Is energy a good career path? Let’s find out! Businesses involved in the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves, oil and gas drilling, and refining are all part of the energy sector or industry. Integrated power utility businesses such as renewable energy and coal are also part of the energy industry.
The energy sector includes corporations primarily engaged in producing or supplying energy, such as fossil fuels or renewables.
Over the last century, the energy sector has been a critical driver of industrial growth, supplying fuel to the rest of the economy.
Energy companies are classified based on how the energy is sourced, such as non-renewables or fossil fuels, versus renewables, such as solar.
The energy industry is a large and all-encompassing term that refers to a complex and interconnected network of companies involved in producing and distributing energy needed to power the economy and facilitate production and transportation.
Types Of Energy
Is energy a good career path? Companies in the energy sector deal with various types of energy. Energy companies are typically classified based on how the energy they produce is sourced and will naturally fall into one of two categories:
- Biofuels such as ethanol
- Wind power
- Solar power
- Petroleum products and oil
- Natural gas
- Diesel fuel
- Heating oil
Secondary energy sources, such as electricity, are also included in the energy industry.
Energy prices and the earnings performance of energy producers are determined mainly by global energy supply and demand.
Oil and gas producers typically perform well when oil and gas prices are high. However, when the price of energy commodities falls, energy companies earn less. When crude oil prices fall, oil refiners benefit from lower feedstock costs to produce petroleum products such as gasoline. Furthermore, the energy industry is vulnerable to political events, which have historically resulted in volatility—or wild fluctuations—in oil prices.
Types Of Companies In Energy
- Refining and Pipelines
Oil and natural gas must be moved from the point of production to a refinery, where they are refined into a final product, such as gasoline. Midstream providers are companies that operate in the energy sector.
- Energy from Renewable Resources
Clean energy has gained traction and investments over time, and it is expected to become a more significant part of the energy sector in the future. Wind and solar energy are two examples of renewable energy.
- Petroleum and Natural Gas Production and Drilling
These companies are responsible for drilling, pumping, and producing oil and natural gas. Typically, production entails extracting oil from the ground.
- Mining Corporations
Because coal is used in power plants, including nuclear, coal companies could be classified as energy companies.
- Chemicals Companies
Some businesses specialize in refining oil and gas into specialty chemicals. Still, many larger oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, are integrated energy producers, meaning they produce multiple energy types and have complete control over the process.
Divisions Within The Energy Sector
The sector can be further subdivided based on the specific activities that energy companies perform. Some, for example, sell equipment and offer services. Manufacturers of drilling machinery and tools, drilling contractors, oil and gas well developers, technicians, and repair professionals are examples of operators in this category. You can identify other organizations based on their location in the energy supply chain, such as:
A downstream company receives an energy source from upstream and midstream channels and converts it into a usable product. An oil refinery is a typical downstream operation that converts crude oil into end-user goods such as gasoline.
A midstream company is one that stores, transports, or markets energy sources. A midstream company would be a pipeline transportation or logistics operation.
An upstream business deals directly with energy sources, such as oil fields, by exploring potential areas where they can access and extract fuel.
4 Steps To Get Into The Energy Industry
To decide which part of the energy field you want to enter, conduct a self-analysis that considers your interests, strengths, weaknesses, aspirations, and resources. If you are proficient in maths and have the financial means to pursue a college degree, you might consider engineering. If you are not interested in post-secondary education, you could pursue a career in a skilled trade such as installation or repair.
- Select a Functional Area
A functional area is an organization’s section dedicated to a specific activity. A company’s human resources department is an example of a functional area. The first step in breaking into the energy industry is determining which functional area is best for you. The energy industry includes many organizations that require diverse groups of people to carry out various sets of activities, including but not limited to specialized trades.
Construction Transportation Accounts Law Management Information Technology Sales.
- Join a Professional Organization
A professional association comprises people who work in a specific industry or profession and is often open to those who want to work in that field. Professional associations provide valuable services to their members, such as networking and job search opportunities. For example, the American Solar Energy Society is a non-profit that promotes renewable energy, provides resources to the renewable energy community, and organizes events such as webinars and an annual conference that attracts crucial industry professionals and advocates. Consider joining an association to gain helpful industry knowledge and improve your job prospects.
- Acquire Credentials
The credentials required for your career are determined by the field you’ve chosen to work in. Many jobs in the energy industry require only a high school diploma in terms of education. These positions include repair, installation, maintenance, and energy distribution. Obtaining a college or vocational degree can significantly increase your chances of landing such a job. Higher-level positions, such as those in engineering or industry-agnostic professions, usually necessitate a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline.
In addition to education, licensure or certification may be required. For example, individuals who perform duties that affect the power grid are frequently required to be certified in energy-distribution plants. Nuclear power plant operators, in particular, need a license from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Research industry requirements to ensure you have the academic or professional credentials for your chosen career path.
- Look for Entry-Level Positions
Many job opportunities in the energy industry require no prior experience and offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships. If you decide to find a career in a functional area where such opportunities exist, you can find entry-level positions by researching well-known companies in the relevant field. Once you’ve determined your potential employers, search their official websites’ careers sections for available jobs. You can advance in the organization from an entry-level position or use your experience to secure a higher-level place with another employer.
Conclusion on: Is energy a good career path?
Working in the energy sector can take on many different forms for different people. For example, someone working in the renewable energy sector will not use the same machinery as a worker on a dig site for natural gas.
Jobs in the energy sector are available in a wide range of fields. Most software developers, financial analysts, and information systems managers will work in an office. Chemists will be employed in the laboratory. On-site installation and the machine operation will take place. Those who work in energy engineering will most likely be exposed to all stages of the energy harvesting cycle.