Have you ever wondered how we get the power we need for our homes, businesses, and transportation? The answer lies in the energy industry and the people who work in it.
Engineers, researchers, and many other professionals work to build and maintain the equipment necessary to create and distribute power. These jobs not only provide us with energy for our daily requirements but also create several jobs and drive the country’s economic growth.
So Today, we will explore the list of 10 best-paying jobs in the energy sector.
Best Paying Jobs in the Energy Sector
1. Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers are essential to the energy sector because they create the drilling machinery to extract oil and gas from the reserves. They make a cost, effort, and feasibility recommendations and work closely with geoscientists and other specialists to analyze the geologic formation containing the oil and gas reservoir.
Petroleum engineers also ensure the equipment is installed, operated, and maintained correctly for efficient use. The approximate salary for a petroleum engineer is around $97,850/year in the USA, making it one of the highest-paying jobs in the energy industry. The BLS predicts that petroleum engineer jobs will grow by 8% from 2021-2031.
2. Chemical Engineers
Chemical engineers are an essential part of the energy industry. Chemical engineers use their knowledge to design and develop new manufacturing processes for chemicals, fuels, and other energy products.
Chemical engineers also develop safety procedures to ensure the safe handling of dangerous substances and design processes for separating components of liquids and gases. Chemical engineers are responsible for evaluating equipment and techniques to ensure they comply with safety and environmental regulations, and they estimate production costs for management.
With a median salary of $105,550/year, chemical engineering offers excellent job opportunities, especially in the energy sector.
3. Materials Engineer
Materials engineers play an essential role in the energy sector by developing, testing, & processing materials used to create various energy products, such as wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries. They study the structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, and other substances to create new materials that meet energy applications’ specific mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.
In addition, engineers help select materials for particular energy products and develop new ways to use existing materials. They also evaluate the impact of materials processing on the environment, an essential energy sector consideration.
According to the USA Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for materials engineers was $98,300/year in 2021, with a job outlook projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031.
4. Atmospheric Scientists
Atmospheric scientists are an essential part of the energy sector as they help to forecast and monitor weather patterns that can impact energy production and distribution. These scientists measure temperature, humidity, and wind speed and use computer models to analyze atmospheric data.
Atmospheric Scientists also use this data to prepare long- and short-term weather forecasts that help energy companies plan for potential disruptions in the energy supply. Additionally, atmospheric scientists are critical in issuing warnings to protect life and property threatened by severe weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
The average salary of an Atmospheric Scientist is about $94,570 annually. They are in high demand, with a projected job growth of 4% from 2021-31.
5. Nuclear Engineers
Nuclear engineers are essential professionals in the energy sector who work on designing and maintaining nuclear power plants to ensure they meet safety standards. They also research and develop new ways to release, control and use atomic energy while addressing problems related to nuclear waste disposal.
Some nuclear engineers specialize in designing new reactors. In contrast, others focus on developing safety regulations concerning handling nuclear materials and operating nuclear power. As energy demand continues to grow, atomic engineers play a vital role in the energy sector, ensuring nuclear energy’s safe and efficient production.
The average salary of a nuclear engineer is $120,380/year, and a bachelor’s degree is typically required to enter the field.
6. Civil Engineer
Civil engineers are crucial in designing and constructing energy infrastructure projects such as power plants, pipelines, and transmission lines in the energy sector.
They ensure that these projects comply with government regulations and are safe and cost-effective. Additionally, they oversee the repair, maintenance, and replacement of energy infrastructure to ensure the continued delivery of energy to communities.
The median pay for civil engineers in 2021 was $88,050/year, and the job outlook for this profession is expected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031.
7. Industrial Engineers
Industrial engineers typically make around $95,300 annually or $45.82/hour. A bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering is generally required to become an industrial engineer.
The job outlook for industrial engineers is positive, with a projected employment growth of 10% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is expected to result in 30,600 new jobs in the field.
Industrial engineers are in high demand in the energy sector as they bring expertise in efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality control to the production and distribution of energy.
8. Power Plant Operators
Power plant operators play a vital role in the energy sector by controlling the systems that generate and distribute electric power. They are responsible for monitoring and adjusting the equipment that produces electricity, including those that use coal, nuclear power, or natural gas as fuel.
Power plant operators also read charts and gauges to monitor voltage and electricity flows and detect and solve operating problems. With a high school diploma or equivalent education, power plant operators can receive long-term on-the-job training to become qualified for this role.
In 2021, there were over 43,700 jobs available for power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers, with a median pay of $94,790/year or $45.57/hour.
Geoscientists are professionals who study the physical and chemical properties of the Earth, including its composition and structure. In the energy sector, geoscientists play a crucial role in finding and estimating the size of oil and gas deposits in a particular region.
Petroleum geologists collect rock and sediment samples through drilling and other methods and test them for the presence of oil and gas. They also estimate the size of oil and gas deposits and work to develop extraction sites.
Like petroleum geologists, geoscientists working in the energy sector can earn a median salary of $83,680/year. According to the BLS, the job outlook for geoscientists in the energy sector is expected to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031.
10. Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Solar photovoltaic installers’ roles in the energy sector include assembling, setting up, and maintaining rooftops or other systems that convert sunlight into energy.
These installers typically plan PV system configurations based on customer needs and site conditions, measure and assemble the support structure for solar panels, and install solar modules, panels, and support structures according to building codes and standards.
They are also responsible for connecting PV panels to the electrical system, applying weather sealant to installed equipment, and activating and testing PV systems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for solar PV installers is 27% between 2021 and 2031, much faster than average.
The energy sector offers many high-paying jobs that provide great opportunities for those with the right skills and knowledge. From petroleum engineers extracting oil and gas to solar photovoltaic installers harnessing the sun’s power, each job ensures our energy needs are met efficiently and sustainably.
I hope this exploration of top-paying jobs in the energy sector has provided valuable insights and perhaps even sparked an interest in pursuing a career in this dynamic and essential industry.