Energy Consultant Jobs
An energy consultant can be employed by local, state or federal governments as well as private businesses that may or may not specialize in the alternative energy industry.
The overarching duty of an energy consultant is to advise about more efficient ways of producing clean energy. Of course, there are an array of more specific duties that fall under this broad job description. Not only will you be expected to advise and inform on better practices, but you will also need to know how to implement the changes proposed. You do not need to have the technical skills required, but you should be knowledgeable of the basic technology, costs and feasibility behind the practices that you are advising. Proficiency in areas like cost calculation, technical design, installation, maintenance and removal is a must.
One of the fundamental requirements of an energy consultant is excellent communication skills. Whether you are speaking with municipal, state or federal authorities, or simply a superintendent of a large apartment complex, you will be expected to “break down” information on wind, solar and other sources of alternative energy to parties that may not be familiar with such technology. That said, a significant degree of expertise in all things related to alternative or green energy may be required of you, but you do not necessarily need a degree. In fact, you will find that the majority of energy consultant positions are very sales and customer-service focused. In some instances, you will find yourself going door-to-door in residential areas in order to promote and sell a green energy technology to home owners. It is also possible that you will work for a company that provides these services on a much larger scale, in which case you will be proposing alternative energy products for use in housing complexes, government buildings and large commercial buildings.
Educational and Training Requirements
As you may have guessed by now, experience in the customer service industry can be a major advantage when trying to land a job as an energy consultant.
Though many companies may provide training, this training can often be specific to their particular alt energy product. Bear in mind that in some cases it will be necessary for you to have a basic knowledge of green technology. A passion for and knowledge of green technology and its applications can be very important.
Not all energy consultant positions are heavily focused on customer service and some positions require much more education than others. The range of duties expected is quite large and as such, some employers will require an engineering degree with additional training in environmental management or economics. You may be expected to provide consultation in areas of design, development and implementation of certain technologies and you must be very experienced in the concepts and practices involved. The title energy consultant can mean many different things, but those who obtain a degree in the aforementioned field(s) will likely find themselves working with the government and local energy development authorities.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
Because the education, duties and responsibilities expected of energy consultants tends to vary so much, it should be no surprise that your salary and advancement opportunities should vary as well. According to Payscale.com, energy consultants with one to four years of experience can make anywhere from $41,950 to $73,469 and much of this is dependent on the financial climate, among other factors. The recent surge in attention to global warming and climate change is certainly a huge influence, but more generally, there is always a need for energy and eco-friendly ways to produce it, regardless of whether it is being done so by independent contractors or government authorities. More experienced energy consultants who offer a great deal of specialization can expect to earn a higher base salary. According to Salary.com, an energy consultant can make anywhere from $87,197 to $134,921 yearly, so obviously, the more education and experience you have the higher the pay potential.