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What does it take to become a renewable energy engineer?

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago

​With a government pledge of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the UK renewable energy industry is more important than ever. It is therefore no surprise that the demand for renewable energy engineers is projected to grow as a result.

According to research by Drax Electric Insights, last year renewable energy accounted for almost 42% of the UK’s electricity. Despite this progression, new green technologies need to be implemented to meet the UK’s target for climate change.

The renewable energy sector is developing quickly and it’s an exciting and innovative career path with a wide range of opportunities. As a renewable energy engineer you will be contributing to building a better future and be at the forefront of this crucial sector.

What does a renewable energy engineer do?

Renewable energy engineers work on the production of energy through natural resources such as wind, hydro, solar or marine power. They look at ways of reducing the impact on the environment by researching and developing new technologies that will result in cleaner ways to supply energy.

What do you need?

To pursue a career in energy engineering you will need to have a degree in an engineering or scientific subject. For example, renewable energy, environmental engineering, earth sciences etc. A degree apprenticeship is also another avenue you could look at taking. It’s not essential, however if your first degree is not an engineering or science related subject, a postgraduate qualification may also be valuable.

As a renewable energy engineer you will need to have the following skills and interests:

  • An interest in science, technology, and the environment

  • Excellent problem solving and analytical skills

  • Mathematic and scientific ability

  • Strong IT skills

  • Be able to work as part of a team and independently

  • Knowledge of legislation

  • Good communication skills

  • Project management skills

  • An ability to understand complex data

What opportunities are available?

There are some fantastic opportunities available to those who wish to build a career in renewable energy engineering. The industry requires a wide range of skillsets to fulfil the various job roles available. Some organisations could include manufacturing companies, government departments, fuel production industries and more. There is a good chance of career progression too, particularly in project management or business development.

According to the National Careers Service, the average salary of an energy engineer ranges from £20,000 (starter) - £50,000 (experienced).

You may want to work within a research department to test and develop sources of energy, or even work in the automotive industry working to meet exhaust emission legislation. Whatever your ambitions, a career in energy engineering has endless opportunities.

If you want to know more about starting a career in this exciting industry, why not visit the National Careers Service for more information here: Alternatively if you are looking for your next opportunity in the renewable energy sector, view our latest jobs.