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What Are the Different Types of Careers in Sustainable Energy?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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According to many business experts, careers in sustainable energy are poised to grow tremendously throughout the 21st century. While many sustainable energy jobs require special training and education, they are available in many different fields, from software development to construction. Some of the many different types of careers in sustainable energy include scientific research and development, environmental analysis and consulting, and green construction. Jobs in administration and maintenance may also be plentiful in some areas.

As fossil fuel resources fall and data about climate change becomes more prevalent, the call for sustainable energy alternatives has dramatically increased. Qualified scientists are needed to help refine existing alternative energy technology, develop new methods of creating sustainable energy, and adapt energy resources to meet the growing demand. Many universities offer science-based degrees in alternative energy, which combine training in mathematics, engineering, and classical science to help prepare students for jobs in the field of energy development. Careers in sustainable energy that focus on scientific research and development may be available through alternative energy providers, laboratory corporations, and government energy departments.

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Environmental analysis and consulting helps existing businesses and residences determine their energy use, and adapt to appropriate energy alternatives. Careers in this field may include serving as an in-house consultant to an industrial company that must comply with new energy standards, monitoring businesses as a government agent to ensure compliance with environmental law, working with construction companies to help create green buildings, or creating plans, budgets, and timelines to help businesses switch over to alternative energy. Careers in sustainable energy consulting often require advanced scientific degrees, as well as certification from environmental agencies.

Careers in sustainable energy that focus on green construction often require less formal education than scientific or consulting jobs. Professionals in this field may provide services such as the installation of solar panels, construction of wind farms and geothermal plants, and retrofitting of existing structures to use alternative energy sources. Green construction firms may also build new homes, apartment buildings, and commercial structures to run on sustainable energy. Entry-level jobs in this field may require little educational experience, while advanced jobs may require the completion of certification programs.

Administrative and technical careers in sustainable energy may also be available for those with appropriate skill sets. Alternative energy companies are frequently in need of skilled administrators and office workers to manage the day-to-day business of the company. Technicians may be able to find jobs in alternative power plants, monitoring, repairing, and maintaining the equipment crucial to the operation of the plant. Some of these careers provide on-the-job training, and can be a good way to get involved with the industry while obtaining an education or starting out in the professional world.

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