How Do I Start a Career in Renewable Energy?
As the world balances on the precipice of an energy crisis, governments and organizations alike are starting to see the profitable potential of investing in renewably sourced electricity.
Hundreds of wind farms have already gained planning permissions, and even global oil and gas giants Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell have started to shift their service provisions. Late last year, they signed “Power Purchase Agreements” that allowed them to compensate for the growing fossil fuel shortage with green electricity produced elsewhere.
As a result, renewable energy has received a promising CAGR forecast of at least 8.4% until 2030 (Source: Novus Light). This, of course, would lead to a booming number of job opportunities.
How to Start A Career in Renewable Energy
Depending on your current skill set and qualifications, there are two main approaches to starting a career in renewable energy. Either you:
Dive right in with previous experience working in a similar field.
Start upgrading your resume and building your connections to find an entry-level job.
One way or another, there is an available job for you. No matter who you are, your background, or your current capabilities, with a little hard work and a willingness to learn, you’ll likely find a great opportunity.
The industry is facing a vast labour shortage where demand significantly outweighs supply, and, as of 2022, many employers and start-ups are recognising the importance of providing on-the-job training opportunities that allow candidates to learn as they earn. Although it’s inevitable that job seekers with experience in similar fields are going to find jobs faster, that doesn’t mean entrants will struggle.
From expert, technical, positions (like Electricians and Architects) to equally-important Marketing Manager positions, here’s what you need to know to find the perfect position.
Step 1. Job Research
A “chronic shortage of qualified tradesmen” (Source: The Advertiser) has left hundreds of unfilled jobs across the renewable energy industry.
Each one promises an engaging and long-lasting career for workers with a variety of backgrounds, but certain ones are in higher demand than others. Take a look at these options highlighted by Business Insider:
- Chemical Engineers
- General and Operations Managers
- Marketing Managers
- Environmental Science Technicians
- Training & Development Specialists
- Public Relations Specialists
- Construction Managers
- Economists & Logisticians
- Industrial Engineers and Mechanics
- Software Developers
- Solar and Wind Installers
What’s more? Some of these positions don’t require a degree or any specific qualification. Instead, candidates are typically judged instead by their skills, characteristics, and previous experience.
Anyone who has worked in Project Management in any other industry, for example, will easily be able to find a job in renewable energy.
Step 2. Personal Development
Depending on what you discover from your research, and the position that aligns most with your needs, you may need to start developing (or learning) new skills.
For instance, Software Engineering is often self-taught. If you want to take advantage of the growing career opportunities in renewable energy, this could be an attractive way to get your foot in the door. There are many courses online that can take as little as 3 months to complete.
To find what qualifications or experience you need, browse the detailed open listings on Earthstream’s Job Board. By understanding what you need to do, you can take responsibility for your personal development and soon be climbing up the career ladder.
Step 3. Update Your Resume & Cover Letter
The next step for finding a career in renewable energy is creating a detailed CV and cover letter that provides recruiters with a comprehensive overview of who you are and what you’re capable of.
If you aren’t already, you should include each of the following (Source: Zety):
- Contact Information
- Goals and Objectives
- Work History
- Soft and Technical Skills
- Certifications and Qualifications
- Achievements and Awards
While it can be difficult to fit everything you want to say into just one or two pages, your goal for your CV should be to share the most important information in a clear and concise manner. You can then expand on this in more detail in your cover letter.
On your resume, you might put:
- Strong teamwork skills.
- Great time management.
On your cover letter, you could then write:
At University, my ability to work with a team was put to the test. We had a tight deadline to adhere to with no clear leadership. As a team, we had to divide the tasks according to our individual strengths and make sure everything was submitted on time. Consistency was a necessity to achieving our goals, so we maintained communication through daily check-ins and each held ourselves accountable for the overall quality of work.
Cover letters are a great tool that helps employers/recruiters to connect the claims you’ve made in your resume with real evidence and experiences you’ve been through. Zety reports that only 47% of job seekers submit cover letters, so committing yourself to writing one proves you’re willing to go above and beyond.
Step 4. Networking
Before you go ahead and apply for jobs, there’s one last step you can take to secure a career in renewable energy… networking.
Attending industry events, meeting employees, and identifying specialist recruiters like EarthStream can help you find suitable opportunities for your skill set and passion. By being a present member of the community, you’ll be able to develop insider knowledge so that, when you get to the interview stage of a job application, you have a better chance of success.
Step 5. Apply for Jobs
When you are finally confident that you’ve found positions that align with what you want, and what you have to offer, start applying.
Don’t restrict yourself purely to job boards, where you’ll have to compete against thousands of irrelevant applications and, instead, look at renewable energy recruiter websites such as EarthStream. If you don’t see an open job in the field you are looking for, reach out to us via LinkedIn or submit your CV.