The world runs on energy. Without it, we would struggle with powering our vehicles, healthcare instruments, homes, and many other necessary tools and devices.
There are many career paths for those who are interested in the energy sector, and some pay better than others.
If the thought of working with either traditional or renewable energy excites you, there are some high-paying energy jobs you should consider.
In this post, I’ll explore the best paying jobs in energy, how much money you can make, and much more. Let’s get started!
- Engineering jobs
- Scientists and researchers
- Sales reps
Best Paying Jobs in Energy
Below are some of the best paying jobs in energy. If you have a passion for keeping the world running or the renewable energy sector – some of these jobs could be perfect for you!
Aerospace engineers work with things in the sky such as spacecraft, airplanes, and satellites. Some highly trained experts even work as wind turbine service technicians. You can work in manufacturing, research, design, or analysis, and you can work for either a government agency or a private sector corporation.
To be successful in this role, you need to understand how the world around you works in terms of engineering.
A wind energy engineer, for example, will need to understand physics, mathematics, computer programming, chemistry, and other important subjects.
You need at least a bachelor’s degree to be an engineer in this field, and furthering your knowledge with more schooling can help you succeed even more.
The median wage for an aerospace engineer is about $122,000. It’s a career that comes with a lot of work, but it’s perfect for someone who loves the sky and wants to understand how it works. Moreover, energy companies are always looking to hire more aerospace engineers – so there’s always demand.
A petroleum engineer operates in the oil and gas industry.
They find oil and gas underground and help with the extraction process. There are many ways to extract oil from the ground, and a petroleum engineer will work to find the best extraction method for a particular site. There are still plenty of opportunities for petroleum engineers, even as the world shifts towards clean energy.
To be successful in this role, you need to understand the ins and outs of the oil and gas industry. Knowing how big energy companies operate will be beneficial as well, and you have to be comfortable with research and willing to work with a team to solve a problem.
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to get a job in petroleum engineering. However, this is a job that comes with a lot of on the job training.
The median pay for a petroleum engineer is about $137,000. It’s a lucrative energy career, and through your work you can help individuals heat their homes, fuel their cars, etc.
An atmospheric scientist is a career few people have heard of, but it’s certainly an interesting one.
These individuals research and analyze both weather and climate to help national defense systems operate. They can also advise renewable energy companies that specialize in harvesting and storing wind energy.
To be successful in this part of the energy industry, you need to know about the weather and how the atmosphere works. You’ll also need to understand physics, engineering, and mathematics.
An atmospheric scientist typically holds a bachelor’s degree or higher in meteorology, and usually they possess degrees in other physical sciences.
The median income for an atmospheric scientist is $94,000 which is above average when compared to salaries for other jobs in the energy sector.
One of the best ways to help the world is to work as an environmental engineer in the energy industry.
These individuals are well-versed in several sciences and they come up with solutions to complex environmental problems. Environmental engineers are often working with waste disposal, air pollution, and other environmental hazards.
In this role, you get to help the environment, and you’ll be paid handsomely to do – so making it one of the best paying jobs in energy.
To be an environmental engineer, you need to understand the world around you. Like many other energy jobs, this one requires knowledge of soil, biology, and chemistry.
Most environmental engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. With a more advanced degree, you have a higher chance of landing one of the best paying jobs in energy.
The median pay for an environmental engineer is $96,820, making this role a good career path for anyone interested in helping the environment and getting paid well.
Wind Farm Site Manager
If you have driven past fields of windmills, there’s a small chance you’ve seen a wind farm site manager at work.
One of the sought-after renewable energy jobs, in this role you’ll be in charge of a wind farm, ensuring it operates properly to provide the renewable energy the world needs.
If a career in the renewable energy sector seems right for you, try your hand at renewable energy management by being a wind farm site manager.
To really thrive in this role, you need to have excellent management skills. You should be a leader, one who is excellent with time management. You will often need experience to land this career as many companies will require multiple years working in this industry, and you must possess at least a bachelor’s in engineering.
The median income for a wind site farm manager is $97,500 making it a tremendous job opportunity in the energy field.
Civil engineers work with renewable energy to create beneficial infrastructure projects. When a city or town wants to build energy efficient buildings, bridges, roads, tunnels, and dams, civil engineers are involved.
This is an ideal career path for those who enjoy building but also value energy efficiency.
If you want to work in the renewable energy industry as a civil engineer, you need to understand mathematics and physics. You should also be an excellent team player, as there’s a lot of collaboration in this field. To land this kind of renewable energy job, you need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a similar field.
A civil engineer average salary is around $88,500 – but there are plenty of jobs that pay $200k or more for this position.
In this role, you can help out a local community while enjoying one of the best paying jobs in energy. And if you’re involved in some big-budget renewable energy jobs and projects, you could make over seven figures by year end.
Civil engineer is also a great job that pays for travel and housing because you’ll be moving from project to project.
Solar Project Developer
A solar project developer is a solar energy systems specialist, one who knows the ins and outs of solar installations.
As solar power plants become more and more common, solar energy workers are in higher demand than ever.
They work with a range of professionals to create and lay the groundwork for a future solar farm. They help clients determine which solar power system is best, and they serve as a valuable link between engineers, the construction team, and solar energy production companies.
This is one of the highest-paying renewable energy jobs and a good career path for those who are passionate about solar energy.
If you want to be a solar project developer, you need to be a team player and an excellent communicator.
Most solar project developers have a bachelor’s or higher in engineering or a related field. You’ll need a few years of experience before you can be competent in this role; gaining experience as a solar power plant operator could be very useful.
The median income for a solar project developer is $99,631 but those with more experience can sometimes make $300k a year or more.
In this role, you can bring clean energy to individuals via solar panels and get paid six figures to do so, which explains why this is one of the sought-after jobs in energy.
Renewable Energy Consultant
A renewable energy consultant is a professional that companies bring in when they’re interested in switching the type of energy they regularly consume.
They explain renewable energy systems to clients in an effort to help them understand what the installation process might look like.
If the client goes through with installation, the consultant will play a big role in maintaining it.
If you want to be a renewable energy consultant, you need to be good at communication as this role can be similar to a sales position.
Clients will rely on you to guide them as they seek out alternative renewable energy sources.
Most renewable energy consultants have a bachelor’s in environmental science or a related science.
The median pay for a renewable energy consultant is $100,000. The more sales you make in a year, the more money you will make.
In this role, you will forward energy efficiency and help companies switch to green power generation, like solar power, wind power, and hydropower.
When someone thinks “best paying jobs in energy”, a financial analyst probably doesn’t come to mind right away, but these professionals play a valuable role in the energy sector.
They help energy companies find good investment opportunities, and they can also provide useful services when a power plant, for example, wants to rely more on renewable energy.
If you want to be a financial analyst, you need to be an expert at research and communication. Most financial analysts have a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics.
You can choose to work for yourself or operate on behalf of a financial planning company, one that caters specifically to the energy industry.
The median income for a financial analyst is $83,660 making it one of the highest paying energy careers you can find.
It takes a lot of work to be a financial analyst, but through your work in the energy sector you can help numerous businesses and individuals, which explains why this is one of the highest-paying jobs in energy.
Electrical Power Line Installer
We’ve all seen power lines over our heads, but who installs these?
Well, if you want to make a lot of money in the energy sector, you can be one of the professionals who installs power lines for a living.
These individuals don’t just install the lines; they maintain them and repair when necessary as well.
If you want to be an electrical power line installer, you need to be good with your hands and okay with heights.
Most electrical power line installers have only a high school education, as most of what they need to know is learned on the job.
If you want to take up one of the high paying jobs in energy and avoid spending on a college degree, become a power line installer.
The median pay for an electrical power line installer is $62,936. And if you work for a good company, you may get attractive benefits in addition to the salary.
If you love the earth, being a geoscientist could be a great career for you. These individuals study the earth, as in they monitor its structure and the natural processes that happen underneath the surface. The information they uncover helps them understand the earth’s history, and they also know where rich veins of natural resources are under the earth’s crust.
You need to love the earth to be a geoscientist, and you need to be able to work with a team. Strong research skills are a must, and most geoscientists have a bachelor’s degree in geology or better. Degrees in chemistry, biology, and physics may also help you get a job as a geo scientist.
The median income for a geoscientist is $83,680. In this line of work, you get to spend a lot of time outside, and the research you do may help companies tap into natural resource veins that haven’t been totally utilized yet.
A derrick operator is one of the sought-after jobs in energy.
While there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this job, they use a range of tools to drill into the ground and draw up oil.
A derrick operator must ensure their tools run smoothly while submerged in mud, and they must be able to penetrate hard surfaces with ease. A derrick operator will ensure vibrations are normal and monitor the output of their tools.
You need to be attentive to be a successful derrick operator and you’ll only need a high school education. You’ll work alongside petroleum engineers and learn how to properly operate and monitor the vital machines on an oil rig.
The median pay for a derrick operator is $47,000. This is one of the highest-paying energy jobs for those who have some education and minimal experience.
Industrial engineers are a vital part of the energy sector. They create the systems that bring workers, materials, machines, energy, and information together seamlessly.
They’re always trying to find solutions to problems that show up across industries, and usually these solutions are tools or innovative machines.
You need to have a range of skills and experience in engineering to succeed at this role like working well in a team and communicating effectively.
Most industrial engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but some have more advanced degrees. You don’t need more than that, but experience and a master’s degree could help you land a lucrative position.
The median income for an industrial engineer is $70,737. But if you’re working for innovative wind energy sites or a next-generation solar power plant, you could make a lot more.
Solar Site Assessor
A solar site assessor is another critical position in the solar industry.
They’ll be brought in during the creation of a new solar site to determine how much energy can be harvested from the site before it’s been built. They’ll know the best possible layout for solar panels and they’ll work alongside solar power plant operators to create a truly efficient and effective solar power plant.
You need to be an excellent analyst and communicator to be an effective solar site assessor.
The job involves a lot of documenting and talking to people – so if you’re looking for a job where you work alone, this might not be for you.
Most solar site assessors get degrees and certifications that directly relate to their job. You don’t always need to pursue higher education to reach success in this energy job.
The median pay for a solar site assessor is $70,123 but how much you’ll make will vary from year to year in accordance with how much demand there is for solar energy in your area.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
A computer and information systems manager is a technology-based job, and these professionals play a critical role in the energy sector.
They take information from a computer system and organize it so it can be analyzed and used for later. They will also recommend upgrades and changes so the company’s computer and IT systems so that they can be the best it they can be.
You need to be comfortable around computers and great at problem-solving to be a computer and information systems manager.
Most people in this career possess at least a bachelor’s degree, but this isn’t always required. Certificates related to computer and information technology and computer programming will also be helpful. Possessing an advanced degree will help you land a range of fulfilling renewable energy jobs.
The median pay for a computer and information systems manager is $159,010 making it one of the best paying jobs in energy. It’s a niche position, and companies need a quality individual to handle their critical information on the computer. As a computer and information systems manager, you essentially have the entire company in your hands.
An architectural manager will use their skills and knowledge of both architecture and engineering to make sure a construction project stays on track.
They know energy-efficient ways of building and they’ll ensure a structure is up to code. In short, they are responsible for ensuring energy-efficient structures are actually energy efficient and built to last.
As an architectural manager, it’s critical to have strong communication skills. You need to see a problem a million miles away and address it before it becomes worse.
Most architectural managers have a bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering and many will also may have managerial experience under their belt.
The median pay for an architectural manager is $119,555 making it one of the best paying jobs in energy.
If you can solve a range of architectural problems, you will be compensated well for your effort.
Nuclear energy is powerful yet dangerous energy.
A nuclear engineer is in charge of researching and developing ways for harvesting nuclear energy. They can work in the health care sector, industry, or as a nuclear power plant operator.
You need to work well under pressure to be a good nuclear engineer. Additionally, you must be able to communicate well with others and be able to effectively document findings.
Most nuclear engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering but some will have a Masters or PhD.
The median income for a nuclear engineer is $120,380. However, you can make well above the average if your work is high-risk and complicated making it one of the highest paying jobs in energy.
Most of the food in the country comes from farmers and agricultural engineers work on critical agricultural problems to determine the best possible solutions.
They may work on machinery efficiency, processing of products, structure and facility management, and other elements that impact the efficiency of an agricultural system.
You need to love working outside to be a successful agricultural engineer and you must be skilled with math, science, and planning.
Most agricultural engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree, and this is another one of those positions where you learn on the job. With a master’s degree, you increase your chances of landing a lucrative job.
The median pay for an agricultural engineer is $82,640. If you can handle agricultural issues, you will receive an excellent income for your work.
Chemists are very important in the energy sector. They may work with oil and natural gas to determine ways to make this energy cleaner.
They’re always looking for ways to get the most out of the fuel we rely on, and they often work for renewable energy companies to ensure a better environment for tomorrow.
You’ll spend a lot of time by yourself as a chemist which some people may prefer.
You must be an excellent researcher, and you need to be able to work in a team. The more you can discover and report, the better.
Most chemists have at least a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s degree can be incredibly useful in this field.
The median income for a chemist in the energy field is $90,000 making it one of the best paying energy jobs available.
How much you make largely depends on how valuable the work is. In other words, if you’re working on renewable energy, it’s likely you’ll make more, as governments subsidize companies that study and develop renewable energy.
Sales representatives are present in almost every industry. In the energy sector, a sales representative will be in charge of selling energy products to interested companies.
They must ensure they have all necessary information, as without this they won’t be able to convince people to purchase their products or systems.
You need to have excellent communication skills to be a sales representative. You’ll also need to posses an open, inviting personality that attracts potential buyers.
Most sales representatives have at least a high school education. Some pursue higher education, but most get right into sales as soon as possible.
The median pay for a sales representative in energy is $85,382 but because some of your income is based on commissions – the more you can sell, the more you can make.
This is an excellent energy job for those who love engaging with others.
If you love to research, you will excel as a scientific researcher.
These individuals perform experiments in laboratories and in the field, and the information they collect benefits the energy industry in a variety of ways.
Don’t mind spending time in a lab by yourself? You’ll do well as a scientific researcher.
You must be self-driven and eager to explore the world.
Most scientific researchers have at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, chemistry, or a similar discipline.
The median pay for a scientific researcher is $79,211 but how much you make largely depends on how valuable the research you’re doing is for the industry.
Solar PV Installer
Some professionals monitor solar farms while others deliver necessary materials to the site.
If you want to install the panels, you should consider becoming a solar photovoltaic installer. These individuals know the ins and outs of solar panel installation, and they’re sought by homeowners and businesses.
You must be good with your hands to make it in this role. You’ll also need excellent communication skills to ensure the panels go in the correct spots.
Most solar photovoltaic installers have a high school diploma, and this is one of those jobs where on-the-job training is vital.
The median wage for a solar photovoltaic installer is $76,236. This is one of the best energy jobs for those with only high school diploma.
Environmental Services and Protection Technician
If you hate pollution, you should become an environmental service and protection technician.
These professionals are committed to fighting pollution wherever it exists, and they’re essentially environment protectors, often working alongside renewable energy companies.
You need to have excellent research skills to be an environmental services and protection technician.
Most environmental services and protection technicians have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a similar discipline.
The median pay for an environmental services and protection technician is $79,860 so while it might not be one of the highest paying jobs on the list, it doesn’t require an advanced degree to get started. Essentially, you get paid to clean up the great outdoors, which means this is a win-win job for those who love nature.
Final Thoughts on the Best Paying Jobs in Energy
There are plenty of energy jobs that pay great money between both renewable energy jobs and oil and gas jobs.
The highest paying jobs in energy will often require a Bachelor’s degree at minimum, but there are a few you can start with just a high school diploma.
Most of the top paying jobs tend to be in the engineering field, but there are several others outside of this field.
Whether you want to work as a solar energy technician or you want to work in chemical engineering – there are plenty of high paying jobs in energy to consider.
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