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New energy

Energy engineer

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 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

3.4%
Future employment

There will be 3.4% more Energy engineer jobs in 2026.

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
University

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
Apprenticeship

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 | https://careers.nationalgrid.com/] and Energy & 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.

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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