Most private companies prefer Graduates with degree in engineering or technical background, but a person having a Graduate degree can seek opportunity in specific language skill, particular geographic region, policy analysis, public affairs, business development, and marketing. Persons having experience in lawmaking or federal agencies can seek an opening in strategic planning or external relations Departments. Persons having specialization in science and technology with expertise in technology transfer and alternative energy can seek job opportunities in research and consulting organizations serving federal Government, where some demand of these professionals exist.
The other skills required for career opportunities in the energy industry include excellent writing skills, the ability to write business plans, quantitative, and language skills. A person should be able to compile and synthesize information besides having a strong background in Economics. He should possess in-depth regional knowledge and specialization and a good understanding of policy process.
Some of the career opportunities in the energy industry require a person to have a business or engineering degree. Various other jobs in this field demand experience and training besides the skill of marketing. There are some career avenues like policy analysis, policy formation and policy research where normally a technical background is not a necessity but knowledge of the energy field and a comprehension of the environment, finance, and development enhance competitiveness. Familiarity with a specific region and language therefore play a great role in increasing marketing skills in the energy field. While further developing analytical and communication skills, acquiring internship experience in the related area of choice gives exposure to the technical sides. An internship also helps to a great extent in enhancing employment prospects and career growth in energy companies.
Salaries in energy industries vary from employer to employer and depend upon the qualification needs. In the government sector, research organizations and non profit institutions, the annual salary at entry level may be little higher than $30,000, whereas in consulting firms and engineering companies the annual salary is more than $60,000. This higher range salary is mostly available to those having more technical knowledge and work experience. Salary differentials are available to persons having scientific or technical degrees with meaningful experience in the field, federal agencies, or on Capitol Hill.
There are many private sector companies, particularly the giant oil and gas companies, who make investments in developing career opportunities for its employees and promote them from within for higher positions and responsibilities. Some large size non profit organizations also follow suit by providing career training to their employees. Loving to travel can also be an advantage besides acquiring specific experience in a project for long term career growth.
Career opportunities in the energy industry of a person in the public or non-profit sector may start with Research or a Policy Assistant may grow to Analyst or Technical Consultant and further to Project or Program Management. The career growth in federal government agency like Department of Energy will be in accordance of the policy positions in Government. There are opportunities available at entry level positions and for recent Graduates in the field of policy and economic analysis. In non profit organizations, the nature of jobs involves the general research of energy trends, policy formation of international energy, international collaboration between resources and other energy organizations, and training. Due to being small in size, mostly all professionals perform a wide range of activities including occasional administrative responsibility. In such organizations, generally the career advancement comes through movement to another organization.
The areas that are covered in the energy industry are policy analysis and research, understanding the directions and trends of a policy and examining and studying regional & market trends. The development and operation of the projects related to energy infrastructure and marketing energy efficiency improvements are also covered under it. Professional work in the energy industry involves compliance of environmental and regulatory requirements besides integrating energy management services. The energy industry also requires an understanding of natural gas storage, production and transportation assets besides assessing global impact and putting forward new avenue towards development, management, and technology. Professional work in the energy industry also requires marketing and trading energy products like natural gas, crude oil, associated commodities, and power besides acquiring and/or developing power units for the competitive market.