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How do I Become an Energy Engineer?

Article Details
  • Written By: L.K. Blackburn
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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You can become an energy engineer by attending a four year undergraduate engineering degree program and then being hired by an energy company, automobile manufacturer, or other business that employs energy engineers. To become an energy engineer, most regions require you obtain a professional engineering license. In addition to obtaining an license, professional energy engineering organizations offer certifications that may be required by some employers.

Energy engineers may choose to earn their engineering degree specializing in mechanical, civil, electrical, or chemical engineering because the energy field is varied and multi-disciplined. Many different types of companies have a use for energy engineering, including oil and gas companies, manufacturing businesses, and renewable energy research institutions. The government also employs energy engineers to assist in policy development, compliance control, and clean energy research.

If you want to become an energy engineer, it is important to have a strong background in math and science prior to beginning college. Once in college, it is also possible to choose to supplement your engineering degree with an additional degree or coursework in a related scientific field, such as chemistry or geology. Doing so may help you narrow your focus when looking for a job after graduation. An undergraduate energy engineering degree usually takes four to five years to complete.

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While in college or university, many engineering students complete summer internships to gain experience working in the field. Students interested in energy engineering should attempt to get an internship at a company in the part of the energy industry they wish to specialize in. Energy companies that hire engineers may specialize in oil and gas or in clean energy fields, such as bio-fuel, hydro-power, and wind.

It is possible to work in the field of energy engineering without obtaining an undergraduate degree by completing a technical or vocational training program in engineering. Most regions require professional engineers to be licensed, however, and the licensing process usually mandates an engineering degree. Individuals without a specific engineering degree work within in the field in other capacities, such as an instrumentation specialist or mechanic.

The licensing process to become an energy engineer varies based on region and country regulatory requirements. Usually it involves first obtaining the engineering degree from an accredited school of engineering. Applicants then take a multi-part examination and accumulate of a number of hours working as an engineer. While obtaining the required number of hours to earn a license, engineers are considered still in training.

Regional associations of energy engineers also offer additional certifications that can be used for continuing education within the field. This may include business energy, sustainable energy, and residential energy auditing. Certifications can help you advance in your career and make the move from team member to project manager.

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