Recalling back about energy employment history, at the start of the twentieth century, energy costs were only a small part of the expense of operating homes, offices, and factories, and of providing lighting, communication, and transportation. Coal and petroleum were abundant and relatively inexpensive. These low energy prices were among the factors that contributed to the United State’s becoming in this century the leading industrialized nation in the world and also the world’s largest user of energy.
Because petroleum was inexpensive and easily used to produce heat, steam, electricity, and fuel, it displaced coal for many purposes. This caused the nation’s coal-mining industry to decline, and the United States became dependent of foreign oil for about one-half of its energy supply. Note that in 1973, many foreign oil-producing nations stopped shipments of oil to the United States and other Western nations, and fuel costs suddenly became a large expense. More recently, oil prices have moderated somewhat, however, the prices are still very volatile, and the threat of oil-price increases or a cutoff of supplies in the future never quite disappears.
These events made energy conservation a new technology in the United States. This technology includes working to discover new sources of energy, finding more efficient methods and equipment to use energy, and searching out and eliminating the ways energy is wasted. This has created a large need of jobs in energy, like the conservation technicians. Energy efficiency and conservation are major concerns in nearly all homes and workplaces that use or produce energy. This means that job settings and work assignments for energy-conservation technicians vary greatly, ranging from power plant operation to research laboratory assisting, energy audits, and equipment sales and service. The energy jobs of these technicians that they perform may cover four major areas of energy activity, namely energy-related research and development, energy productions, energy use, and energy conservation. In energy-related research and development, typical employers are research and development organizations in institutions, private industry, government, and the military. Technicians in this area work under the direction of an engineer, physicist, and many others. Technicians also perform tests and measurements on system performance, document results in reports or laboratory notebooks, and perform periodic maintenance and repair of equipment. Test data frequently are developed and analyzed using complex measuring instruments and laboratory microcomputers. Technicians also frequently supervise other skilled research workers.
Technicians working with energy careers on conservation typically work on a team led by an engineer. Their work includes determining building specifications and modifications of equipment and structures. They audit energy use and efficiency of machines and systems, then recommend modifications or changes to save energy. Energy-conservation technicians must be broadly trained, systems-oriented technicians. They must be able to work with many types of devices and mechanism and also must understand how the various components and devices relate to one another. Technicians can apply this knowledge in a variety of ways to develop, construct, operate and maintain today’s equipment in energy-related fields.
Energy technicians who have been into energy engineering jobs are also successful in the energy conservation programs as they have the special skills and knowledge in the technology and the machines they’ve been operating with. They not only know how machines are made, how the parts fit together and work together, but they can also figure out what is wrong if parts are not working properly. Once they identify the problem, they know how to correct it. Hence, students and aspirants who desire to enter this field of energy career must have a practical understanding of the physical sciences, a good aptitude for math, and the ability to communicate in writing and in speaking. He must have a clear and precise understanding of operational and maintenance manuals, schematics, blueprints, and computational formulas. Thus, the ability to communicate clearly in scientific and engineering terms is a requirement to succeed in energy jobs.
Do you want to see more on related listings about energy jobs? Visit EnergyCrossing.com. You can sign up there for free.