How to Become a Renewable Energy Engineer

Published: 07 Jun 2013

With average rates of pay ranging from £300-£1,000 per day and an array of exciting projects scheduled over the coming years, now is an incredible time to work as a renewable energy engineer. In addition, industry demand for engineers within such roles is particularly high due to worldwide government initiatives which are aimed at lowering carbon emissions. For engineers who are keen to use their skills in contributing to the ‘green’ industry and improving sustainability, renewable energy roles can offer the perfect opportunity to assist in combating climate change.

Standing out from the crowd

Although demand for renewable energy engineers is strong, there is still plenty of competition for these sought-after roles. Candidates are usually required to have a degree in either engineering or science, and experience in a previous engineering role is likely to prove beneficial. If invited to interview, applicants are likely to be questioned on a variety of green issues and asked to demonstrate their support of such projects, personally if not professionally. A comprehensive CV tailored to demonstrate renewable energy expertise is often a good way to catch an employer’s attention, but an extensive understanding of industry goals is essential for working within top engineering jobs. Renewable energy projects continue to be launched in a range of locations around the world, meaning that a willingness to relocate can sometimes prove to be an advantage for those looking to work in such roles.

Making a difference

Renewable energy engineering roles are relatively unique within the industry, due to their focus on working towards a carbon neutral future. As such, those looking to apply for jobs within this sector will need to be passionate about sustainable energy resources and able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the latest green developments around the globe. Renewable energy engineers have the opportunity to work with alternative resources such as bio fuels, hydropower, wind and solar power. Therefore, prior experience with green technologies can certainly prove advantageous. However, taking a personal interest in environmental issues and engaging with the renewable energy community via social media networks can also help in making an impression when submitting an application to prospective employers.

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Knowing your niche

Despite rapid industry expansion (employment within the wind sector, for example, grew by 91% during 2009/2010 in the UK), renewable energy engineering skills are still something of a rarity. As such, consultants in particularly specialised roles may, in fact, earn over £1,000 per day. In addition, there are an increasing number of contract opportunities becoming available, as well as permanent positions. Many new and upcoming projects and developments are the first of their kind, as the industry continues to explore a range of innovative renewable energy solutions. For engineers working on such projects, it can be a chance to develop rare and valuable skills, which are sure to place individuals in a strong position when looking to take the next step in their engineering career.


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