There’s no doubt that the energy industry is changing right now. With governments and companies making commitments to reduce emissions, and conversations around the energy transition on the rise, recruiters and staffing agencies that work in energy may be wondering what’s next for the sector.
While the industry is in a state of transition, the outlook for skilled workers appears to be largely hopeful. The new developments in energy are expected to result in growth in the sector, as well as greater variety of opportunities in the skilled trades.
What’s going on in the energy industry right now?
The transition to renewables is officially underway in the energy industry.
However, oil and gas is expected to have a place in the transition. While governments have announced net-zero targets and companies are making moves towards carbon neutrality, experts project that there will be a role for fossil fuels in the market for many years to come. For workers currently in oil and gas, it’s anticipated that there will be jobs available for the foreseeable future.
But the energy transition is also leading to the creation of new jobs in the skilled trades. According to the IEA’s Energy Outlook, the latest number show that it will lead to 10.3 million net new jobs around the world by 2030. The booming field of renewables is receiving plenty of buzz—and funding—that will result in exciting new opportunities for skilled workers.
What are new roles are emerging in the energy industry?
A range of new roles are emerging for skilled workers in a variety of fields within the energy sector. Although some of these new skilled jobs may require additional training, the growth in these areas promises a long and rewarding career to those willing to take the leap.
Here are some of the top skilled jobs that are either emerging or growing in the energy industry right now.
Solar photovoltaic installer
It likely goes without saying, but companies will need more solar installers, and quickly, to meet the growing demand for renewable energy. Installers specialize in mounting photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. They’re also responsible for planning and customizing system configurations based on the needs of the customer and weather-proofing the panels, as well as testing and maintaining the system as needed.
Electricians are in high demand all over the energy industry right now, from production to distribution. In addition to inspecting, installing, and maintaining electrical components in hydroelectric plants and solar and wind farms, electricians are in high demand to retrofit commercial and residential buildings. As energy moves towards all things electrical, this is a great field to enter right now.
As production booms in new components and products related to renewables, manufacturing in this area is projected to expand as well. Skilled jobs in manufacturing are expected to grow across the board to support the renewable energy industry. Keep an eye out for opportunities in the following roles:
Industrial machinery mechanics: Responsible for repairing and maintaining manufacturing equipment.
Logisticians: Take care of coordinating and managing the procurement, distribution, and delivery of products.
Industrial engineers: Use engineering principles to optimize production processes and systems.
Millwrights: Specialize in installing, maintaining, and adjusting machine components.
Similarly, new roles are emerging in construction as demand increases for greener buildings. Particularly needed are construction managers, who are responsible for overseeing projects from beginning to end, including budgeting, assigning resources, supervising workers, and ensuring work stays on schedule. They spend their time monitoring activities on-site, meeting with stakeholders, preparing reports, and reviewing finances.
Wind turbine service technicians
The reams of new wind turbines across the country will need workers to build and maintain them. Like solar installers, this is a specialized role that is expected to be critical over the next few decades. Training as a wind turbine service technician could be a path to lengthy career in a high-demand field.
The bottom line
While the energy industry is evolving, there is still expected to be opportunities in both fossil fuels and renewable energy for skilled workers. Those in the skilled trades have the option to choose between roles in traditional fields such as oil and gas or embark on new careers in emerging areas.
For recruiters, it’s prudent to understand these new roles, and how they will impact the market for talent in the skilled trades. Although the energy transition is creating uncertainty in the industry, it’s also resulting in new opportunities for workers and companies.
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