Energy is a key part of our lives. From heating houses to running industries, it’s important to know how to get things done in the energy field.
After earning your degree, you can pursue a variety of energy careers ranging from software engineers to operators, top-level managers to mid-level managers.
The following list is designed to give you an idea of the top paying jobs in energy and what you’ll need for each position. It’s important to note that there are many different areas within the energy sector. You could work in the oil, coal, and gas fields or be a water or wind turbine engineer.
Just about every energy career you can imagine exists, but this list will give you a general idea of what is out there. These are the highest paying jobs in energy and offer some of the best opportunities.
List of Best paying jobs in energy
The following list contains many of the most common energy careers and jobs.
1. Petroleum engineering – $103,456
This is one of the highest paying jobs in energy. Petroleum engineers deal with everything from drilling and pipeline systems to well management and more. The best paid professionals get into executive positions for oil and gas companies. But there is a great deal of competition for these jobs.
Working as a petroleum engineer will involve solving problems, improving safety standards and much more. So, it is a highly technical field that requires extensive schooling. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree as well as a few years of experience before you can enter the field.
2. Mechanical engineering – $90,160
Mechanical engineers have to understand the engineering behind many parts of machinery and machinery systems. This includes everything from machines and tools to vehicles. They need to understand how they work, how they can be improved, and how they work together.
Also, mechanical engineers have to design and create their own machines which require a great deal of creativity and good working knowledge of computer based design software. Mechanical engineers also have to oversee the construction and installation of the machines that they’ve designed using blueprints, drawings, formulas and similar documentation.
3. Computer and Information Systems – $90,430
Computer systems, computers and related networks are important in many different aspects of energy. Information systems professionals are in charge of installing and developing these systems as well as protecting information and network security.
Systems professionals need to have a great deal of technical knowledge in order to install the systems most efficiently. They also have to understand programming and require a strong computer science background. Many systems managers also develop custom applications for their clients.
4. Aerospace engineering – $105,268
This is the field that deals with designing, building and operating aircraft and related equipment. Some professionals work on designing new aircraft while others work with parts of the aircraft’s systems. Aerospace engineers also maintain the systems that control aircraft as well as taking care of any maintenance problems that may arise.
In general, aerospace engineers also have to work in engineering team environments which require a good deal of cooperation between engineers and technicians. They are also responsible for researching new technologies related to their field.
5. Civil engineering – $82,626
These professionals deal with the planning and construction of roads, buildings, waterworks and other similar structures and systems. They have to have an extensive knowledge of mathematics, design and architecture in order to be able to properly build their projects.
Armed with all this knowledge, civil engineers are responsible for working out plans for projects through computer aided design programs like AutoCAD. Many civil engineers also take part in the actual building of the projects they’ve designed. Depending on the size of the project, it can take years to complete.
6. Electrical engineering – $100,000
These professionals design and create electrical systems and devices for a variety of purposes. They are responsible for working on large scale power generation as well as large construction projects that include electrical conduits, wiring and microwave installations.
They also work on computer systems, networks and related cables which require a great deal of knowledge about computer systems. Engineers with this degree must also have good writing skills since they write the blueprints, manuals, brochures etc that they need to show clients to design their electrical applications.
7. Meteorology – $94,342
These professionals study the weather in order to provide weather reports for the public as well as for businesses and other organizations. Meteorologists are required to have a good knowledge of climatology, physics and chemistry.
They must also have good communication skills since they communicate their findings to a variety of people. They not only communicate verbally but they also need to communicate through computer based graphics which require an understanding of how computers work as well as how different programs are used.
8. Chemical engineering – $81,000
This is the field of study that many engineers enter if they have an interest in chemistry. These professionals are responsible for working on chemical processes, thermodynamics, catalysis and many other chemical related topics.
They also work on automated processes to make the manufacturing of chemicals more efficient and cheaper. Some chemical engineers even work with biological concepts and biotechnology which require an extensive knowledge of biology.
9. Environmental engineering – $92,120
These professionals design systems to clean polluted waterways and dispose of other waste products safely and efficiently. They must have extensive knowledge of biology, chemistry and mathematics in order to understand how these products are produced, how they can be reused or disposed of and how to clean up any waste that has already been created.
Environmental engineers also work on waste disposal, water purification, energy production and many other tasks that involve the use of chemistry. Environmental engineers may find themselves working with a variety of different chemicals as well.
10. Agricultural engineering – $82,500
These professionals work with farmers and agricultural workers to find ways to increase the amount of crops that are produced. They may work on plant breeding or crop production software and they also may be involved in agricultural equipment design.
Agricultural engineers also have to be familiar with a wide variety of biological concepts and they may even have to be aware of environmental concerns surrounding the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
In order to ensure the safety of their clients, these engineers should be familiar with biology, chemistry and other related sciences.
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As you can see, many engineers have to have very specific skills in order to work in their respective fields.
These skills are very different from the ones you need to be a generalist engineer. In order to be successful in any of these best paying energy jobs, you’ll have to have a lot of knowledge in your respective field.
That said, these jobs can be extremely rewarding since they can pay upwards of $100 an hour, especially if you are a specialist in a very specific field.