What does an Energy Engineer do?
4th February 2015
The Energy sector is huge and there are many different aspects to the supply chain which ultimately provides houses and businesses with electricity and gas. Oil and Gas exploration sectors for example find raw materials that will generate the energy we consume. Companies in these fields have operations across the globe both on and offshore.
Nuclear Power Stations and Refining plants turn a range of raw materials into energy which can then be distributed to the consumer across vast networks of pipelines and electric cables.
As the world becomes more and more concerned with the impacts of climate change renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydraulic have grown in importance. The utility companies who ultimately supply households with energy also play an important role in the energy sector. As well as the big companies which provide these services there is a huge army of small businesses providing support on a range of energy engineering projects. So maybe it's time to consider working in energy jobs and maybe as an energy analyst or engineer.
What is an Energy Analyst/Engineer?
The field of Energy Analysis and Engineering involves understanding and collating data and information about energy usage, policies and standards at various points throughout the supply chain. This information is then used to inform a variety of activities such as implementing new engineering solutions, informing policy, reducing waste and educating users about improving efficiency.
Entry Requirements for Energy Analysts
In general applicants would be expected to be qualified to degree level. Suitable degree requirements would reflect the role itself. For example if the role involves significant levels of engineering graduates would usually be expected to have a relevant bachelors or postgraduate engineering degree. Should the role be heavily weighted towards analytical research and decision making applications may be open to graduates from other fields such as Business, Economics, Geography or Science.
For those candidates without degree level education a number of companies offer apprenticeships in energy engineering and maintenance.
Energy Analysts and Skills Required
Alongside the degree requirements there are a range of skills that Energy Analysts/Engineers may be expected to have. In the analytical roles candidates will gain experience of working with large data sets, using programming and database software such as Excel/SPSS/SQL, producing reports and presenting findings to various stakeholders. Team working and project management skills would also be important as you usually work with others to deliver initiatives.
For those roles which relate to implementation through engineering you may also be expected to design solutions, ensure supplies are available, provide basic technical support and advice and ensure all administrative tasks relating to installations are complete. In certain circumstances you may be expected to be involved in physical implementation.
Types of Energy Roles
A typical Energy Analyst role would involve the analysis of information that would then be used to design specific projects and policy decisions. Other types of specific role within the energy sector may include:
Energy Policy Analyst - an Energy Policy Analyst would consider changes in the environment, energy provision, energy costs and impacts on society to form policies for companies and governing bodies.
Estimators - Estimators are involved in planning and estimating activities and costs on a wide range of on shore and off shore energy projects.
Waste Engineers - Waste Engineers are involved in reviewing the efficiency of waste management programmes on energy projects, and implementing effective changes.
Energy Analysts Salary
Starting salaries for Energy Analysts range from £20k-£30k per annum in the UK with senior and specialist roles ranging from £30k-£40k. In the longer term departmental head, director and consultant positions may attract salaries upward of £60k per annum.
Future of the Energy Sector
As the world's population continues to increase the demand for energy will continue to grow. The demand for top quality candidates with relevant STEM backgrounds is huge. For example in Scotland, according to the Energy Skills Investment Plan there will be 95,000 new opportunities by 2020 in the Energy Sector.
Across the Globe off shore and on shore markets are changing. As major corporations compete to find new sources of oil, sectors such as marine, renewable and shale continue to evolve.
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