open search close window
close window
close window

Is Energy a Good Career Path?

The 10 Best Paying Jobs in Energy – That Are Good for the Environment

The energy sector is essential to everyday life for billions of people across the world. So, is energy a good career path to pursue? Energy advancements and technological breakthroughs have created reliable energy jobs of all kinds. Keep reading to explore the many career opportunities in the energy industry, including the top paying energy jobs.

Those working in the energy sector are responsible for keeping operations moving in homes, businesses, and countless other industries. There is a wide variety of careers in energy, from labor to engineering and software development. Additionally, as the demand for renewable energy rises, more career opportunities are available. If you’re looking for a career opportunity in energy, you are sure to find something that pays well and suits you.

someone working on a power line in a forest

Is Energy a Good Career Path?

There are many diverse types of positions and career opportunities available in energy. This is because there are many forms of energy currently being used throughout the world. We still rely on fossil fuels for energy, but renewable energy sources like wind turbines and solar farms make up more of our energy reserves each year. 

What It’s Like Working in the Energy Sector

Working in the energy sector can look very different to different people. For example, someone working in the renewable energy sector won’t operate the same machinery as someone working on a natural gas dig site. 

Jobs within the energy sector can span many areas. Software developers, financial analysts, and information systems managers will mostly work in an office setting. Chemists will work in the lab. Installers and machine operators will work on-site. Those with energy engineering careers will likely experience each point of the energy harvesting cycle. 

What Do Energy Jobs Pay?

Those looking to begin a career typically want to know how lucrative their chosen path might be. So, is power generation a good career path? Jobs in energy generally do pay well. Some of the best-paying jobs in power generation are in renewable energy careers. However, plenty of traditional energy jobs pay very well too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs in energy have median salaries between $80,000 and $100,000 per year. 

an infographic showing the best paying jobs in energy based on salary

The Fastest Growing Jobs In Energy

Below are the five fastest-growing jobs in energy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average projected growth rate for all occupations is eight percent. As you can see, these five occupations far exceed that rate and are growing. 

Of the five jobs below, three are in the renewable energy sector and two are in conventional energy. 

  • Wind Turbine Technician68% projected employment growth from 2020-30
  • Solar Panel Installer52% projected employment increase from 2020-30
  • Derrick Operator30% projected employment increase from 2020-30
  • Software Developer22% projected employment increase from 2020-30
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanic19% projected employment increase from 2020-30

The Top 6 Best Paying Jobs In Energy

The top-paying jobs in energy include many engineering and science positions. The following six jobs are relevant to the energy sector as a whole, though some relate more to conventional energy. Each of the six best-paying jobs in energy has a positive job outlook. Several of these highest paying positions are in engineering. Explore more about how to become an energy engineer.


These scientists have a range of skills. Chemists understand chemical reactions that can lead to combustion, solar power, and more. They can even use this knowledge to help develop new products. Chemists typically work regular hours in a lab. In most cases, a chemist in the energy sector must have an advanced degree in their field. 

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers plan, develop, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects like power plants. These large projects need a civil engineer to manage regulations, costs, hazards, and previous data during planning. Civil engineers should get at least a Bachelor’s degree in the field, but further studies are recommended. 

Industrial Engineer

When an energy project grows large enough, it might need an industrial engineer. These engineers create systems to reduce waste and reach optimal efficiency. Industrial engineers need a thorough knowledge of all machines and products used on site. A Bachelor’s degree is required, but a Master’s degree is useful in this field. 

Renewable Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers design and build devices and tools used in all kinds of industries. Engineers in the renewable energy sector often work to create wind farms that harness renewable wind energy using turbines. Mechanical engineers work in the office and make field visits when the equipment demands. A Bachelor’s degree is required for this position. 

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers combine their knowledge of multiple natural sciences to engineer solutions to issues that negatively affect the environment. These engineers consider both the needs of the environment and the needs of the humans who coexist with it to address pollution, waste disposal, and more. This occupation requires a Bachelor’s degree. 


Geoscientists study the earth and its physical conditions, such as its composition. In the energy sector, geoscientists use their knowledge to point out suitable resource deposits. Geoscientists will collect field samples and then analyze them in a lab. A Bachelor’s degree in their field is required, and an advanced degree is useful for many employers.


The 6 Best Paying Renewable Energy Jobs

There are many high-paying jobs in renewable energy. The field is crucial as we confront climate change and depleting resources. Fortunately, there are many careers in renewable energy and the industry grows more each year. Each of the following six career paths have a positive job outlook.

Renewable Energy Scientific Researcher

Those with knowledge in the field can work for private companies and universities as researchers. Using their specialized knowledge in chemistry, physics, or other sciences, scientific researchers investigate renewable energy sources.Scientific researchers work in the Research and Development departments of different entities. Advanced degrees are required. 

Financial Analyst

Because the renewable energy industry is still new compared to conventional energy, research that still needs to be conducted. Financial analysts perform cost-benefit analyses and calculate returns on investments to ensure a company is performing efficiently. Financial analysts will need a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and experience in the industry is a plus.

Green Construction Manager

A green construction manager works specifically on “green” projects, or projects that are in the alternative energy sector. These construction managers plan, develop, and construct projects from beginning to end. Green construction managers will work in the field and in the office to coordinate projects. Usually, these managers have a Bachelor’s degree in their field. 

Solar Engineer

Solar engineers are niche energy engineers that work to implement solar technology. Electrical engineers with solar knowledge are highly sought after because they can integrate renewable energy sources like solar power into the grid, which is a skill that not all energy engineers have. Solar engineers need a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s degree in the field can be beneficial. 

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers combine knowledge of multiple disciplines. Chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics are used to solve production issues. In the energy sector, chemical engineers work to test and develop energy sources. Becoming a chemical engineer requires a Bachelor’s degree. An advanced degree in this field is beneficial for higher-paying jobs.

  • Average Salary: $108,540
  • Job Outlook, 2020-30: 9% Projected Growth
  • Recommended Program: Environmental Science B.S.

Solar Software Developer

One of the highest-paying solar energy jobs is that of a solar software developer. Solar energy systems utilize software that allows operators to watch and customize aspects of production. Like other tech careers in energy, software developers will work in an office. They need at least a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s degree in the field is helpful. 


Degrees to Work in Renewable Energy

Often, these high-paying energy jobs only need a Bachelor’s degree to start out. In the more competitive fields, a graduate degree such as a Master’s degree can come in handy. At Unity Environmental University, start your ideal degree path by enrolling in one of the programs below. 

Sustainability, Environmental Science, and Renewable Energy are all relevant degree programs that will prepare you for a lucrative career in the energy sector. 

B.S. Sustainable Business Management (SBM): Renewable Energy

The SBM Renewable Energy Bachelor of Science degree prepares students to be sustainable business leaders. Business leaders that focus on innovation and green energy are more likely to succeed than their competitors. This program also helps students advance the push for renewable energy. 

M.B.A. Sustainable Business

The Sustainable Business Master of Business Administration degree is perfect for students who want to build a future of green, environmentally friendly business practices. Students who complete this degree program will have an understanding of corporate and social environmental responsibility. 

B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change

The Environmental Science and Climate Change Bachelor of Science gives students a well-rounded understanding of current environmental issues. It prepares students to help mitigate these concerns as a professional in the modern world. 

Master’s in Professional Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability

The Environmental Studies and Sustainability Master of Professional Science degree focuses on environmental problem-solving skills. This degree program gives students a thorough understanding of the climate change issues across the globe, as well as potential advanced solutions to reduce impact.. 

unity environmental university logo


Explore Renewable Energy Careers with Unity Environmental University

Whether you are interested in physical sciences, engineering, computers and technology, or any other field, there is an energy job for you. At Unity Environmental University, find an online or hybrid degree path for your dream career. Learn about Unity Environmental University, America’s environmental college that values sustainability and the future.

Degree Programs

Degree programs

to match your passion