Energy Engineer

Job Description:

Energy engineers work out how to make the best of our energy resources, including renewable energy.

Job Category:
Energy & Utilities

What you will do:

You may work on gas and oil extraction and producing energy from renewable or sustainable sources, like:

  • hydro – water
  • solar – sunlight
  • biomass – plants or plant materials
  • wind power

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • researching and designing new generating sites
  • deciding on the best locations for sites
  • planning and overseeing production programmes for sites
  • managing and coordinating teams of technicians or site workers
  • designing and selecting equipment
  • meeting environmental standards, like carbon reduction targets
  • finding the most cost efficient and productive processes
  • carrying out laboratory experiments
  • converting experiments into large-scale industrial processes
  • working with geologists, geophysicists and specialist contractors (teamwork skills)
  • managing projects and budgets


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Energy Engineer, you should focus on building a strong foundation in science, mathematics, and engineering during your years. Here are the typical subjects and considerations for aspiring Energy Engineers:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): Advanced math skills are essential for engineering and solving complex problems related to energy systems.
  2. Physics: Physics provides the fundamental principles of energy, mechanics, and thermodynamics, which are directly relevant to energy engineering. recommended.
  3. Chemistry: While not always mandatory, chemistry can be beneficial for understanding chemical processes, which are relevant to certain aspects of energy engineering.
  4. Design and Technology (D&T): D&T courses can provide practical skills and insights into engineering design and technology, which are relevant to energy engineering.
  5. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in using computers and digital tools can be valuable for modeling and simulating energy systems.

Post School

You’ll usually need a degree in engineering or a related science subject, like:

  • mining or petroleum engineering
  • environmental technology
  • energy engineering
  • earth sciences
  • environmental engineering
  • renewable or sustainable energy
  • electrical engineering
  • chemical engineering

You may need to have, or be working towards, a postgraduate qualification. This should be related to the area you wish to work in, like an MSc in renewable energy engineering.

In the UK, The Energy Institute’s Energy Careers has details of approved degrees and postgraduate courses. The Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy has details of sponsorship to research offshore technologies for wind, wave and tidal-current technologies.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll work 40 hours per week in office-based design or research jobs. If you work on a site like an offshore wind farm or drilling platform, you may work on a shift basis, including nights and weekends.

If you work onshore, it’s usually in offices and laboratories with visits out to sites. Some jobs may involve international travel and long stays away from home.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into planning, policy development, or freelance consultancy.