Renewable Energy Careers

Workers Install Solar Energy Panels

Renewable energy is defined as a clean and unlimited source of power or fuel. This energy is harnessed from different sources such as wind, sunlight (solar), water (hydro), organic matter (biomass), and the earth's internal heat (geothermal). Unlike nonrenewable energy sources like oil, natural gas, or coal, or nuclear energy, renewable energy is not based on extracting a limited resource.

The renewable energy industry is actually a vast group of sub-industries that offer employment opportunities for people with many different educational backgrounds. Engineers, scientists, architects, farmers, technicians, operators, mechanics, lawyers, businesspeople, sales workers, human resource and public affairs specialists, as well as a host of administrative support workers make their living by researching, developing, installing, and promoting renewable energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that renewable energy industries will provide at least 300,000 new jobs for American workers in the next two decades.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Varies by profession
Duties Research, develop, install, and promote renewable energy resources
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Social
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Varies based on position and employer
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Manager or Consultant
  • Experienced Renewable Energy Worker
  • Entry-Level Renewable Energy Worker