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Day in the Life

What is it really like to work in an energy career?

One of the best ways to find out about a specific career is to talk with someone in the job. A current employee can tell you what they really do all day long, how they got into the field, and the inside scoop about the industry.

Find out if you would like an energy career by reading the energy "Day in the Life" interviews below.

Mike Childs, Residential Energy Auditor
Neighborhood Energy Connection

My job as an energy auditor makes every day a new experience, filled with new people and new challenges. When I'm completing an energy audit of a home, I begin by meeting with the client and talking about the process and goals of the inspection. Next, I closely examine the home, from the attic all the way down to the basement. I pay attention to wall and attic insulation, windows, appliances, and anyplace the home could lose heat or cool air. During the audit, we use basic tools like a screwdriver and tape measure, and more complex tools like a blower door or an infrared camera.

Wondering what a blower door is? Interested in hearing more from Mike? Read Mike's full interview.


Ryan Hunt, Engineer: R&D Projects and Shop Manager
Hunt Utilities Group, LLC

My job consists of providing leadership to our team in the shop as we tackle projects surrounding renewable energy and sustainable housing construction and materials. I spend a lot of time researching materials and methods, following up on communications, and working out in the field or in our workshop. My job requires me to be very flexible. I enjoy the new challenges and excitement that come with every day. The best way to get involved in this field is to talk with people, learn about what's going on, and work hard.

Interested in learning more about these renewable energy and construction projects? Read Ryan's full interview.


Jason Edens, Solar Panel Installer
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance

The days around our organization are always different, with people working on manufacturing solar energy systems and installing them at peoples' homes. Installers work with a wide variety of tools and do everything from solar electricity to solar air heat to solar water heat. We are a non-profit organization committed to helping low-income families solve their fuel poverty with clean energy. We have to be flexible, knowledgeable, and able to keep up with this fast growing field.

Hoping to learn more about the solar energy industry and what it is like to work in it? Read Jason's full interview.


Amy Short, Sustainability Coordinator
University of Minnesota - University Services

My job is to be a sustainability point person for students, faculty, staff, departments, and campus groups on the Twin Cities' campus and help guide our sustainability efforts. A large part of my job the past year was to work with faculty, staff, and students to develop system-wide sustainability goals and measurements. I have to be familiar with many different topics. Energy efficiency and conservation are a major focus, but the goals reach across all aspects of our university. I answer questions and communicate about sustainability efforts to the University community, general public, and media. I also work with operations staff to identify how to share best practices across departments and help identify projects that can be used in education. There are opportunities for me to co-sponsor forums and events with student groups. I work with experts in sustainability and environmental research and policy as well as with those who manage our facilities and energy programs. In my role, I am a catalyst — a change agent. It is wonderful to be a part of this exciting push to make our institution more sustainable.

Interested in learning more about Amy's job as a sustainability coordinator. Read Amy's full interview.