Want to make an impact by working in sustainability? Are you considering a range of sectors, from policy to renewable energy, from resource management to construction?
…construction, I hear you say? Yes, construction. It doesn’t spring to most people’s minds when thinking of sustainability, true. But when you start reflecting on all the energy used in heating, cooling, lighting and so on, you realize that there’s a lot of efficiency and sustainability work to be done in the construction sector.
Similarly, other sectors (such as automotive) are not immediately obvious candidates for sustainability jobs. To help you evaluate employment opportunities in obvious and not-so-obvious sustainability job sectors, we’ve had a look at the US Energy and Employment Report (2018). This report considers the four main sectors of the Energy industry in the US. We’ve highlighted the main areas of employment and the kinds of skills employers are looking for in each. A special thanks to our friends at the National Association of State Energy Officials, E2, E4TheFuture, and the many others who put together this important US Energy and Employment Report, summarized below.
Sector 1: Electric power generation and Fuels.
Even though fossil fuels still produce over three-quarters of the US’s electric energy, the renewable energy sector is growing. It still has a bit of catching up to do in order to compete with traditional energy generation rivals, such as gas and coal – but it shows promising growth.
The main growth areas are wind and combined heat-and-power (CHP).
The largest areas of employment in power generation are installation and repair (32%), administrative (22%) and management/ professional (18.7%).
Over two-thirds of employers report difficulty in seeking suitable workers. Specifically, engineers are the most difficult-to-hire-for occupation for professional and business services employers. Two-thirds of utilities seek qualified electricians and operations/ business development staff.
The main barriers to recruitment are the lack of experience, training or technical skills, followed by insufficient non-technical skills.