Energy is one of the most important sectors in the world, with multi-national companies dominating the job market.
The energy industry is constantly growing and evolving, making job opportunities in this sector limitless!
Working in the energy field brings a diverse range of responsibilities and job roles.
So, is energy a good career path? Keep reading to find out!
The Benefits of Working in Energy
One of the main benefits of working in the energy sector is that the career paths are extremely diverse. There are so many sub-industries and an abundance of career opportunities within.
This diversity allows you to choose from a variety of career paths. For instance, you may find yourself working in the oil and gas industry and enjoying a flourishing career - or moving your way into electrical or nuclear power.
Working in energy also gives you the opportunity to work around the world if you choose but the sector also has opportunities for those looking to work locally in remote or rural areas.
Lastly, working in energy can provide you with an opportunity to make a difference. You don’t have to work in clean energy to save the planet - your innovative and creative ideas can contribute to more sustainable ways of supplying energy!
Overall, a career in energy can provide growth and stability.
Which Energy Sectors Can You Work In?
Pinning down your ideal career path in the energy industry all starts with exploring the different sectors you can work in:
Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are the primary fossil fuels used in the energy sector. Their use accounts for almost 78% of the primary energy production in the United States.
In Canada, investment and development of the fossil fuel sector continue with resources facing new requirements to mitigate greenhouse gas.
When it comes to jobs in the fossil fuel sector, there are multiple positions required to support this industry:
- Technical and Supervisory Jobs such as offshore technicians, foremen and line supervisors, and maintenance technicians.
- Operations Jobs such as equipment operators, rig operators, floor hands, and pipeline technicians.
- Management and Engineering Positions such as well site managers, project managers, and engineers.
Starting a career in the fossil fuel sector does not require advanced education or experience. In fact, you can get started in the oil and gas industry with no experience!
You can begin with an entry-level role, such as pipe installation, and learn additional skills on the job.
Of course, having the proper certification can increase your chances of getting a job and advancing in the fossil fuel sector - and most employers require a clean driver’s license and a high school diploma (or equivalent).
In the energy industry, electrical power is generated using various energy sources and technologies to bring electricity from power plants to the end-use market.
There are many exciting careers in electrical power that offer good pay and opportunities for advancement:
- Construction Management Engineers manage the construction work of power generators.
- Transmission Line Superintendents manage the construction of transmission lines.
- Substation Engineers lead project teams to design and construct substations.
- System Control Operators monitor and manage the electrical grid in a control center.
- Transmission Line Maintenance Workers maintain and repair transmission lines.
Entry-level positions in this sector include utility workers who work in labor positions for power production or transmission and distribution teams.
Some positions require that you have experience operating heavy machinery but most only look for a valid driver’s license.
Nuclear power is a clean and efficient way to produce electricity. It works by boiling water using uranium fuel to produce steam that turns turbines.
Nuclear energy supplies around 10% of the world’s electricity, with 440 nuclear reactors operating in 30 countries.
This energy sector provides a wide variety of career choices, such as:
- Skilled Trades such as Nuclear Welder and Nuclear Electrician.
- Engineer Positions such as Nuclear Engineer and Nuclear Power Reactor Operators.
There are also many apprenticeship opportunities, such as Radiation Protection Apprentice and Instrument and Controls Electronic Technician Apprentice.
While this is a more specialized energy industry sector, entry-level positions such as nuclear technicians and operators do exist.
However, many jobs in nuclear energy require a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering (or equivalent).
Renewable energy comes from natural processes that can be quickly replenished, such as energy derived from the sun, water, wind, and heat generated from inside the Earth (geothermal energy).
Notable careers in this energy sector include:
- Chemical Engineers
- Soil and Plant Scientists
- Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Because this energy sector encompasses various forms of producing energy, many entry-level positions are available such as installers, operators, and field technicians.
What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs in Energy?
With so many drastic changes being made to the global landscape when it comes to energy, there is no shortage of jobs in this industry.
Here are some of the most in-demand jobs across all energy sectors:
Derrick hands, or derrick operators, operate the equipment used to drill into the ground and dig oil wells. They also maintain, monitor, and control the oil derricks.
This entry-level position requires no formal education or experience. Training is offered on the job!
Rotary Drill Operators
In the fossil fuel sector, rotary drill operators are currently in demand. This position involves operating and assembling the drills that remove oil and gas from underground.
There are no educational or experience requirements for this energy sector job, and this position includes on-the-job training.
The demand for rotary drill operators is expected to increase by 27% in the next few years.
Roustabouts, also known as floor hands and rig hands, set up and repair oil field equipment, making it a quickly growing position in the oil and gas industry.
No formal education is required and this job is expected to grow by 25%.
Field Service Technician
Field service technicians maintain and repair machinery to keep the energy industry running by operating equipment that helps increase the oil flow from producing wells.
This position typically requires certifications and on-the-job training.
Like field service technicians, maintenance technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing equipment, except they are generally assigned to one location to provide consistent maintenance.
These positions require a high school diploma (or equivalent) and may require certification.
Electrical Line Worker
Electrical line workers install and maintain overhead and underground lines and cables. They can work with power lines, telecommunication lines, or stationary power grids.
To become an electrical line worker, you can begin an apprenticeship, acquire post-secondary training, or both.
Power Plant Operator
Power plants are maintained by operators who control the components that generate electricity as well as operate and maintain generators.
This entry-level position typically requires only a high school diploma (or equivalent), but certification and training can open more opportunities for employment.
Nuclear operators are responsible for controlling the flow of electricity from nuclear power plants. You don’t need a degree for this position but you will be required to complete a training program.
Nuclear technicians research and develop processes and systems to increase the benefits of nuclear energy. This job requires some education and experience, but becoming a nuclear technician can lead to high-level employment.
Solar installers are responsible for installing, connecting, and repairing solar panels in homes, commercial buildings, fields, and other areas.
Solar installer jobs are expected to increase by 63% over the next decade.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Due to the recent focus on renewable energy, wind turbine service technicians are in high demand. These technicians maintain, repair, and install wind turbines, and the employment of these workers is expected to grow by 57% in the next ten years.
As more wind turbines are being built, more service workers will be needed!
What Companies Are in the Energy Field?
With so many companies in the energy field, it would be impossible to list them all here (you can check them out in our company directory!).
Instead, here are the top ten energy companies across Canada and the United States:
Located in Texas, ExxonMobil is one of the largest international oil and gas companies. They create products such as diesel, plastic, gas, and petrochemicals.
This multi-energy industry company produces reliable renewable energy as well as transports and produces crude oil and natural gas. They also distribute energy products and petrochemical products.
Cameco is a Canadian company that provides fuel across the globe. They produce uranium concentrates, mineral reserves, refining, conversation, and manufacturing services.
ConocoPhillips specializes in production and providing renewed energy around the world by investing in oil, energy, and water conversion.
5. NextEra Energy
NextEra Energy is an American company located in Florida that focuses on renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, both in the United States and internationally.
Enbridge is the largest energy company in Canada and focuses on transportation, oil pipelines, natural gas distribution, and renewable energy sources.
7. Canadian Natural Resources
CNR is an exploration and production company with offshore crude oil and natural gas operations in Canada.
8. Xcel Energy
This American company provides electrical power to multiple states and consists of four operating subsidiaries. They are dedicated to delivering 100% clean, carbon-free electricity by 2050.
Cenovus Energy is a large integrated energy company with oil and gas operations such as exploration, production, and refining.
10. Imperial Oil
This integrated oil and gas company focuses on refining and petrochemical operations as well as fuel, lubricants, and other products under the Mobile and Esso brands.
How to Get a Job in the Energy Industry
There’s no magic formula when it comes to getting a job in the energy industry.
As you’ll see, there are a variety of energy sectors you can work in as well as a wide range of in-demand positions available - and the educational and experience requirements vary across the board as well!
But getting your foot in the door involves the same basic steps:
- Choose a Functional Area: What type of job do you want to do? Skilled work? Construction? Transportation? Start with a functional area based on your interests and passions.
- Consider the Energy Sector: While you may not be particular in which sub-industry you end up working in, where you choose to focus your career can make a difference.
- Earn Credentials: Yes, many entry-level jobs require no certification but having some education and training under your belt can increase your chances of employment.
- Join a Professional Association: Look for associations focused on the particular sector and profession you are interested in. These groups can provide you with useful industry knowledge and open job opportunities.
- Look for Entry-Level Jobs: Research well-known companies in your chosen field to look for entry-level opportunities that do not require advanced degrees or extensive experience.
Don’t shy away from entry-level positions! They can help you gain employment in the energy field and work your way up to higher-level positions.
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