Energy engineering usually refers to a mixture of engineering disciplines, such as electrical and mechanical engineering, in such a way as to work on the problems of collecting and using energy resources to meet our needs without causing environmental problems.
The career outlook for an energy engineer is good. They make on average $52-$62 thousand a year.After all, energy is the ultimate resource - it makes other resources obtainable, and it can't be recycled the way many others can. We depend on lots of energy to support our lifestyles and economy, and most of us expect it to always be affordable. However, that may not be the case.
There are two major problems. One is the fact that the majority of our energy comes from fossil fuels, a finite resource which may soon be exhausted. The next is the fact that most of our energy production is also done in such a way as to cause serious environmental issues, including climate change. At the moment nuclear power and renewable sources are the primary alternatives, but neither are currently able to supply all the energy we need, and there are logistical concerns about both.
Since the population and demand are still growing, an energy crisis could be looming. That's why energy engineers will soon be in demand. Energy engineering professionals can look into where we get our energy, how to produce it, and how to use it, allowing us to increase efficiency and reduce damage caused by our need for power. As more and more governments, companies, and organizations realize that they need to work on their energy use and production, more energy engineers are going to be needed.
So how do you become an energy engineer? This relatively recent field could require a background in multiple disciplines. People with the right engineering knowledge and experience can turn their existing credentials into a position in energy engineering. Energy engineering programs are also available from some universities and certification institutions, allowing people who are thinking of entering the field to get the background they need for this fascinating and rewarding new positions.
Clean Energy Jobs
- Energy Auditors
- Clean Energy Jobs Q&A: Across All Fields and Positions
- What is a Thermal Engineer?
- Smart Grid Engineer
- Energy Commission Specialist
- Hydrogen Plant Operator & Operations Manager
- Refrigeration Engineer
- Landfill Gas Plant Operator
- Thermal Engineer
- Energy Engineer
- Energy Auditor
- Green IT Professional/Consultant
Energy Engineering Resources
- Planning and Installing Photovoltaic Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers (Planning and Installing Series)
- The Engineering Guide to LEED-New Construction (Green Source): Sustainable Construction for Engineers (GreenSource Books)
- Planning and Installing Solar Thermal Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers
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