The renewables sector and renewable energy jobs are as hot, if not hotter, than the sun itself.
The renewable energy industry is growing 12 percent faster than all the U.S. economy, according to the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps, and renewables are expected to account for almost 95 percent of the increase in global power capacity through 2026, with solar alone providing more than half of it.
With the exception of sales or business development roles, however, it’s difficult to get into this sector without experience in renewable energy, an industry that’s bent against traditional power sources like gas or oil, explains Jon Semingson, managing partner of Peak Demand.
A recruiting firm that connects top companies in the renewable energy space with the talent they need to grow their businesses, Peak Demand has placed individuals who have delivered more 10 gigawatts of installed generation to our clients, equating billions of dollars of clean, renewable energy and enough power for 10 million homes.
So, it’s key to have a renewable energy sector recruiter when looking to break into or secure renewable energy jobs.
“It’s very nichey, it’s challenging,” says Semingson, an award-winning recruiter who has been in this specific area for 15 years. “We speak that language.”
If this is a field that piques your interest, here are among the hottest jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Engineering and Design
With the number of very large-scale utility solar and energy storage systems needed, overall, these are the hottest jobs in the renewable energy sector, Semingson explains. Often, they are tasked with building the storage and the system itself as they go hand-in-hand. “The amount of solar energy storage is enormous with the projects on the horizon,” he says.
Project Development and Management
If you’ve got experience in project development, especially with large renewable energy power plants, your expertise is needed. This means navigating the journey to find land with the ability to connect to the power grid and understanding land acquisition and permitting, in essence, “people who know the market well and leaders who understand renewable energy and how to develop these projects,” Semingson says.
Because the renewable energy industry is still relatively new, the intricacies need much interpretation by someone with the knowledge of how to implement it effectively and legally. For example, Semingson talks about a company where one 100 percent of a person’s job was doing policy and lobbying work on behalf of their organization to craft new policies and solutions.
Whether you are a sales consultant who assists homeowners in replacing their current source of power to a cleaner method or a solar sales rep, your role is key in the growth of the industry, which hinges on getting more individuals on board. “There is always demand for folks who can close and produce general revenue,” Semingson says.
There are about 2,500 openings for solar photovoltaic installers projected each year, on average from 2021-2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also projected to grow 27 percent – much faster than average – over this same decade.
Wind Turbine Technician
With wind becoming a more viable energy source, professionals who can install, maintain and repair wind turbines will be in demand. From 2021-2031, jobs are projected to grow 44 percent, a much faster than average rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The renewables sector also attracts leaders who want to make a difference and create real social and environmental impact. C-level finance, operations and executive positions also are part of the renewables mix.
As you can see, the future of renewable industry jobs shines bright, and should for many years to come.
Georgann Yara is a journalist based in Phoenix. Find her on Twitter @georgannyara.
Photo by Gustavo Fring