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Design & planning

Energy engineer Green Job

Energy engineers research, design and build power generation plants, and work in the oil and gas industry.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Energy engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • research and design new generating sites
  • decide on the best locations for sites
  • plan and oversee production programmes for sites
  • manage and coordinate teams of technicians or site workers
  • design and select equipment
  • meet environmental standards, like carbon reduction targets
  • find the most cost efficient and productive processes
  • carry out laboratory experiments
  • convert experiments into large-scale industrial processes
  • work with geologists, geophysicists and specialist contractors
  • manage projects and budgets

Working environment

You could work at a power station, in an office, in a laboratory or on a rig.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

You can do a degree in an engineering or a scientific subject. Some employers may expect you to have a postgraduate qualification.

Relevant subjects include:

  • mining or petroleum engineering
  • energy engineering
  • Earth sciences
  • environmental engineering
  • renewable or sustainable energy

Getting work experience during your studies through summer internship and year placement schemes can give you an advantage.

Your university careers service can help you find suitable opportunities.

If you're interested in postgraduate research and want to continue your studies up to PhD level, you may be able to apply for a course like an EngD.

These courses are offered by the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy. You would be sponsored by a company to research offshore technologies for wind, wave and tidal power.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You may be able to start by doing a higher or degree apprenticeship in areas like:

  • nuclear engineering
  • electrical power networks engineering
  • power and propulsion gas turbine engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

More information

Further information

You'll find more on energy engineering careers from:the Energy Institute; National Grid Careers; Energy and Utilities Jobs

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With experience, you could move into planning, policy development, or freelance consultancy.

You could gain skills for project management roles in the energy sector through a Project controls professional, degree apprenticeship.

For other roles linked to Energy Engineer, employers such as SSE have roles as an Electrical Power Engineer and Craft Apprenticeships: Linesperson, Electrical Fitter, Electrical Jointer, Electrical Engineering.

How does this job help to address the impacts of climate change and protect wildlife and nature in the West of England?

Energy Engineers are are needed to work on the design, development and maintenance of low carbon energy systems in the West of England region.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at local schools or colleges

  • Maths, Sciences A-levels
  • T Level Engineering and Manufacturing 
  • Level 1-3 Engineering

Click here to find a local provider

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 3 Electrical, electronic product service and installation engineer (Energy & Power)

Click here to search for a local apprenticeship

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at local higher education providers

Click here to search for other university courses

For more information on the different routes you can take to get into working in engineering, take a look at the 'Routes into this job' section above. 

Click here for an explanation of the different course and apprenticeship levels.

Local employers 

  • Jacobs
  • EDF
  • Atkins

For more local employment opportunities see the 'Live job vacancies by region' section above.

Click here for a profile of Rosie Buzova, Graduate Process Engineer at Atkins Ltd.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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