Your Career Change: Renewable energy careers is the fifth guide in our Career Change series. We put the spotlight on a career and how to transition into it. In this guide, you’ll discover the benefits of changing careers to renewable energy and the steps you need to take to make the switch.
In recent decades, renewable energy has seen a massive increase in the UK. And with renewable energy generation creating more energy than fossil fuels, the UK is on target to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
This growing necessity for renewable energy sources and increased financial viability has created a wealth of new job opportunities for career changers. So, if you’re looking for an exciting new challenge, renewable energy might just be the path for you.
We break down everything you need to know to make a career change to renewable energy and how to get started in this dynamic and rapidly growing industry.
Should I Make a Career Change to Renewable Energy?
Before taking the plunge into a new career, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. Here are some factors to consider:
- Sustainability: Working in renewable energy allows you to contribute to the preservation of our planet. It’s a chance to make a positive impact and address the global climate crisis.
- Growth Potential: The renewable energy sector is expanding rapidly. With increased investments and government support, job opportunities are multiplying, offering excellent prospects for career progression.
- Diverse Roles: From engineering and project management to research and policy development, there’s a wide range of roles available. This sector caters to various interests and skill sets.
- Transferable Skills: Many skills acquired in other industries, such as leadership skills, problem-solving, and technical expertise, can be easily applied in renewable energy careers.
- Training and Education: Depending on the specific role, you may need additional retraining or education to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. However, various courses and programs are available to help you bridge any gaps.
- Industry Volatility: Like any industry, the renewable energy sector faces its fair share of uncertainties. Factors such as policy changes, market fluctuations, and technological advancements can impact job stability.
- Geographic Constraints: The availability of renewable energy jobs may vary based on location. While some regions have a higher concentration of opportunities, others may be limited. Therefore, it may be necessary to move to a new city for a career change to renewable energy.
There’s no denying the significant benefits of making a career change to renewable energy, however, it may not be the right career path for everyone. As a result, we always recommend you do your own research to make sure it’s a good fit for your skill set, goals, and values.
Careers in Renewable Energy: What Skills Do I Need?
While the specific technical and soft skills required will depend on the career path you choose within renewable energy, here are some foundational skills that are highly valued in the sector:
- Technical Proficiency: A solid understanding of renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power, is essential. Consider gaining knowledge through online courses, certifications, or vocational training.
- Problem-solving Abilities: The ability to identify and tackle challenges creatively is crucial in the renewable energy field. Employers look for individuals who can find innovative solutions and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Project Management Skills: Renewable energy projects often involve complex planning, coordination, and execution. Developing project management skills can significantly enhance your employability.
- Communication and Collaboration: Strong communication skills are valuable in any career but particularly in renewable energy, where teamwork and collaboration are vital. Effective communication helps facilitate cooperation and foster positive relationships.
- Adaptability: Renewable energy is a fast-evolving industry, making it important for professionals in the field to adapt to new technologies, regulations, and processes.
These skills will provide you with a good base and set you up for the challenges that renewable energy professionals face.
Your Career Change: How to Change Careers to Renewable Energy
Ready to take the leap into renewable energy? Here are some actionable steps to help you make a successful career transition:
1. Research and Explore
When considering a career change to renewable energy, it’s essential to start by researching and exploring the different sectors and roles within the industry. Renewable energy encompasses various areas, such as:
- solar power
- wind energy
- tidal energy
- geothermal energy
- amongst others.
It’s essential, therefore, that you take the time to understand the different technologies, projects, and advancements happening in each sector. From there, consider what aspects of renewable energy excite you the most. This will help you narrow down your focus and tailor your career change efforts accordingly.
2. Networking and Volunteering
Networking is a powerful tool when it comes to career transitions. Here are a few ways you can network when making a career change to renewable energy:
- Attend events: there are numerous industry events, conferences, and workshops focused on renewable energy, all providing opportunities to meet professionals already working in the field, gain insights into the industry, and make valuable connections.
- Increase your social media presence: Join professional networks and online communities related to renewable energy. Participate in discussions, share your knowledge, and seek advice from experienced individuals. These networks can be a valuable source of information, job leads, and mentorship opportunities. Read our tips on building a personal brand for more ideas.
- Volunteer or Intern: Consider volunteering or interning in the renewable energy field. This allows you to gain hands-on experience, expand your network, and showcase your dedication to the sector. It can also provide valuable references and enhance your credibility when applying for jobs.
Networking is an opportunity to build connections within the sector, gain industry insight, and boost your chances of successfully changing careers to renewable energy.
You may also be interested in ?? Networking tips for career changers
3. Refresh Your Skills
Think about areas where you maybe lack the necessary knowledge to pursue a career in renewable energy. Start by evaluating your current skill set and determine which areas require further development. Are there specific technical skills, such as data analysis, programming, or system design, that you need to acquire? Are there industry-specific certifications or qualifications that are highly valued?
There are plenty of renewable energy retraining courses to best suit your budget, lifestyle, and goals.
Some of the best retraining courses for starting a career in renewable energy include:
- Renewable Energy Management & Finance: Learn how to manage renewable energy projects, understand policies and finances, and evaluate the benefits of adopting renewable energy technology.
- Solar Photovoltaic: Learn how to install, maintain and repair solar panels; and the theory behind solar photovoltaic equipment.
- Electric Vehicles: Learn about the advantages and opportunities of the electric vehicle and EV recharging sectors.
- Wind Power: Understand the theory behind wind energy and how to install and operate wind turbines in varying scales.
This is by no means an exhaustive list so be sure to do your own research after determining the areas of renewable energy that you’re most interested in.
Bonus read ?? 5 professional courses for career changers
4. Tailor Your CV and Cover Letter
When applying for renewable energy positions, it’s crucial to tailor your CV and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and relevant experiences. Emphasise any previous work, projects, or educational background that aligns with the renewable energy sector. For example, if you have experience in data analysis, highlight how these skills can be applied to renewable energy projects.
Read our dedicated guides for career changers on ?? writing a CV and writing a cover letter.
Making a career change can be both exhilarating and daunting. However, renewable energy careers offer a chance to contribute to a more sustainable future while also enjoying growth opportunities. Remember to assess the pros and cons, identify your skills, and take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success in your new career in renewable energy. With hard work and determination, you can soon reap the rewards of a career in this dynamic industry.
Find and apply for all the latest renewable energy jobs now on the Refreshing a Career renewable energy jobs board.
For more advice on changing careers, we’ve compiled a list of career change support and resources to guide you.
Feel free to get in touch with our team if you have any questions. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below for all the latest news and opportunities from Refreshing a Career.