Energy Careers

Working in Renewables

Discover a Fulfilling Career in Renewables

Interest and investment in renewables is growing and so is the need for skilled workers. Working in renewables offers the opportunity to work in rural communities and engage in a developing sector while contributing to positive environmental changes.

The Career Change Pathway

Ease of Transition

A career change from oil and gas to renewables has a high rate of transferability for geothermal energy and a medium to low rate of transferability for solar and wind energy. In geothermal, oil and gas workers will find their existing skills will make for an easier transition while solar and wind opportunities will require upskilling for a successful transition.

Doing the Research

Before making a career change to a different sector, you should explore and assess their individual skills and experience, evaluate what technical skills may be needed to transition, consider consulting with a career advisor, and identify how the sector may be different. Characteristics to consider in renewables include:

Skills and Experience
  • Understand subsurface differences and data
  • Maintain 3rd of 4th class power engineering certificate
  • Familiar with rotating equipment and high-temperature materials
  • Experience with longer drilling times and techniques for handling deeper formations
  • Increase knowledge on environmental, social and governance (ESG) values
Benefits
  • Opportunity to contribute to positive environmental activities and changes
  • Contribute to a sector in its early phases
  • Leadership opportunity – develop and grow skills along with the emerging sector
  • Work in different communities and rural regions
Work Environment
  • Organizations are often small-medium sized
  • Have a less formal organizational structure
  • Same safety environment as oil and gas
  • Shift and varied work hours for some roles
  • Travel often required
  • Physical, outdoor work
  • Wind and solar workers may be required to work at great heights

Did you know

The majority of renewable energy employment opportunities are observed in the project development and construction phases.

Canadian Energy Research Institute. Economic Recovery Pathways for Canada's Energy Industry: Part 3 - Canadian Renewable Energy, October 2020.

The Future of Employment in Renewables

There’s growing interest in renewable energy sources in Canada including solar, wind, water and geothermal which is used for industrial scale electricity generation and direct heat.

As an emerging industry, the increasing levels of activity will drive demand for workers in Western Canada’s renewables sector with the majority of job opportunities occurring during the project development and construction life cycle phases and tapering once projects move into their operational stage. 

Increasingly, the energy sector will become more blended as some traditional oil and gas companies become wholistic suppliers of energy and renewables, and more renewable-specific energy companies enter the sector.

The economics of solar and wind energy has improved significantly in recent years due to decreased costs and efficient technology, while geothermal energy continues to innovate and develop. Growing interest and improved economics mean a bright future for renewable energy.

While some opportunities in renewable energy demand new skills, many skills are transferrable from oil and gas. And that’s good news for a lot of people. 

Want to Join the Renewables Sector?

Are you:

  • Interested in advancing alternative energy solutions
  • Forward-thinking
  • Willing to work with smaller organizations and start-ups
  • Comfortable moving from project-to-project and relocation
  • Able to navigate a strict regulatory environment
  • Ready to build relationships with stakeholders and Indigenous communities
  • Open to working in rural locations

 

Learn more about career opportunities in renewable energy.

Day in the Life

Keith President and Founder

With more than 30 years experience in seismic and geoscience research in the oil and gas industry, Keith was looking to be part of the bigger energy ecosystem. Keith’s current job gives him the opportunity to put his lifetime of unique and diverse experiences to use at a time when the world faces difficult and complex energy-related challenges.

Interested in making a change into renewables? Read Keith’s story to learn more.

 

 

Read Keith's story

Don’t be afraid of change. In my experience, it always works out better in the end.