Best Paying Jobs in Energy

Best Paying Jobs in Energy

The energy industry, particularly renewable energy, is a rapidly growing field. With the increasing need to save energy, more and more jobs are added to this field. There are many jobs and positions that have to do with energy in one way or another. Most energy jobs not only offer good wages but also excellent career opportunities. Below is some information regarding energy jobs as well as some potential jobs available in the energy industry.

What Are Energy Jobs?

This is not as simple of a question as one might think. When we think of energy jobs we typically think of solar energy and jobs related to renewable resources. However, the truth of the matter is that energy jobs can be found almost anywhere we look.

Energy is involved in every part of our life, and jobs in the energy sector are important for everyday living. Energy jobs can be found in many industries, including business, engineering, education, automotive, and more. With the high demand for renewable energy, more energy jobs are created every year.

Typical Education Needed for a Career in Energy

The educational requirements for a career in energy vary depending on the area of energy the individual wishes to work and the specific job. Some energy jobs dealing with installation, repair, and maintenance may require only a high school diploma or an associate degree.

On the other hand, energy jobs fields like engineering typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the job, the individual may also be required to obtain licensure or certification. This is often the case with employees working with the power grid. Many energy jobs require a master’s degree. Those with the most education are often qualified for the best paying jobs in energy.

Is Energy a Good Career Path?

Energy is an excellent career path for several reasons. Most energy positions offer good wage potential and the chance for career growth and advancement. Because energy is part of so many industries, an individual pursuing a career in energy will generally have many options. Energy is not going anywhere, and candidates wishing to pursue this field will have many career opportunities for at least the next decade or more. From 2020 to 2021, there was an increase of about 300,000 energy jobs, with more than 7.8 million people employed in the energy field in 2021.

Below are some of the best paying jobs in energy. Wage and employment growth information was obtained through the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or Various factors can affect wage potential. These include:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Certifications
  • Employer
  • Geographic location

Best Paying Energy Jobs by Salary

It’s no surprise that some of the best-paying jobs in energy are for scientists and engineers, but you can also work in the field in sales, accounting, human resources, and management and earn a great wage. Look at our roundup of the best paying energy jobs by salary below.

Solar Panel Software Developer

Salary: $120,730

Degree needed: Master’s

The designs used for solar panels are designed by computer software developers. These professionals earn an average annual wage of $120,730 as of a May 2021 report by the BLS. Their job growth is expected to be more than 22 percent by 2030. Solar panel software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in software development as well as some industry certifications. Some positions may require a master’s degree in order to earn all the required certifications.


Salary: $83,860 to $172,000

Degree needed: Bachelor’s or Master’s

Geoscientists study all aspects of the earth to obtain knowledge of its present, past, and future. Their vast knowledge of oil, gas, and environmental issues makes them valuable employees in the energy industry. Although a geoscientist may be required to have a master’s degree, some may get hired with a bachelor’s degree in natural recourses or physical science. They are expected to experience a five percent job growth between 2020 and 2030. Their average annual wage in 2021 was $83,860 with some earning up to $172,000.

Materials Engineer

Salary: $101,950 to $161,080

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Materials engineers evaluate materials in the environment, design and monitor testing of processing procedures, plan and study new projects, and determine reasons why products fail as well as how to prevent failure. Materials engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited college. These highly trained professionals are expected to see a six percent increase in jobs between 2020 and 2030. The BLS reports that materials engineers earned wages ranging from $101,950 to $161,080 or more as of May 2021.

Data Scientist

Salary: $100,000

Degree needed: Bachelor’s or Master’s

Data scientists are highly educated professionals who use their great analytical skills to detect, analyze, and solve problems. To work as a data scientist usually requires a bachelor’s degree in data science or computer science. Depending on the position and employer, the data scientist position may require a master’s degree. As of May 2021, data scientists earned an average annual wage of about $100,000. They can expect to see job growth of 36 percent during the 2020-2030 decade.

Civil Engineer

Salary: $88,050 to $133,000

Degree needed: Graduate

Civil engineers may work for government agencies, engineering companies, and construction companies. They review and approve specifications for civil engineering projects. Civil engineers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree is required for leadership positions or research and development. While the BLS reports their average yearly wage at $88,050, some earn as high as $133,000. Their 2021-2031 predicted job growth is at seven percent.

Chemical Engineer

Salary: $105,000

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Chemical engineers perform research and development for engineering companies producing coal and petroleum products. Chemical engineers earned an average annual wage of more than $105,000 in 2021 and expect a nine percent job growth from 2020-2030. Chemical engineers typically possess a bachelor’s degree. Candidates interested in research or academia need a graduate degree.

Petroleum Engineer

Salary: $130,850

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Petroleum engineers are the engineers who design methods for extracting gas and oil from the ground. They also design the equipment that does the extractions. Petroleum engineers also make sure the equipment is working correctly. They also perform testing and analysis on the drill sites and the oil. Petroleum engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field. As of May 2021, petroleum engineers earned an average annual wage of $130,850. The BLS projects job growth of eight percent between 2021 and 2031.

Atmospheric Scientist

Salary: $94,570

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Atmospheric scientists study the climate and weather, which is very important for the energy industry. They also analyze data and conduct research. At least a bachelor’s degree is required to work in this capacity. The BLS predicted atmospheric scientists would see a four percent increase in jobs between 2021 and 2031. As of May 2021, atmospheric scientists earned an average annual wage of $94,570.

Green Architect

Salary: $98,000

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Although green architects have a lot of the same duties and tasks as regular architects, their duties extend even further. Their main focus is on protecting the ecosystem. They combine their knowledge of architectural theory, and design elements with sustainable building practices. Green architects may work for architecture firms or independently as consultants. They must have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher. They must also complete an internship and be licensed in the state in which they work. Their average annual wage was $98,000 as of November 2022. They are predicted to see job growth of 15 percent by 2031.

Best Paying Jobs in Energy with Lower Education Requirements

Not all jobs in energy require advanced degrees, although with more education, you can often go further, into management or other leadership positions. You may also raise your pay grade in certain positions by adding licensure and certifications to your education.


Salary: $77,250 or higher

Degree needed: Bachelor’s or Master’s

Accountants play an important role in the energy field because their expertise is needed to keep projects in check and balance. Accounting is needed in many facets of the energy industry. Accountants may only earn an annual wage of $77,250 in certain jobs, but energy-related jobs have the potential to offer higher wages. Accountants must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting to work as an accountant but must have a graduate degree to earn certification. Due to growing technology, the demand for accountants overall is declining as of 2021, but this profession is in demand in the energy industry.

Solar Project Developer

Salary: $94,500

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Solar project developers play an important role in the energy industry because they are responsible for all areas of solar energy project development. This includes working with financial experts, engineers, and legal firms. Solar project developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, finance, or science. Some also have an MBA. These professionals earn an average wage of about $100,000 with many earning much more. Their projected employment growth for 2020-2030 is quite high for these professionals.

Industrial Engineer

Salary: $95,300

Degree needed: Bachelor’s

Industrial engineers help an organization save money by working more efficiently. They also ensure the projects are completed as safely as possible and typically develop a safety program. Their expertise is invaluable to the energy industry. Industrial engineers should have a strong background in mathematics and science and must have at least a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. They are expected to see a 14 percent job growth by 2030. Industrial engineers earn an average of $95,300 as of May 2021.

Power Plant Operator

Salary: $80,850 to $110,590

Degree needed: None

Power plant operators work for companies that distribute electric power. Their duties include reading meters and charts, monitoring energy-distributing equipment, adjusting controls, and controlling the fixtures that deal with electric power. Although power plant operators may only have a high school diploma, they must have extensive hands-on training and a license if they’re working with nuclear power. Even though overall employment for these workers is declining, many are still hired every year. Their average annual wage as of May 2021 was $80,850 with many earning $110,590 or more.

Government Energy Job

Salary: Varies

Degree needed: Varies

Government energy jobs are a wide description that includes many positions for individuals interested in the clean energy revolution and who want to help their environment. Their job opportunities include research and development, national security, and various other clean energy jobs. The job growth for government energy jobs is very good. Wage potentials are good as well but vary from job to job. The educational requirements for government energy jobs depend on the position and experience.

Wind Farm Operator/Wind Technician Leader

Salary: $78,000

Degree needed: Associate’s

Wind farm operators often fall in the same category as wind technician leaders and wind turbine operators. They do exactly what their name implies. They operate and control the wind turbines that provide green energy. They also inspect the equipment for problems and repair them as well. Wind farm operators generally have at least an associate’s degree Their annual average wages can vary by the experience they have, but it’s not unusual to see wages as high as $78,000 if not higher. Employment for these professionals is excellent. The BLS predicts a 44 percent job growth by 2030.

Grid Operations Manager

Salary: $71,000 to $100,000, managers $200,000

Degree needed: None

Grid operations managers monitor, install and maintain the energy grids used with solar energy. Grid operations managers earn an average of about $71,000 annually, although many have the potential to earn $100,000 or more. Grid operations manager supervisors can typically see wages in the $200,000 range. Although the BLS did not offer specific job growth information for this profession, the demand for grid operations managers continues to grow in the energy industry.

Solar Energy Technician or Installer

Salary: $70,000 to $99,000

Degree needed: High school diploma + internship

Solar energy technicians or installers install, assemble, and maintain solar energy panels. Although the average wage for solar energy technicians is about $70,000 according to, they also report that many can earn up to $99,000 or more depending on the company. The education requirements may be only a high school diploma, but the candidate must complete a lengthy internship and possibly an apprenticeship. The BLS predicts job growth of 27 percent between 2020 and 2030.