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Building-Related Energy Efficiency

These careers help create a built environment that uses and wastes less energy.

Minnesota is home to extreme weather. Temperatures can range from 30 degrees below zero to 90 degrees above zero. Our buildings must be able to withstand these extreme. Building-related energy efficiency is especially important when structures are expensive to build, heat, and cool. Energy efficiency has become more important in recent years because of rising energy prices and government policies that encourage weatherization and reduced energy use in buildings.

The building-related energy efficiency cluster involves designing, building, and altering structures to use energy efficiently. The built environment includes everything from homes, parks, and businesses to sidewalks, transportation systems, and industrial sites. The work in this cluster focuses on designing and building new structures to ensure they are energy efficient, or in making changes to existing structures to help them to use energy more efficiently.

Careers in this cluster include skilled trades like roofers and insulation installers as well as designers, architects, and engineers. These positions are green because they spend the majority of their time improving efficiency, saving energy, or using sustainable materials and technologies.

Project examples include:

  • Performing an energy audit on a home
  • Maintaining a commercial HVAC system
  • Designing a LEED-certified building

Building Systems Engineers
Building systems engineers improve the efficiency of the building systems we use every day. They allow facilities to operate with less environmental impact.

Civil Engineers
Some civil engineers help the environmental through the public infrastructure projects they work on, including rail systems and efficient road designs.

Computer Software Engineers
Some computer software engineers design software that is used to enhance efficiency in computer systems or to operate and manage green products or devices, such as smart-grid technologies.

Construction and Building Inspectors
Construction and building inspectors ensure that a building's systems meet standards for efficiency and environmental design.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Electrical Systems/Electrical Controls Engineers
Electrical systems/electrical controls engineers design, test, and maintain electrical equipment and systems.

Energy Auditors
Energy auditors evaluate energy use patterns and recommend ways buildings can use less energy.

Energy Engineers
Energy engineers work to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Floor, Ceiling, and Wall Insulation Workers
Floor, ceiling, and wall insulation workers provide buildings with good insulation, preventing the increased energy use that occurs when heat escapes through poorly-insulated walls or roofs.

Green Construction Managers
Green construction managers plan and oversee sustainable building projects.

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
These mechanics ensure building systems are operating at peak efficiency, which reduces pollution and conserves natural resources.

Maintenance and Repair Workers
Some maintenance and repair workers work to ensure the efficient operation of heating and air conditioning systems, which saves energy.

Roofers provide buildings with good insulation, which prevents increased energy use that occurs when heat escapes through a roof.

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
Stationary engineers and boiler operators operate and maintain large equipment such as steam engines and generators.

Sustainable Design Architects
Sustainable design architects plan and design buildings with an eye toward the environment and energy efficiency.

Sustainable Landscape Architects
Sustainable landscape architects help the environment through their designs, which may preserve a site or restore it to its natural state by adding or protecting native plants or habitats.

Validation Engineers
Validation engineers contribute to the lean and efficient production of goods.

You might notice that some occupations are not on this list. That's because the occupations not listed did not show any hiring demand in Minnesota in 2009-2011. Learn more about how careers were selected for this list.