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What it’s really like to work in the renewable energy industry

It’s no secret that the world is facing an energy crisis, and the demand for workers to join the renewable sector is high. The industry is gaining more and more popularity, but there are still a lot of unknowns. If you are considering making the move but not sure if the change is worth it, this article is here to provide some clarity. 

thinking of joining renewable industry worker

We have broken down what to expect upon entering the industry into four key sections:

1. Job Opportunities 

If there is one thing for sure, it’s that the renewable energy sector is booming and there are millions of jobs available. In fact, according to IRENA there are currently 11.5 million jobs available in this sector all over the world. The sector also saw continued job growth during the pandemic, despite the decrease of the labour market at the time. Going forward, IRENA estimates that within the next 5 years there will be 35 jobs created for every $1 million invested by governments for renewable energy development and energy efficiency projects. 

Additionally, the renewable energy industry,being so diverse and covering a range of specialisations, can offer a role to almost anyone. The PR Projects job board, for example, includes a wide array of vacancies to give you an idea of the job opportunities available today. Some of the different areas in which you may be able to find a job role include human resources, administration, health & safety, training, legal, project management and finance, along with more technical positions including engineering, project developers and trade skills. The industry is a strong pathway for many to build their career, not only due to the multiple jobs available, but also the generous room for lucrative job opportunities across a wide range of specialisations. 

Job Opportunities Renewable Industry

2. Job Security 

With the renewable energy industry growing rapidly, and the essential carbon emission targets introduced, sustainable energy will be favoured over older and more costly methods such as coal and fossil fuels. This means that there will be hundreds of thousands of jobs created in the renewable energy sector each year, making it an area with high job security. With the Government supporting and backing this industry, employees in this field will have continued employment for the future years to come. 

In addition to the high need for these roles, energy jobs on average pay higher than many other industries. According to figures from our Renewable Energy Remuneration Report, most salaries within the renewable sector were between 100 and 150 thousand dollars. Transitioning to the renewable energy sector could well leave you with an 8-19% pay increase. Positions within the renewable energy sector will often come with highly competitive remuneration packages including higher superannuation and bonuses. There are also non-financial benefits including a high value placed on work/life balance.

Renewable Energy Industry Jobs Job Security

 

3. Forward Thinking

The industry is relatively new and is more forward-thinking than other sectors. Most organisations invest in their talent through promotion and upskilling, allowing more opportunities to advance in your career. Renewables are also forward-thinking in terms of their inclusion and diversity rates. The renewable energy sector has displayed sizeable inclusion rates and an improved balance of gender than other industries such as that of fossil fuels.

There are also plenty of opportunities for flexible working arrangements, which may include working abroad, a hybrid work schedule, or working remotely. Many employers are flexible and will try to suit your needs. 

Renewable Energy Worker Woman Inclusion Diversity Forward Thinking

 

4. Delays

At the time of writing, there are extreme skill shortages within the renewable energy labour market. These shortages create a range of problems such as decreased efficiencies and project delays that are extremely costly. The 2022 Rystad Energy Report stated that “high prices and long lead times threaten solar PV capacity build-out”, meaning government contracts to start construction for PV this year may be downgraded. 

Another issue causing delays is the inability to get sufficient equipment needed for energy projects. In the last few months, inverters are currently being quoted anywhere between 6-15 months lead delivery times. The obstruction in the supply chain is a significant contributing factor in project delays. These delays cause downscales and prevent potential jobs from being filled, thus meaning there may be instability with roles. 

Energy Projects Delays

To Summarise 

There is room in the renewable energy sector for a plethora of specialised knowledge. There are opportunities for people from all different degrees, qualifications, backgrounds, and experience. The best part is there are only more roles opening in the future. Renewable energy is expanding greatly and quickly, with major support from the government. This makes it a very secure sector to join considering the continued demand, investment and support. In addition to this, energy jobs on average offer competitive salaries when compared to other industries as concluded in our 2022 Renewable Energy Remuneration Report. The sector is also forward thinking, ultimately offering flexibility and higher inclusion rates. Challenges that are currently causing delays such as skill shortages and difficulty acquiring the necessary equipment for projects are expected to be resolved over time with onshore equipment manufacturing and ongoing training and development to support those looking to enter the renewable industry or transfer their skills from industries such as mining, oil, petroleum etc. If you are thinking about starting a career in renewable energy, then now is the time to make the leap! Visit our job board for available positions today. 

Sources:

https://www.ecogeneration.com.au/clean-energy-salary-survey-2021/ 

https://blog.v-hr.com/blog/5-reasons-to-work-in-energy-renewables

https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/institute-sustainable-futures/our-research/energy-futures/renewable-energy-employment-australia

https://www.climatecontrolnews.com.au/opinion/supply-chain-challenging-for-renewables

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