If you are looking for the best paying jobs in energy, this article is for you. Be it solar, wind, mechanical, or chemical, energy is crucial to the workings of the modern world. So what do energy jobs pay? Some energy jobs in the private sector have impressive annual salaries over $100,000. Many factors affect the wage, including skills, interest, and the job market.
If you want to have a career in energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, you will have to pursue a engineering career. Continue reading this article to know more about the factors that can help you get competitive salaries. Also, we have answered some of the most common questions about energy jobs in the article.
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What Do Energy Jobs Pay?
Jobs in energy are among the highest-paid positions in the US. According to the US Energy and Employment Report (USEER), the median hourly wage for all energy workers is $25.60. This means that people across all energy industries have a higher salary than the national median hourly wage of $19.14.
In additioin, the USEER estimates that annual salaries for most jobs across the energy field can have 27 to 105 percent higher wages than national median wages. Very few jobs in the sector pay below the national median average. Most energy jobs require a degree in engineering.
Energy Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t have a job outlook for all energy jobs across the industry. However, BLS predicts a significant rise in clean energy jobs. According to BLS estimates there will be a 60.7 percent increase in wind-turbine technician positions by 2029 thanks to the increasing consumption of wind energy.
BLS also anticipates a 50.5% increase in solar photovoltaic installers by 2029 and there’s likely to be a 22.9% job growth for service unit operators in oil, gas, and mining in the same time period.
Energy Job Satisfaction
Energy jobs are satisfying. You can get a rewarding career and lead the fight against the climate crisis by working in the renewable energy sector. According to PayScale, energy engineers are highly satisfied with their jobs, rating them 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Glassdoor also had good reviews about jobs at the US Department of Energy. Employees gave 4.1 out of 5 stars, sharing that the department has an outstanding work-life balance. If you want a government job in the energy sector, you should consider the US Department of Energy.
Energy Salaries: Lucrative Energy Careers
|Energy Careers||Energy Salaries||Job Outlook||Minimum Education|
|Architectural Manager||$149,530||4%||A bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering|
|Petroleum Engineer||$137,330||8%||A bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or a related field such as mechanical, civil, or chemical engineering|
|Aerospace Engineer||$118,610||8%||A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering|
|Nuclear Engineer||$116,140||-8%||A bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering|
|Chemical Engineer||$108,540||9%||A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field|
|Atmospheric Scientist||$99,740||4%||A bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a related field|
|Materials Engineer||$95,640||8%||A bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering|
|Geoscientist||$93,580||7%||A bachelor’s degree in geology, earth sciences, or a related field|
|Environmental Engineer||$92,120||4%||A bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering|
|Civil Engineer||$88,570||8%||A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or civil technology|
Best-Paying Jobs in Energy: In Detail
- Average Salary: $149,530
Architectural managers are responsible for leading the team that designs and develops new projects at energy companies. They conduct extensive research to execute construction projects. They also hire staff and maintain project quality and budget.
- Average Salary: $137,330
Petroleum engineers are responsible for extracting oil and gas to fulfill energy requirements. They design equipment, develop plans to drill oil and gas fields, and operate heavy machinery to recover fossil fuels. Petroleum engineers primarily work on sites like oil reservoirs or gas fields.
- Average Salary: $118,610
If you are interested in designing aircraft and missiles, you should consider aerospace engineering as a career option. Aerospace engineers in the energy sector conduct aerodynamic assessments and help manufacture turbine blades. Aerospace engineers also design communication systems, radar, and satellites.
- Average Salary: $116,140
Nuclear engineers are experts in nuclear science. They spend most of their time at nuclear plants and are primarily responsible for designing and developing nuclear equipment. They conduct maintenance activities and operate nuclear power plants. Nuclear scientists may also work as researchers and be responsible for designing cutting-edge nuclear energy technology.
- Average Salary: $108,540
Chemical engineers are responsible for designing complex chemical manufacturing processes. They convert renewable biomaterials into electricity and transportation fuels. Chemical engineers can work across the energy industries, including fuel, water treatment, and power. They are also employed at nuclear stations to develop chemical mechanisms.
- Average Salary: $99,740
Atmospheric scientists conduct extensive research to understand weather and climate. They study temperature, humidity, dew points, and other factors that affect the atmosphere. They also write computer programs to anticipate severe weather.
Many energy companies hire them to understand the impact of climate patterns on their work. Since their work is sensitive to weather patterns, they often have to work long hours during emergencies.
- Average Salary: $95,640
Materials engineers study and understand different materials such as plastics, metals, and ceramics, as well as their characteristics. They create processes and evaluate materials to help solve energy efficiency problems across industries. They also combine different materials to develop functional combinations that energy companies can use.
- Average Salary: $93,580
Geoscientists study soils, energy resources, fossil fuels, ocean, freshwater, and other earth components. Energy companies recruit them to predict fracturing and faulty rocks, which helps them to find fossil fuel-rich zones. They spend their time carrying out field studies to collect samples and conduct surveys. Coal companies recruit geoscientists to analyze coal mines.
- Average Salary: $92,120
Environment engineers are the promoters of environmental justice that help traditional energy companies use energy efficiently and protect the environment. They have a sound knowledge of soil, engineering, and chemistry and specialize in the clean energy sector. They make detailed environmental reports and propose measures like air pollution control systems.
- Average Salary: $88,570
Civil engineers hold different positions across the energy sector, including construction, design, and research. They conduct surveys, develop reports, create maps, and collect data to help energy companies plan projects. They also help to develop quality structures to meet government standards in the energy sector.
Resources to Find the Best-Paying Jobs in Energy
- Network with those who have energy jobs: Knowing the right people in the oil and gas industry can get you early access to a job opportunity at the top energy companies. A lot of companies ask their employees to give referrals for talented professionals.
- Attend job fairs frequently: If you are looking for an entry level job in the energy industry, you should sign up for as many job fairs as you can. Job fairs often give details about participating companies in advance. You can contact the employers directly to learn what skills they require in an employee.
- Do an internship to gain relevant experience: An internship can help you gain experience and get you a placement offer. Interns have a higher chance of getting an entry level position in a company since they understand the mission and vision and have a sense of the company culture.
- Use job search website: You can sign up for various job search websites like Indeed.com or Monster.com to discover current openings in the job market.
- Visit the company website or contact human resources: You can visit the official company website for companies where you want to work and check out the latest openings. If there’s no opening, you can contact the human resources department and inquire about upcoming job openings.
Is Energy a Good Career Path?
Yes, energy jobs are always in demand. Almost everything we use today, including appliances, cars, healthcare equipment, and electricity, requires energy production. Whether you work at Lockheed Martin or another well-known company, the energy sector offers some of the highest-paying jobs in the world.
If you are thinking of pursuing a career in energy or are passionate about a clean energy future, you should also consider job location, schedule, and work environment. Some energy jobs need immense fieldwork and require employees to be on-site for months. You can talk to energy professionals before making a decision.
Best Paying Jobs in Energy FAQ
Aerospace engineering is the highest-paying renewable energy job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an aerospace engineer has a median wage of $118,610, higher than the national median wage for all occupations in the US.
Yes, a solar energy career is a great option. Solar energy technicians receive a competitive salary and a chance to work in renewable energy management. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmentally focused occupations will witness immense growth in the coming years.
Solar energy careers include solar project developers, solar power plant managers, and solar researchers. Solar energy workers will work on solar farms, solar plants, and solar installations.
To pursue a career in renewable energy, you should have an undergraduate degree in renewable energy, engineering, environmental science, or environmental management.
Petroleum engineers, civil engineers, nuclear technicians, renewable energy consultants, solar power operators, industrial engineers, wind farm site managers, and solar power plant operators are examples of energy careers.
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