Advanced Energy Jobs On The Rise, Training In Demand

A workforce analysis published by Advanced Energy Economy in partnership with The Burning Glass Institute provides a look at the talent needed to power rapid growth in this sector.

A recently published analysis of job opportunities in the advanced energy industry — which includes renewables, electrified transportation, and energy-saving technology solutions — found that advertised positions grew nearly twice as fast as the national average (up 46% versus 27%) during the first eight months of 2022. Released on October 13, the study is published by Advanced Energy Economy, a national association of more than 100 companies, in partnership with The Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit labor market analytics center. The report also identified a range of high-growth occupations in the advanced energy industry for people with varying educational and training backgrounds, including a large percentage not requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Among the top findings:

  • Two job categories account for almost half of opportunities across the industry: Engineering and IT Professionals (26% of jobs added in 2021) and Installation/Repair/Construction (22%).
  • Roughly four in 10 new advanced energy jobs didn’t require a college degree, but still offered salaries above the 2021 national median of $45,760; the top three industry segments offering jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree are Energy Efficiency, Electric Vehicles, and Distributed Solar.
  • The industry segment that generated the largest number of new jobs in 2021 was Energy Efficiency (57,751 jobs identified in the review), which includes jobs like Building Automation Specialist, HVAC Mechanic, and Maintenance and Repair Worker, which require vocational or apprenticeship education but not a college degree.

The report comes as passage of the federal Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act promises to accelerate the growth of the advanced energy industry, creating workforce needs for companies and employment opportunities for individuals.

advanced energy
Image: Adobe Stock/VectorMine

“America’s transition to cleaner power is going to be a source of prosperity and job security for millions of people,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “Recent federal legislation is going to make it much easier for schools to run on solar, for families and businesses to heat and cool their homes with heat pumps, and for households and businesses to switch to electric vehicles. For people looking for work or a new career, the advanced energy industry will be an attractive option.”

“This report provides a clear view of the talent needed to power rapid growth in the advanced energy sector,” said Matt Sigelman, President of The Burning Glass Institute. “Last year alone, 120,000 new jobs were created both for those with and without college degrees. For America to lead on new energy technologies, we will need to develop a workforce with the right sets of skills.”

The report also calls for increased investment for vocational training institutions, like technical schools and community colleges, as well as apprenticeship programs, to meet the industry’s workforce needs on an equitable basis as it grows. Also, state university systems, which typically include economic development as part of their missions, will need to rethink the design of their professional-track programs to produce graduates with the combination of business, engineering, and information technology skills typical of the professional occupations in advanced energy the report found to be in high demand.

The report is available for download from the Advanced Energy Economy website.

Read more about Energy and Economic Development news.