasp of science and mathematics to succeed in their roles.
Weather forecasters, researchers, and data collectors all fall under the purview of atmospheric scientists. They make forecasts and alerts using scientific instruments and graphics software. Broadcast meteorologist, climatologist, forensic meteorologist, research meteorologist, and weather forecaster are all examples of common career paths for atmospheric scientists.
The minimum educational requirement for entry into this field is a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a closely related field. A master’s or doctoral degree is recommended if you want to focus your career on research. While not always necessary for employment, certifications can boost your chances of landing a job in fields where post-employment training is common.
The median annual salary for atmospheric and space scientists is $96,880. There are both full-time, 9-to-5 scientists in the atmosphere and shift workers. Some overtime is to be expected given the necessity of constant weather monitoring and reporting of extreme conditions.
A master’s degree or doctorate is typically required for chemical engineers to work in academic or research capacities. Employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees in chemical engineering or chemistry, but bachelor’s degrees in either discipline are also acceptable.
The majority of energy-related chemical engineers are employed by engineering services firms. Companies that deal in petroleum and coal may hire them to do R&D. They can use engineering testing methods and streamline chemical manufacturing processes in such environments.
From 2021-2031, the BLS anticipates a 14% growth in the chemical engineering workforce. In 2021, the typical salary for someone in this position was $105,550 per year.
Metals, ceramics, plastics, and composites are just some of the materials that materials engineers test and create. They conduct macro and microhardness, tensile, leak, and pressure tests, as well as failure and analysis tests, in the course of their work. They might also do durability checks.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for these workers was $98,300 as of May 2021. From 2021-2031, the BLS expects employment of this type to increase by 6%. Materials engineers are in high demand in the computer and electronic product manufacturing, engineering services, and transportation equipment manufacturing industries.
About half of the approximately 318,000 civil engineers working in the United States in 2021 were engaged in engineering service provision. In addition to private companies, civil engineers can be found working for federal, state, and local governments.
In May of 2021, the median annual salary for this position was $88,050. Civil engineers, for example, may be responsible for reviewing construction plans and specifications or designing infrastructure. Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from ABET-accredited programs are required for entry-level civil engineering positions.
Solar Project Developer
Developers of solar energy projects coordinate the efforts of many stakeholders, including financiers, investors, landowners, municipal departments, and suppliers. Estimating construction, labor, and material costs and keeping projects within budget are essential job functions.
Depending on the company, a bachelor’s degree in engineering or construction management may be required of solar project developers. Professionally-trained solar project developers may also be hired by businesses. The BLS reports that in May of 2021, the median annual salary for first-line supervisors of construction trade workers was $72,010. This is a close comparison to the median annual salary for solar project developers.
Information Systems Manager
Your role as information system manager requires you to focus on the hardware and software components of the business. You won’t be responsible for repairing or installing energy infrastructure like some of the other jobs here. Instead, it is up to you to ensure that all of the computers and networks are functioning correctly.
Technology and data are essential components of today’s energy infrastructure. It aids service providers in increasing their efficiency and pinpointing problem areas.
Information system managers are responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including keeping systems secure and updating databases. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems is required for this position. However, the rewards are substantial, making this one of the most desirable careers in the energy sector. A yearly salary of $146,000 is possible if you have the necessary credentials. Earnings for seasoned managers can exceed $200,000 per year.
One of the highest paying professions in the energy industry is that of architectural manager. Annual salaries for this role average around $144,000. But the top earners bring in over $200,000 a year!
To get started in this field, you should get at least a bachelor’s degree. However, advancing your education and work history can open doors to more prestigious positions.
An architectural manager’s ultimate objective is to create structures that use as little energy as possible to operate. To make sure that facilities use as few resources as possible, they perform detailed planning, research management, and technical accuracy checks. It’s a complex role, but one that can have a major impact.
Increased demand for biofuels is facilitating collaborations between traditionally separate industries. Consider the energy and agricultural sectors. Despite their apparent incompatibility, biofuel is making agricultural engineering a lucrative and necessary field in the energy industry.
The goal of this position is to establish a farming system that is as productive as possible. There are a lot of moving parts in this job, but one constant is the need to maximize output while decreasing inputs such as labor, materials, and energy. Effectiveness is of the utmost importance.
Earning a yearly salary of $80,700 requires a Bachelor’s degree and is commonplace in this industry.
The increasing popularity of alternative energy sources has resulted in the creation of yet another position in the energy industry. Aerospace engineers frequently work on weightless vehicles like planes, satellites, and rockets. However, their experience has led them to explore the field of wind power.
Engineers in the aerospace industry are currently planning the layout of turbines and other vital components. This field benefits greatly from their knowledge of resistance, force, efficiency, and other concepts.
An undergraduate degree in engineering or a closely related field is necessary for entry-level employment as an aerospace engineer. One of the highest paying positions in the field of energy production is yours for the taking. The average salary for an aerospace engineer is $115,000.
These experts are involved in a wide range of fascinating fields, from energy production to efficient consumption. By carrying out a wide range of responsibilities, such as project design and environmental improvement monitoring, they contribute to a brighter, cleaner future for the United States and the world.
This profession encompasses many facets of environmental health and energy use, such as recycling, waste disposal, public health, and sustainability. This is an exciting field for those who want to work in one of the most important areas of renewable energy, and it pays well.
Power Plant Operator, Distributor, & Dispatcher
Are jobs in the energy sector promising? The salaries for these energy-related occupations would seem to indicate that this is the case.
When managed properly, nuclear power can be a safe and reliable way to provide electricity to cities and infrastructure around the world. Operators, distributors, and dispatchers are required for the secure use of nuclear energy.
These experts can make six figures with just a high school diploma and some experience. While experience is not necessary for this position, there will be substantial testing and on-the-job training. With the rise of power-generation from a single plant (one plant can create enough power, so less staff is needed) and smart-grid technology that may eliminate careers for distributors, the top 10% of this field can expect salaries over $117,000.
You might not give much thought to the connection between agriculture and energy, but with the advent of biofuels, it’s not hard to see how an agricultural engineer could be considered part of the energy sector. To succeed in this field, you must learn to do more with less resources. The best outcomes can be achieved by coordinating the use of machinery, buildings, electricity, and environmental concerns.
Jobs in the energy sector typically necessitate extensive training in a variety of areas, including computer programs, testing methods, management techniques, and more. Calculus, physics, and chemistry are required courses for most engineers, but coursework in public policy and economics can only help.
How many jobs are available in the energy sector?
More than 7.8 million people will be working in the energy industry in 2021, reports the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2021, the energy industry added more jobs than the entire United States added.
Is energy a good career path?
Working in the energy industry can provide you with a secure income and room to advance your career. Many interesting jobs are available in the field, and you can find one that suits your skills and interests.
A career in energy can be rewarding, but it typically involves heavy responsibilities, close attention to detail, and some degree of adaptability. Some jobs are more strenuous or dangerous than others physically. Many people in the industry end up leaving for these very reasons. Consider the job’s potential upsides and downsides, as well as any prerequisites, before deciding to apply.
Do energy jobs pay well?
Yes. It is commonly known that salaries in the energy sector are above average. The average salary for workers in the energy sector is 34% higher than the median salary across all industries, according to a report from the DOE in 2021. The average salary, however, varies widely from job to job. A bachelor’s degree is also typically required for entry into the highest-paying professions.
Which energy field makes the most money?
One of the most lucrative areas of the energy industry is the fuel sector, which includes petroleum. According to the BLS, petroleum engineers have one of the highest median salaries, with a value of $130,850 as of May 2021. Management-level petroleum engineers earn even more, with a median salary of $165,480 per year.
When it comes to careers, the energy industry offers something for everyone. High compression is typical of all job profiles.
But the dynamics of this industry are always shifting. This is because many nations are switching to electric vehicles and other renewable energy sources, reducing their reliance on traditional energy sources like gasoline. Consequently, the number of green energy jobs has increased alongside the renewable energy salary.
Indeed, a career in the energy industry offers excellent prospects and competitive pay. Jobs in the energy industry range from electrical engineering to solar technology, offering a wide range of opportunities for ambitious workers.
In addition, working in these fields allows people to develop professionally and make contributions to society. Today is the day to launch your career in one of the energy industry’s highest-paying specializations.