These are interesting times for the energy industry as new developments keep moving the technological pace rapidly forward.
You are likely aware of the discussions, arguments, and disagreements that the use of energy brings up internationally, with the majority of scientists believing, on evidence, that climate change due to the use of fossil fuels is real and a threat to the planet.
There are, of course, some people who deny this, but though they are in a minority, they may and do hold considerable political power.
Nevertheless, for centuries energy has been created by the burning of fossil fuels as well as through hydropower and nuclear power. It’s generally understood that fossil fuel is finite, that at some stage it will simply run out, but there are still many sources that have not as yet been exploited. Once again, there are political wrangles as to where energy companies may be allowed to explore for new sources, but there’s also a relatively new kid on the block in the form of renewables.
If you’re interested in working in the energy industry, here are a few pointers as to some of the jobs that might interest you.
Research never stops in the energy industry. From universities training the next generation of energy industry workers to the major energy companies training up new recruits, the search for knowledge never stops. The best way to get into the business is to do the hard work by graduating in one of the many energy fields of study and taking that first step towards a long career.
Knowledge, it is said, is power, and you can learn all the theory and continue to learn during your career, but there’s nothing quite like getting the experience of working on the front line of development and engineering. Jan Berkowitz has spent 25 years as a leader in the energy industry, and his knowledge and experience has helped the development of many projects with public and private organizations. He has recently been involved in research into waste water technology, highlighting the importance of new ways of thinking about the development of new energy sources.
Looking after the environment
The rapid rise of renewable energy in the form of wind and solar power is making a significant contribution to the energy needs of countries throughout the world. With concerns over the effect on the environment of burning fossil fuels, these newer forms of energy have undergone much research over the years and, in many cases, are starting to prove themselves as a cost-effective addition to the need for energy in the modern world.
Environmental consultants offer expert advisory and assessment services to organizations, both commercial and governmental, addressing a range of environmental issues.
You could be asked to look into contamination of air, water, and land, and carry out environmental impact assessments, especially looking at flood risks in at-risk areas. There will also be opportunities for you to examine the potential for renewable energy as well as helping to set up environmental management systems.
Without skilled engineers, the industry would rapidly grind to a halt. You can access many jobs in this field with training and experience, so depending on your field of interest, you could go into drilling, work as a general energy engineer, in mining, and for petroleum or water. You’d be working on projects that are crucial to providing the various energy sources that everyone needs and be involved in understanding and developing cutting-edge technology that takes energy engineering to the next level.
Industry companies in the energy field need to understand the geology of where they plan to drill or mine, making geologists a key part of any projects in development. There are many choices that you could follow depending on your interests and skills, including working as a geochemist, investigating the chemical elements in minerals and rocks, or as a geophysicist studying the Earth’s physical aspects. These types of job are essential for gas and oil companies, but you could also find work in construction, mining, environmental agencies, and water companies. Only by understanding what lies below the surface of the Earth can energy and other organizations get a full picture of what is there before they decide how to proceed.
Developing your career
The range of jobs in the energy industry is immense, and your work would contribute to current procedures as well as having the potential to contribute new ideas and ways of doing things to secure energy sources for the future.