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Renewable Energy Generation Careers

These careers are on the forefront of technology and energy innovation.

Renewable energy is the fastest-growing segment of the utilities industry. Renewable forms of energy come from the wind, sun, tides, the earth's heat, and some biomass products. Almost eight percent of Minnesota's electricity is generated by wind and this share is growing very quickly. While wind is the most visible form of renewable energy, energy is also being harvested from solar panels, geothermal heat, and some renewable fuels. The generation and distribution of power from new energy sources is still underway, but renewables are an important source of power for traditional utilities.

Work in this field develops new technologies to harvest renewable energy, designs transmission and storage systems, and plans and prepares to install new technology. Careers vary from entry-level technicians to experienced engineers.

Project examples include:

  • Repairing and maintaining wind turbines
  • Designing solar panels or geothermal heat pumps
  • Writing software for a smart-grid applications for renewable energy

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.

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.

Surveyors
Surveyors can benefit the environment in many ways. They may work on projects that map groundwater flow, plan for low-impact mining or construction sites, or plan for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Wind Turbine Technicians
Wind turbine technicians maintain and repair wind turbines, which produce energy from a renewable source: the wind.

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.