Similar Titles

Energy Efficiency Engineer, Energy Engineer, Industrial Energy Engineer, Measurement And Verification Engineer, Test and Balance Engineer

Job Description

Engineering is considered the backbone of modern society. In simple terms, it’s the “designing, testing, and building of machines, structures, and processes using maths and science.”

In addition to the major branches of engineering—such as chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical—there are hundreds of subcategories of engineering. One of the most recent is the exciting field of energy engineering!

In a world where renewable energy and sustainable practices are being prioritized, Energy Engineers have become vital. They specialize in developing energy-related projects and systems aimed at improving efficiency and reducing environmental impact.

Their responsibilities include conducting energy audits, designing renewable energy systems (like solar and wind power), and coming up with ways to make existing systems better. Energy Engineers play a crucial role in researching and implementing new technologies to meet the growing global demand for more sustainable energy solutions.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Working on diverse projects from solar farms to energy-efficient buildings
  • Innovating renewable energy technologies
  • Contributing to environmental sustainability and energy conservation
  • Playing a role in combating climate change and reducing carbon footprint
2021 Employment
2031 Projected Employment
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule

  • Energy Engineers work full-time with the possibility of overtime during emergencies. Travel in the area may be necessary.

Typical Duties

  • Assess and optimize energy usage in various conditions and settings
  • Calculate estimated potential energy savings if upgrading equipment and systems
  • Conduct temperature testing and regulatory compliance
  • Ensure designs and product installations comply with safety and energy efficiency standards
  • Benchmark cost and consumption for organizations
  • Design and implement renewable energy systems
  • Used software to create detailed construction drawing sets and models
  • Assist during development activities to ensure actions are completed on schedule
  • Build performance models for compliance with associated standards
  • Analyze emissions and performance of gas-fired furnaces and boilers
  • Automate equipment fault detection and energy analysis in commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Collaborate with engineers, architects, and other professionals for project execution
  • Facilitate system prototype submissions and experiments
  • Evaluate system integration with existing infrastructure
  • Review subcontracted energy assessments and retro-commissioning projects to ensure quality
  • Estimate energy and water cost savings meeting company-wide return on investment requirements
  • Create reports to compare projected energy savings against actual savings

Additional Responsibilities

  • Stay updated with regulatory and environmental legislation
  • Research new energy technologies to stay at the forefront of the field
  • Participate in community and business partner sustainability meetings
  • Encourage investment in energy-efficient and solar energy technologies
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Activities coordination
  • Analytical
  • Attention to detail
  • Business acumen
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Decisive
  • Deductive and inductive reasoning
  • Detail-oriented
  • Independent
  • Monitoring
  • Objective
  • Organized
  • Patient
  • Perceptive
  • Problem-solving
  • Reading comprehension
  • Safety-oriented
  • Strong communication skills
  • Visualization

Technical Skills

  • Building Information Modeling
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) tools such as Autodesk AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Revit, etc.
  • Development environment tools like LabVIEW and Verilog
  • Energy analysis and management tools such as EnergyPlus, RETScreen, or HOMER
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Knowledge of energy systems and renewable technologies
  • Knowledge of fabrication and manufacturing
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Operating system software, such as Linux, Windows, Shell script, UNIX
    Operations analysis
  • Programming languages such as C++, Python
  • Project management software like Microsoft Project or Primavera
  • Scientific software such as Powersim and MathWorks
  • Simulation and modeling software like ANSYS, MATLAB, or Simulink
  • Strong skills in all branches of STEM 
Different Types of Organizations
  • Construction and building services
  • Engineering consultancies
  • Environmental agencies
  • Government and public agencies
  • Manufacturing and industrial companies
  • Renewable energy firms
  • Research institutions, including colleges
  • Utility companies
Expectations and Sacrifices

Energy Engineers must constantly update their skills to keep pace with evolving technology and regulations, often working under tight deadlines. This commitment to lifelong learning is crucial but can mean extended work hours, especially when working on large-scale projects or urgent energy crises.

Work might take them to remote locations for extended periods, impacting their personal lives. They can sometimes encounter industry resistance or public skepticism, requiring them to be not only skilled engineers but also effective communicators. Energy Engineers, after all, must be strong advocates for sustainable energy practices and policies!

Current Trends

Current trends emphasize renewable energy and smart technology integration. The shift from fossil fuels to renewables like solar and wind is driven by environmental concerns and technological advancements.

Energy Engineers focus on efficiency, scalability, and economic viability. In addition, improving energy storage such as in battery systems is crucial since renewable energy sources depend on environmental conditions. For example, solar energy production fluctuates based on the amount of available sunlight, so it is important to be able to store that captured energy.

Smart technology, notably the Internet of Things, is being integrated into energy systems such as smart grids that improve electricity distribution efficiency and reliability. Meanwhile, AI and machine learning are helping to predict energy consumption patterns and optimize energy use. 

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were younger…

Energy Engineers may have displayed a keen interest in STEM subjects in their younger years. Many were drawn to building and experimenting with mechanical or electrical projects, such as constructing simple circuits and models or participating in science fairs. Their early fascination with how things work, combined with awareness of environmental issues, likely steered them towards this career field! 

Education and Training Needed
  • Energy Engineers need an ABET-accredited bachelor’s in energy engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field 
  • Many students opt to pursue a dual bachelor’s/master’s which can save time and money
  1. Advanced degrees can be advantageous for specialized roles or research positions
  • Common classes to expect may include:
  1. Energy Management
  2. Energy Policy
  3. Nuclear Energy
  4. Renewable Energy Systems
  5. Thermodynamics
  • Students may opt to focus on an area of specialization including (but not limited to):
  1. Energy Efficiency 
  2. Energy Policy
  3. Energy Systems
  4. Nuclear Energy
  5. Renewable Energy 
  6. Smart Grids and Energy Storage
  • Some programs may partner with local businesses to offer internships and cooperative experiences that boost student understanding and develop practical skills 
  • Some employers may require workers to pass a thorough background check and obtain a security clearance
  • Optional certifications include the American Public Power Association’s Energy Efficiency Management Certificate and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional
  • The Association of Energy Engineers offers certification options, as well!
  • A license isn’t needed to get started, but Professional Engineering (PE) licensure leads to greater scopes of responsibility. A PE must pass two exams—Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE), the latter of which can be taken only after sufficient work experience has been gained 
Things to look for in an university
  • Look for ABET-accredited colleges offering majors in energy engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field
  • Seek programs with internship opportunities
  • Programs should be ABET-accredited, which is a requirement for later PE licensure
  • Scholarships and STEM pathways! How committed are your potential schools to improving access to help facilitate your entry into their programs?
  • Consider the program’s faculty awards and accomplishments. Prestigious honors include: teaching awards, IEEE and National Science Foundation awards and recognitions, Fulbright Fellowships, best papers, and distinguished lecturers
  • Check out their facilities (especially if you plan to attend in person). Well-funded programs will have the most modern, cutting-edge research areas
  • Look for affiliated centers and institutes. Most big programs collaborate with external partners which can significantly augment your learning experience
  • Always see what schools offer graduates! Do they post job placement stats? Does the alumni network offer beneficial, career-enhancing mentorship and networking?
  • Consider the cost of tuition, discounts, and local scholarship opportunities (in addition to federal aid)
  • Think about your schedule and flexibility when deciding whether to enroll in an on-campus, online, or hybrid program
Things to do in High School and College
  • It pays to get a jump start on college by taking prep classes in high school, such as math, physics, and environmental science. Strong English and technical writing skills will also pay off later
  • If offered, consider taking electives in blueprints, computer programming, computer-aided drafting, and electronics
  • Learn everything you can about the career field before signing up for classes. Know what you want to specialize in, and read job descriptions posted on employment portals
  1. To go even further, make a list of organizations you dream of working for, and maybe reach out to current employees to pick their brains
  • Get practical experience through internships or related apprenticeships
  • Don’t neglect soft skills. Engineers should be “people persons” too!
  1. Volunteer to serve on school committees or help with extracurricular activities, with a focus on roles that offer leadership and management experiences
  • Comb through our below list of Recommended Websites to find professional groups to join. Also, become an active participant in your school engineering  and environmental clubs and fairs
  • Ask a seasoned Energy Engineer if they can spare some time to mentor you in exchange for helping them in some capacity
  • Develop skills in computer programming and software related to energy modeling.
  • Read online articles and trade publications like Energy Engineering  
  • Familiarize yourself with current global energy trends. Participate in relevant online forums and discussion groups
  • Keep track of all your work and academic accomplishments for your resume and college applications
Energy Engineer Roadmap
Energy Engineer
How to land your 1st job
  1. Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Engineering Software, Simulation and Modeling, Project Management, Data Analysis, Technical Skills, Regulatory Compliance, System Optimization, Sustainable Development, Energy Auditing, Grid Management, Renewable Energy Technologies, Software Proficiency, Research and Development, Energy Policy, Environmental Impact Assessment, Energy Storage, Communication Skills, Team Leadership, AutoCAD, MATLAB, ANSYS, HOMER, EnergyPlus, Agile, Scrum, Lean Management, Statistical Analysis, Data Modeling
  • Review Energy Engineer resume templates and sample interview questions 
  • Ask your school to connect you with recruiters. Take advantage of chances to intern with large companies. Many engineers arrange to have jobs waiting when they graduate
  • Max out your school’s career center offerings. Get resume help, do mock interviews, meet recruiters, and attend job fairs in professional attire with resumes in hand
  • Do your research on potential employers. Learn about their services, outreach missions, and target community groups
  • During interviews, demonstrate a keen awareness of trends in the industry
  • Dress professionally for job interviews
  • Ask previous professors and supervisors to write recommendation letters or request their consent (in advance) to list them as references
How to Climb the Ladder
  • To move up, you must establish your target goal, set up milestones, and create a plan to achieve each milestone
  1. Determine where you want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years, then map out your plans. Do you want to supervise others and lead teams? Do you want to be a manager? What about sales? Knowing the goals will help you adjust your education and training accordingly
  • Your employer will probably invest time and money in you and want to keep you, so make it clear that you’re interested in getting promoted within the company if possible
  • Speak with your supervisor about advancement. Get advice and talk through options. There are endless possibilities within the Energy Engineering field!
  • Most small- to mid-sized businesses have limited opportunities for advancement, so keep this in mind when applying. To move up any ladder, there must be empty rungs on it
  • Get your PE license as soon as you can and demonstrate your commitment to excellence and your willingness to assume increased responsibilities
  • Knock out additional certs when qualified to do so, like the American Public Power Association’s Energy Efficiency Management Certificate, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, or an Association of Energy Engineers certification
  • Try to gain diverse experience across different energy projects
  • Consider specializing in a growing niche, like solar energy or sustainable building design
  • Stay proactive about professional development and taking continuing education courses
  • Be active in professional organizations (see our list of Recommended Resources for more information)
  • Stay current on regulatory changes to ensure your organization is always compliant
Recommended Tools/Resources



  • Energy Storage Basics: A Study Guide for Energy Practitioners, by Sean White and Saad Yousefi
  • Renewable Energy Engineering, by Nicholas Jenkins and Janaka Ekanayake
  • Wind Energy Engineering: A Handbook for Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbines, by Trevor Letcher
Plan B

Energy engineering is a vital and expanding career field, but currently, there aren’t a huge number of job openings compared to some other engineering fields. That could change significantly in the coming years.

In the meantime, other types of engineers contribute to the energy engineering field, too—so if you’re interested in exploring some related occupations, check out the suggestions below.

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer  
  • Civil Engineer
  • Computer Hardware Engineer    
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineer    
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geothermal Production Manager
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mining and Geological Engineer
  • Water/Wastewater Engineer


Online Courses and Tools