Why you should consider a career in renewable energy

5 min read | Paul Gibbens | Article | Workplace | Wellbeing

green future of engineering

The global energy landscape is changing drastically and this is creating huge job opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Did you know that global renewable energy capacity grew by 50% last year – the fastest pace recorded in the last 20 years? It’s clear: the future of engineering is green.

Whether you’re already an energy engineer looking to make the move into renewables or you’re considering reskilling to become a renewable energy engineer, here are a few reasons why it’s a rewarding and worthwhile career path to consider:

  • You’ll help tackle climate change in your role
  • You’ll be in demand as a renewable energy engineer
  • There’s a diverse range of potential projects you could work on


You’ll help tackle climate change in your role

Although we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to renewable energy, we’re not there yet and we need the help of engineers to get there. Fossil fuels still account for around 80% of global energy consumption.

If we’re to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as per the Paris Agreement, we’ll need to dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and scale up our renewable energy production.

Fossil fuels still account for around 80% of global energy consumption (Statista Research Department).


We rely on engineers to develop green technology and devise the solutions needed to increase our production of renewable energy. Whether it’s designing new solar power plants, optimising existing wind energy systems or developing new technologies for geothermal plants, renewable energy engineers play a key role in future-proofing our energy infrastructure and tackling climate change.


You’ll be in demand as a renewable energy engineer

Investment and employment in the renewable energy sector are on an upward trajectory. The International Energy Agency estimates that around 60% of last year’s global investment in energy went into renewables, nuclear power, low-emission fuels and clean energy infrastructure.

We’ll need more engineers to ensure renewable energy production can reach this increased capacity going forward. The heightened demand for renewable energy engineers will likely translate into higher salaries and greater job security for engineers working in the sector.

Around 60% of last year’s global investment in energy went into renewables, nuclear power, low-emission fuels and clean energy infrastructure (International Energy Agency).


Even less established renewable energy sources, like geothermal heat, have the potential to create a huge number of job opportunities. Hundreds of thousands of direct roles and jobs in the supply chain could be redeployed from the oil and gas sector to deep geothermal – making it a great time for energy engineers to consider moving into the renewable energy sector.


There’s a diverse range of potential projects you could work on

Solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, hydroelectric and biomass energy – the extensive range of renewable energy sources means that there’s great variety in the work you can undertake as an engineer in this sector. You could be designing wind farms and their associated electrical components as a wind energy engineer, managing the installation of rooftop solar panels as a solar engineer or developing new drilling techniques as a geothermal engineer.

You could be working in an office, a lab, at home or onsite at a renewable power plant – meaning two days are rarely the same as a renewable energy engineer.

Want to join an innovative sector where you can channel your technical and critical thinking skills into developing new energy solutions? If you’re an established or aspiring engineer who is passionate about creating a more sustainable future for the next generation, get in touch to find out how we can support your career transition into renewable energy engineering or take a look at our current engineering roles today.


About this author

Paul Gibbens, National Specialism Director, Engineering, Hays

Paul began his recruitment career in 2005 before joining Hays in November 2019. Paul is an experienced customer-focused director with extensive knowledge of the nuclear, MOD & defence, oil & gas, rail, power generation, petrochemical, chemical, renewable energy, and manufacturing industries.

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