9 November 2023
The global push for renewable energy has opened up a world of possibilities for job seekers looking to make a positive impact on the environment while pursuing fulfilling careers.
In the United Kingdom, the renewable energy sector is booming, offering diverse opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests and skill sets.
In our latest blog, Tim Norford, Head of Renewables at Astute, looks at various roles within the renewable energy sector and the skills required to excel in green energy careers.
Renewable Energy in the UK is a Growing Industry
Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydro, and biomass have gained momentum in the UK's energy landscape.
According to the UK government's statistics, in 2022, renewable sources provided a record-breaking 40% of the UK's electricity, up from 35% in 2021.
The National Grid also reports that in 2022, zero-carbon sources, which include renewable energy, generated 48.5% of the UK's electricity, outperforming fossil fuels.
This growth has translated into a surge in job opportunities in the sector.
1. Wind Energy Jobs
Wind energy is a cornerstone of the UK's renewable energy transition.
Onshore and offshore wind farms require a skilled workforce to design, construct, operate, and maintain these facilities.
Here are some key data points and roles within the wind energy sector:
Wind Turbine Technician: "The demand for wind turbine technicians is soaring as the UK's wind energy sector continues to expand.
"These technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of wind turbines, making it a promising career path for those with a knack for hands-on work," says Tim, a renewable energy recruiter.
The average Wind Turbine Technician salary for this role is around £30,000 to £40,000 per year, depending on experience and location.
Wind Farm Manager: "Wind farm managers oversee the entire operation of wind farms, and their roles are pivotal in maintaining efficiency and resolving technical challenges.
"It's a rewarding career that offers substantial growth potential," adds Tim.
Wind Farm Manager salaries typically range from £40,000 to £60,000 annually.
Skills for Success in Wind Energy:
- Strong technical and problem-solving skills.
- Knowledge of wind turbine systems and maintenance.
- Electrical or mechanical engineering qualifications.
2. Solar Energy Jobs
Solar power is another rapidly growing sector in the UK.
Solar panel installations and maintenance require a skilled workforce.
Data points and roles in the solar energy sector include:
Solar O&M Technician: "With the growing adoption of solar energy in both residential and commercial settings, there is an increasing demand for skilled Solar O&M (Operations and Maintenance) technicians.
"This field provides a gateway for many individuals to enter the renewable energy sector," suggests Tim.
Salaries vary, but an average O&M Technician's salary lies between £32,000 - £45,000 to start, with room to grow.
Solar Project Manager: "As solar projects become more complex, the role of a Project Manager becomes increasingly important.
"These professionals oversee every aspect of solar installations, making sure they are executed flawlessly," notes Tim.
Solar Project Manager salaries typically range from £55,000 to £65,000 per year.
Skills for Success in Solar Energy:
- Knowledge of solar panel systems and installation.
- Technical skills for system maintenance.
- Project management and organisation skills.
3. Hydro and Biomass Energy Jobs
Hydropower and biomass are sustainable energy sources that contribute to the UK's renewable energy mix.
Although smaller in scale, these sectors offer various career opportunities:
Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operator: "With the growing prevalence of anaerobic digestion plants in various industrial and agricultural applications, there is an increasing demand for skilled Anaerobic Digestion plant operators.
"This profession serves as an entry point for many individuals seeking to enter the field of renewable energy," explains Tim Norford.
Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operator salaries typically range from £48,000 - £70,000+ depending on the size, feedstock and kit on the site.
Another variable that impacts salary for this role is whether the AD assets are gas to grid or CHP.
Anaerobic Digestion Plant Manager: " The demand for Anaerobic Digestion Plant Managers is currently on the rise, reflecting the growing importance of sustainable and eco-friendly waste management and energy production.
"These professionals play a crucial role in overseeing the operations of Anaerobic Digestion facilities, which convert organic waste into biogas and valuable byproducts while minimising environmental impact," says Tim.
Anaerobic Digestion Plant Manager salaries vary but can be around £30,000 to £45,000 annually.
Skills for Success in Hydro and Biomass Energy:
- Knowledge of hydropower or biomass systems.
- Engineering and technical skills for system maintenance.
- Environmental and sustainability awareness.
4. Energy Efficiency Jobs
Improving energy efficiency in buildings, industries, and transportation is a crucial aspect of the renewable energy sector.
Job opportunities in this field are diverse and rewarding:
Energy Auditor: "Energy auditors are like detectives, uncovering energy waste and proposing solutions.
"It's a role that combines analytical skills with a passion for sustainability," says Tim Norford.
Energy Auditor salaries can range from £25,000 to £40,000 per year.
Energy Efficiency Consultant: "Energy efficiency consultants have the power to transform how organisations consume energy.
"It's a role that requires in-depth knowledge and strong communication," Tim advises.
In terms of Energy Efficiency Consultant salaries, the more junior end comes in at £30,000 - £35,000; however, with more experience, you can demand upwards of £50,000.
Skills for Success in Energy Efficiency:
- Knowledge of energy-efficient technologies and practices.
- Analytical skills for data evaluation.
- Strong communication and consultancy skills.
Pioneering a Green Career
The renewable energy sector in the UK is flourishing, offering a wide array of green energy career options.
Whether you're technically inclined, passionate about sustainability, or skilled in project management, there's a place for you in this growing industry.
With the right skills and a commitment to environmental stewardship, you can be part of the transformative journey toward a greener, more sustainable future.
If you are looking to recruit in the renewable sector, on either a permanent or contract basis, reach out to Tim on email@example.com or call him on +442393910108.
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