Is Energy A Good Career Path for Graduates? | 2023

Is Energy A Good Career Path

There are numerous job opportunities available in the energy industry. This is because we are in an energy transition period, and the demand for skilled workers in the energy sector will skyrocket.

While we continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy, renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar farms contribute more to our energy reserves each year.

This article will answer questions like “Is energy a good career path for graduates?” and provide a comprehensive list of the 20 highest-paying energy jobs.

Table of Contents

What is Energy?

The energy industry is the economic sector concerned with generating and distributing electricity, natural gas, oil, and other forms of energy. 

The energy industry is an integral part of any economy and plays a vital role in a country’s development and growth.

Energy is classified into two types: renewable and non-renewable. Solar, wind, and hydropower are examples of renewable energy sources, whereas fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of non-renewable energy sources.

So, what is the significance of the energy industry? The world would be very different if the energy industry did not provide the electricity that powers homes and businesses, the oil that powers vehicles, and the natural gas that powers the industry.

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Is Energy A Good Career Path?

Yes! The demand for such skills is expected to skyrocket with the variety of available energy sources.

The energy sector will remain profitable as long as there is energy demand.

Demand for skilled workers will continue to rise as long as the industry remains profitable.

Solar, fusion, hydrogen, modular reactors, energy storage, and other forms of renewable energy are all expanding into new markets.

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What are the Pros and Cons of a Career in Energy?

The energy industry is a vital part of the economy, providing many career opportunities in solar energy, oil, gas, or power plant companies. 

However, there are some disadvantages to working in this field. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of working in the energy industry.


Good Pay

 Energy jobs are typically well-paid. For example, the median annual salary for an engineer is $86,000.

Job security

The energy industry is expanding, and qualified workers are in high demand. This means that there are a lot of job opportunities in this field, and there will be even more in the future.

You have the power to make a difference

 Working in the energy industry allows you to contribute to the resolution of some of the world’s most pressing issues.

You will be able to travel

 Many energy jobs require travel, which can be a great way to see the world. For example, if you want to work in green energy technology, you can visit developing countries where new environmental projects are implemented.


Potential hazards

 Working in the energy industry can be hazardous due to the numerous potential hazards. Several accidents have occurred in recent years, putting workers at risk of injury or death, which is why many workers in the field have hazard insurance.

Male-dominated industry

 Because the energy industry is predominantly male, it is difficult for women to advance and advance in their energy careers.

“Dirty” industry

 Because the energy industry produces a lot of pollution, it may not be your best career path if you care about the environment.

Requires extensive education and skills

 Because most energy jobs require a college degree, specialized skills, and extensive on-the-job training, be prepared to devote a significant amount of time and effort to your education and training.

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What are the Skills Required to Succeed in a Career in Energy?

Is Energy A Good Career Path? We can’t answer this question without discussing the skills needed to scale in this industry. Before making a career change, it’s a good idea to know what skills employers in the energy sector are looking for. Let us investigate.

Basic Skills

According to Rand, which analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational employment statistics (OES) data, the most in-demand skills in the energy sector are classified as “basic skills.” 

Active listening, critical thinking, speaking, reading comprehension, and monitoring are the top five for the sector.

STEM Knowledge

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies are highly valued in the industry, particularly in tech-related roles. 

However, it’s important to remember that the field comprises numerous professions, so while a STEM background is advantageous for various roles, not having one isn’t a deal breaker.


While most jobs require job candidates to be able to perform a variety of tasks, those in energy rank relatively high in this regard, particularly in terms of technical skills.

Social Awareness

Not surprisingly, top-performing companies in the industry constantly strive to meet people’s needs while keeping the environment in mind. 

They intentionally seek employees who are not only interested in and understand social responsibility but are also conscious of these aspects throughout their work.

Project Management

Performance and profitability are critical, but they are difficult to achieve in an industry with higher levels of risk and limited resources. 

Those with solid backgrounds in project management, particularly in difficult situations, will frequently move to the front of the interview line.


The frequency with which collaboration is leveraged in the energy sector is one of the reasons employers value communication skills. 

Those who can communicate effectively and relate information to technical and non-technical teams have an advantage when working collaboratively.

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What are the Education and Training Requirements for a Career in Energy?

Often, these high-paying energy jobs require only a Bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree, such as a Master’s degree, can be helpful in more competitive fields.

Sustainability, Environmental Science, and Renewable Energy are all relevant degree programs that will prepare you for a rewarding career in the energy industry.

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What are the Salary and Job Outlook for a Career in Energy?

Energy jobs increased by 4.0% from 2020 to 2021, outpacing overall employment growth of 2.8% during the same period. 

More than 300,000 jobs were added in the energy sector, bringing the total number of energy jobs from 7.5 million in 2020 to more than 7.8 million in 2021.

As is evident, the opportunities for job seekers in this industry are limitless.

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How Much Can You Make From Energy?

The average annual salary for an energy job in the United States is $71,079. The highest-paying position in the energy industry earns an average of $141,000 per year, while the lowest-paying position earns an average of $30,000 per year. 

Of course, salaries vary depending on your level of education, experience, and location.

Jobs in the oil and gas industry are higher-paying than jobs in renewable energy, and positions in cities are higher-paying than jobs in rural areas. 

And, as we all know, jobs requiring more experience or a higher level of education typically pay more than entry-level jobs.

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List of Best Paying Jobs in Energy

Is Energy A Good Career Path? Lets talk about the best jobs in this industry. These are some of the highest-paying jobs in the energy sector.

1. Geoscientist

They research the earth’s physical properties. Geoscientists are in charge of determining the best places to drill for oil or natural gas. They earn an annual salary of $95,000 on average.

2. Information Systems Manager

This job does not directly deal with energy, but energy is now inextricably linked with technology, so it qualifies as an energy job. This position pays around $140,000 per year.

3. Material Scientist

They contribute to developing new products and improving existing ones, such as semiconductors, solar panels, etc. They earn around $100,000 per year.

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4. The Solar Power Plant Operator

They contribute to the smooth operation of a solar plant. This job could be yours if you have a high school diploma. They can earn up to $80,000 per year.

5. A Material Engineer

This is not the case for material scientists. They contribute to developing products that improve our daily lives, such as home construction and vehicles. They can make up to $90,000 per year.

6. Aerospace Engineer

This group of engineers specializes in planes, satellites, and so on. They’re pretty valuable in the energy industry. They can earn up to $115,000 per year.

7. Chemical Engineer

This job combines various disciplines, such as math and chemistry, to improve the efficiency of manufacturing facilities. They earn $108,000 per year.

8. Atmospheric Scientist

These scientists thoroughly understand the weather, climate, and so on.

To qualify, you must have a bachelor’s degree, as with most of the jobs listed thus far.

In this case, a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. They earn around $150,000 per year.

9. Solar Energy Technician

They install, repair, and maintain solar systems for residential and commercial clients.

This requires no college education. They earn $45,000 per year.

10. Civil Engineer

A civil engineer, who works in the engineering field, is responsible for designing, building, and supervising infrastructure projects. 

The national average salary for a civil engineer job in the United States is $81,660 annually. If you have more than six years of experience in that position, you can earn $111,241 per year. Entry-level positions in the energy sector pay $64,790.

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11. Nuclear Technicians

They are employed in nuclear power plants. They monitor equipment performance and radiation levels in the soil, water, and air. These workers earn up to $80,000 per year

12. Architectural Manager

They design and construct energy-efficient structures. The minimum requirement for this job is a bachelor’s degree, which isn’t always enough. They can earn up to $200,000 per year.

13. Renewable Energy Consultant

They assist clients in locating solutions. They specialize in renewable energy and assist clients in developing a renewable energy system that meets their requirements. Every year, about $80,000 is spent.

14. Software Developer

They contribute to developing software that allows renewable energy, such as solar, to run efficiently. They can make up to $80,000 per year.

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15. Petroleum Engineer

Because the world still relies heavily on petroleum products, this is one of the most lucrative jobs in the energy sector. They can earn up to $130,000 per year.

16. Power Plant Operator

They contribute to the flow of energy. Power plant operators also service and maintain vital energy distribution and production systems. Every year, they earn at least $80,000.

17. Chemist

A chemist’s annual salary in the United States is $60,795. A chemist with less than a year of experience can earn up to $53,546 annually in an entry-level position. 

On the other hand, a chemist with more than ten years of experience earns an average annual salary of $85,492.

18. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers work in the renewable energy field and are ideal for those who want to help protect the environment. 

An environmental engineer’s primary responsibilities include identifying ways to reduce pollution and waste and developing plans to clean up polluted areas. The average annual salary for this renewable energy career is $82,835.

19. Industrial Engineer

The average salary for an industrial engineer in the United States is $78,484 annually. Chicago, IL, has the highest salary for this position, with an annual salary of $85,149. 

An industrial engineer is responsible for developing and improving systems within factories and other industrial areas.

20. Renewable Energy Development Engineer

A renewable mechanical engineer is responsible for developing and managing renewable energy projects. 

The average salary for this job in the United States is $86,787 per year, with experienced engineers with more than ten years of experience in renewable energy earning more than $100,000 per year.

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What Companies are in the Energy Field?

Below are some of the companies in the Energy Field:

ExxonMobil Corporation

Office location: Irving, Texas

Size: over 10,000 employees

ExxonMobil is a large international oil and gas company founded in 1999. They keep track of resources like diesel, plastics, gasoline, and petrochemicals.


Office location: San Ramon, California

Size: over 10,000 employees

Chevron is a multi-energy industry company founded in 1879 to produce reliable renewable energy for the future. 

They transport and manufacture crude oil and natural gas and distribute energy and petrochemical products.

NextEra Energy

Office location: Juno Beach, Florida

Size: over 10,000 employees

NextEra Energy is an energy company focusing on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. 

NextEra, founded in 1984, works to provide renewable energy in the United States and worldwide.

General Electric Company

Office location: Boston, Massachusetts

Size: over 10,000 employees

The General Electric Company, founded in 1892, is a technology and energy conglomerate. It is focused on various areas, including aviation, healthcare, lighting, power, renewable energy, and transportation.


Office location: Houston, Texas

Size: over 10,000 employees

ConocoPhillips is a company that specializes in production and reserves. The company, founded in 1875, focuses on providing renewed energy globally by investing in oil, energy, and water conversion.

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How to Get Started in a Career in Energy

If you want to work in the energy industry, start with the following steps:

1. Select a functional area.

A functional area is an organization’s section dedicated to a specific activity. A company’s human resources department is an example of an active site.

2. Acquire credentials

The credentials required for your career are determined by the field you’ve chosen to work in. Many jobs in the energy industry require only a high school diploma in terms of education.

3. Become a member of a professional organization.

A professional association comprises people who work in a specific industry or profession and is often open to those who want to work in that field.

4. Look for entry-level positions.

Many job opportunities in the energy industry require no prior experience and offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships. If you’ve decided to pursue a career in a functional area where such opportunities exist, you can find entry-level positions by researching well-known companies in the relevant field.

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FAQs on Is Energy A Good Career Path

Is Energy A Good Career Path?

Yes! The demand for such skills is expected to skyrocket with the variety of available energy sources.

How Much Can You Make From Energy?

The average annual salary for an energy job in the United States is $71,079.

What are the Education and Training Requirements for a Career in Energy?

Often, these high-paying energy jobs require only a Bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree, such as a Master’s degree, can be helpful in more competitive fields.


Energy is still a viable career option in 2022. Without energy, the world would perish.

As long as there is life, energy will be a viable career option.

We believe this article is beneficial and have successfully answered the question ” Is Energy a good career path?.



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