Menu

open search close window
close window
close window

How to Become a Renewable Energy Consultant

Are you passionate about clean energy? Do you have an analytical mind and enjoy creative problem solving? A career as a renewable energy consultant may be right for you! Combine your passion with your skills as you pursue education to become an energy consultant.

In this guide, we’ll cover: 

  • What Is A Renewable Energy Consultant?
  • What Does an Energy Consultant Do?
  • Average Energy Consultant Salary?
  • What is the Energy Consultant Job Outlook?
  • How to Become an Energy Expert: Educational Qualifications
  • Renewable Energy Courses and Degrees

solar energy expert observing data on a tablet

As you become an energy consultant, you’ll be a part of the fast-growing clean energy industry. You will work with clients to meet their goals while reducing or eliminating impact on the environment. Learn how to become an energy expert and what your future holds as a green energy professional. 

Career Path Overview for Energy Consultants

Education Requirements

B.S. in Environmental Science or Renewable Energy

Recommended Degree Program

SBM Renewable Energy

BS in Environmental Science and Climate Change

Average Salary (2020)

$73,230 per year

Workers Employed in U.S. (2020)

87,100

Projected Job Openings by 2030

94,400

Projected Growth Rate

8%

Other Job Titles

Energy Expert, Field Energy Advisor, Solar Energy Consultant, Hybrid Energy Consultant

Related Careers

Environmental ConsultantEnergy Engineer

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is A Renewable Energy Consultant?

Renewable energy consultants work with clients to reduce or eliminate the environmental impacts of their business. This work can range from small tasks to projects on a global scale. As companies grapple with the impacts of climate change and resource consumption, a skilled energy consultant guides their clients in decision-making, advocating for sound environmental practices,. 

Types of Renewable Energy Consultants:

  • Solar Energy Consultant: Focus on solar energy projects such as solar panel installation or related projects
  • Hybrid Energy Consultant: Work with clients on projects with multiple sources of energy, typically both renewable sources
  • Energy Auditor: Assess client’s existing energy systems and compliance with a set of standards 

What Does an Energy Consultant Do?

When preparing for a career in environmental and energy consulting, consider the many specialty areas you can pursue. Renewable energy consultants can be office-based, work in the field, or a combination of both as they complete essential job functions. 

The context of your role may vary as you work on different projects or with different types of clients. However, the day to day of what a renewable energy consultant does typically includes: 

  • Data analysis
  • Assessing client systems
  • Researching and recommending solutions and resources
  • Overseeing building projects or installations
  • Managing budgets and tracking progress
  • Client collaboration

Solar Energy Consultant Job Description 

As a solar energy consultant, you’ll focus specifically on projects that involve solar panels and solar energy. This work may occur in a central office or onsite with a client. At the end of your journey to become a solar energy consultant, you may also take a role as a solar energy sales consultant. With a sales focus, you would be working to sell solar energy solutions to businesses and individuals – providing your energy expertise in the process. 

Solar energy consultant salary may be slightly higher in a sales role depending on the compensation structure. A solar consultant job description likely includes:

  • Needs assessment
  • Researching and recommending solutions and resources
  • Overseeing building projects or installations
  • Data analysis
  • Client collaboration

Hybrid Energy Consultant Job Description 

Hybrid energy consultants work with systems that utilize multiple energy sources. Oftentimes, hybrid energy systems combine two or more forms of renewable energy, which creates unique opportunities and challenges for businesses. In this role, you’ll use critical thinking and creative problem solving skills to succeed. 

A typical job description may include: 

  • Inspecting existing client systems
  • Researching and recommending improvements or resources
  • Identifying potential roadblocks and implementing solutions
  • Data analysis
  • Client collaboration

Skills Needed to Be an Energy Consultant 

Regardless of specialization, the best way to become an energy consultant is to focus on honing your skills. With this set of tools, you will have your choice of roles and specialties. All energy consultants will need:

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Environmental knowledge
  • Data analysis skills
  • Project management skills

energy expert in solar field

Where Do Energy Consultants Work?

Wherever there is renewable energy, you can find a green energy consultant. Whether in an office or in the field, international or domestic, renewable energy consultants work to improve the environment and provide value to clients. 

In each of these roles, your hours and working environment will vary greatly. Consider what you value in a workplace as you interview for various roles, and identify which companies or specializations align best. As an energy expert, you may work for: 

  • A private consulting firm, alongside a team of energy consultants
  • A large corporation, as an in-house energy expert
  • A domestic or international government
  • Yourself, as an independent energy consultant

In the Office

As an energy consultant in the office, you’ll work on the logistical or non-field elements of your projects. This may include client meetings, data analysis, research, and more. Depending on your specific position, you may spend a majority of your time in the office. 

Other roles spend almost all of their time in the field, with limited days in the office. Whatever your position entails, in-office work requires strong collaboration and communication skills as you work with others to meet your goals. 

What is a Field Energy Advisor?

As a field energy advisor, you will join or represent clients in the field over the course of a project. This may involve overseeing part or all of an installation, or inspecting progress at various points.

A field energy consultant job description often changes based on the project or client they are assigned to, giving flexibility and variety to the role. 

Average Energy Consultant Salary?

Energy consultant salary range varies by specialization, location, and employer. You can optimize your earnings with a job in clean energy consulting by pursuing additional certifications. If you become a certified energy advisor, salary prospects increase significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect your energy efficiency consultant salary to fall within the ranges below. 

  • Median: $73,230
  • Top 10%: $129,450
  • Bottom 10%: $42,960

Top paying states for Environmental Scientists and Specialists according to the BLS:

State

Number Employed

Average Hourly Wage

Average Annual Salary

District of Columbia

1,730

$ 55.83

$ 116,120

California

14,830

$ 45.62

$ 94,880

Massachusetts

2,070

$ 43.95

$ 91,410

Virginia

3,380

$ 42.00

$ 87,360

Washington

3,010

$ 41.55

$ 86,420

What is the Energy Consultant Job Outlook? 

Jobs in the environmental sciences, including energy consulting, are growing steadily as governments and private companies focus more on the environmental impact of what they do (BLS). As a green energy consultant, you’ll have the opportunity to join this growing field while making a difference. 

  • Estimate of Jobs available: 9,400
  • Rate of projected job growth: 8%
  • New jobs to be added in the next 10-years: 7,300
  • Fastest growing states for jobs: California, Texas, Florida, New York, North Carolina

How to Become an Energy Expert: Educational Qualifications

Once you’ve decided to pursue a role in energy, how to become a renewable energy consultant is largely up to you. As long as you earn a bachelor’s degree, you meet minimum requirements for most roles. However, to optimize your chances of landing a high-paying role in your specialization of interest, there are extra steps you’ll need to take. 

Energy Consultant High School Recommendations

Just because you are in high school does not mean you can’t take steps to become a green energy consultant! Set yourself up for success by participating in activities and taking classes that build key skills in the energy field. Because the field requires a bachelor’s degree, it is important to focus on having strong grades and involvement in extracurriculars as you apply to college. Consider: 

  • Enrolling in STEM track or specialized STEM school
  • Joining a science-based extracurricular like Science Olympiad or Environmental Club
  • Taking a Public Speaking course to build key communication skills

Energy Consultant College Education Recommendations

Many universities offer science and environment-related programs, but few offer the exact degrees you’ll need to succeed as an energy consultant. Consider a degree from Unity College and one of the programs below for the skills and qualifications needed to pursue an energy specialization. 

Undergraduate

For your undergraduate studies, focus on earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Specialty programs like those at Unity College can give you a head start in your pursuit of a successful career as a green energy consultant.

Postgraduate

Regardless of your undergraduate degree, a number of postgraduate programs give you the tools to join the energy field and reach your full potential. Consider a program that provides additional value, like a Sustainable MBA from Unity College, where you will earn an MBA and focus specifically on sustainability. 

Or set yourself apart from others in the field with a Master’s in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. These degree programs can help you advance as a renewable energy consultant, or move into the field from another. 

Additional Certifications and Licenses

In addition to undergraduate and graduate coursework, there are a number of additional certifications to help you progress in the field. Many organizations offer renewable energy consultant courses to help you hone industry-specific skills. You also can earn a renewable energy expert certificate to identify yourself as a true expert and provide additional value to your client, your employer, and yourself. Many of these additional certifications can be obtained after you’ve started your first role in the field as a way to continue to grow in your specialization. 

consulting conversation

Renewable Energy Courses and Degrees

Unity offers distance learning, hybrid, and online courses for students across the united states. 

BS in Environmental Science and Climate Change – Unity College

If your interest lies in climate change and the environment, enroll in Unity College’s B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change degree program. You’ll be prepared with an understanding of the science behind the environment around us, and skills to put to use for a more sustainable future.

BS in SBM Renewable Energy – Unity College

To move directly into work advancing energy for the future, the B.S. in SBM Renewable Energy program is an excellent match. You’ll gain the skills and expertise to lead renewable energy projects and develop new technologies.

Sustainable Business Management: Renewable Energy

Interested in the business aspects of green energy? The Sustainable Business Management: Renewable Energy degree program focuses on the skills you will need to succeed as a renewable energy consultant.

solar panels in a field

Explore More Energy Career Paths

Energy Engineer

As an energy engineer, you will work hands-on in solar, wind, or other green energy to develop, design, and install renewable energy technology. Advanced engineers may consult on projects. 

Environmental Data Analyst

Environmental data analysts gathers, analyses, and interprets data that can inform business decision and important public policies. A senior in this field can step forward to act as a consultant.

Sustainability Managers

Sustainability Managers bring practical management skills to the pursuit of a more sustainable present and future. 

Urban Planner

Take your skills and education to the streets as an Urban Planner. You’ll design, create, and improve the urban landscape for a more sustainable future. 

Degree Programs

Degree programs

to match your passion