What Are Clean Energy Careers?

What Are Clean Energy Careers?

Clean energy employment opportunities grew a staggering 70% faster than total nationwide employment opportunities from 2015 to 2019. By 2019, clean energy jobs outnumbered fossil fuel jobs 3 to 1. Unlike fossil fuel jobs, clean energy jobs can also be created anywhere and everywhere that we use energy. Clean job opportunities are available and offer competitive wages to job seekers of all education levels. In this blog, we cover the types of clean energy jobs and how job seekers can enter the clean energy workforce.

What kind of jobs are in clean energy?

Clean energy jobs span a variety of fields, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization, and clean transportation.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy jobs involve the manufacturing, installation, distribution, and maintenance of renewable energy. These jobs are primarily in the solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower industries. Popular jobs include wind turbine technicians, solar panel installers, and energy engineers.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency workers help reduce total energy consumption in homes and businesses. These jobs help lower utility bills and reduce emissions and strain on the electric grid. They currently make up the largest share of clean energy jobs in the United States. Energy efficiency jobs include manufacturing and installing energy-efficient appliances and lighting, increasing insulation, and upgrading outdated heating and cooling systems.

Grid Modernization

Another area of clean energy jobs focuses on improving the reliability, resiliency, and efficiency of our electric grid. These jobs include increasing the adoption of renewable energy through the transition to a smart grid, building microgrids to support energy resiliency and independence, and advancing energy storage solutions.

Clean Transportation

Clean transportation jobs include planning and development for clean vehicles and the transportation infrastructure. These jobs assist with the adoption of hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles for individuals, organizations, and public transportation.

How can I start a clean energy career?

MCE supports job seekers who want to join the green workforce through local training and workforce development programs that focus on underserved populations, including low-income residents and those who have a history with the justice system.

Mentor/Worker Matching and Training

MCE’s Workforce Education and Training (WE&T) Program assists local contractors, while providing job seekers with access to workforce development opportunities. Since 2020, MCE has partnered with the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) and Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) to match job seekers with contractors within MCE’s service area for paid on-the-job experience. Participating contractors also benefit from no-cost, in-field consultations with energy experts and no-cost matching with prequalified job seekers.

Electrification Workshop Series

MCE developed an online Electrification Workshop Series focused on clean energy, energy efficiency, electrification, and climate change solutions. Workshops cover technical topics about new and retrofit electrification projects, heat pump installations, multifamily electrification, and more. The recorded webinars are available to watch at any time.

Community Partnerships

MCE’s workforce development opportunities focus on public-private partnerships to construct local renewable energy projects and install energy efficiency retrofits, electric vehicle charging stations, and low-income residential solar. We have partnered with RichmondBUILD, Marin City Community Development Corporation, Rising Sun Center for Opportunity, Future Build, Association for Energy Affordability, Strategic Energy Innovations, and North Bay Workforce Alliance to provide training for careers in the clean energy economy.

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