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Job Photographs

  • Three men and a woman are standing next to a large control panel, containing many dials and buttons.  They are talking and making notes.

    The energy/environmental engineer is part of a team.

  • A woman is sitting at a desk, using a computer.  A man is standing next to her, and they are talking.  He is pointing at the computer screen.

    Computers are used to control and analyse fuel processing operations.

  • A woman, wearing a white lab coat, is turning a dial on a piece of scientific equipment in a laboratory.

    Fuel/energy engineers try to reduce pollution while getting maximum energy from different fuels.

  • A woman is sitting at a desk, drawing technical diagrams on a large sheet of paper.

    Environmental/Energy Engineers need to carefully follow and understand plans.

  • A woman is standing at a desk, speaking on a telephone and writing into a notebook.

    Organising a site test of some new equipment with a contractor.

  • A woman, wearing a white lab coat, is sitting at a desk in a laboratory.  She is looking at a small monitor and is surrounded by scientific equipment.

    The electron microscope can provide valuable information about fuels and other materials.

  • A woman, wearing a white lab coat, is looking at a piece of scientific equipment in a laboratory.

    Experiments are an essential part of research.

  • Energy Engineer

  • Energy Engineer

Energy Engineer

Introduction

As an Energy Engineer, you will give your expert advice on the use of safe and reliable sources of energy. You must have excellent engineering knowledge as well as a strong awareness of environmental and safety issues.

Also known as

  • Energy Technologist
  • Oil Technologist
  • Fuel Systems Engineer
  • Renewable Energy Engineer

Work Activities

As an Energy engineer, you will tackle the problem of providing us with safe and reliable sources of energy.

You could be working in the following areas:

  • the oil industry - you might be developing new methods of making combustion engines work more efficiently
  • research departments - working on major projects, such as investigating the causes of pollution
  • green energy - researching, developing and testing alternative sources of energy, such as tidal, wind, solar and geothermal power
  • manufacturing - designing, researching, testing, and installing energy equipment such as furnaces, boilers, gas turbines and engines
  • car manufacture - advising car manufacturers on how to meet strict exhaust emission targets (reducing pollution caused by cars)

You could be performing the following tasks:

  • project management
  • reporting energy usage
  • making presentations to senior management teams
  • carrying out energy audits (how is energy used, and how can this be improved?)
  • researching new energy saving indeas
  • using new technologies

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Energy Engineer, you need:

  • the ability to solve problems using your creativity
  • excellent knowledge of general engineering
  • a strong awareness of environmental and safety issues
  • to be willing to keep up to date with changes in technology, the latest information on environmental issues, as well as new UK and EU legislation regarding pollution
  • good knowledge of computing and strong mathematical skills
  • project management skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £30,500 - £34,000
  • With experience: £37,000 - £45,500
  • Senior Energy Engineers earn £49,500 - £54,000

Hours of work

Most Energy Engineers work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, late finishes and some weekend work may be required, especially as deadlines approach.

Where could I work?

Employers include firms in the oil, gas and nuclear industries, which produce and distribute the various types of fuel.

You could also work in other industries that use fuel in their manufacturing and processing operations (such as cars, steel, chemicals, ceramics and textiles).

Other employers are manufacturers of burners, boilers, generators, turbines, and engines that supply power plants.

Some Energy Engineers work for consultancies that advise on energy conservation and the efficient management of plant and buildings.

Energy Engineers can also work for charities - helping communities with their energy needs.

Opportunities occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.

Vacancies can also be found through specialist engineering recruitment agencies, internet job boards and the websites of professional engineering bodies and energy organisations.

RenewableEnergyJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in careers in renewable energy:

www.renewableenergyjobsuk.com/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Normally, employers will expect you to have a degree in order to enter this career. However, if you have completed at least two A levels, including one in a relevant subject, then you might be able to start work as an Energy Engineer.

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship in a relevant area. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Progression

Depending on your qualification, you could progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of engineering projects and teams of Engineers.

You might choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in the construction industry (electrical, chemical or mechanical) would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

The usual entry requirements for a degree related to fuel and energy engineering are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

Other qualifications, such as a relevant BTEC level 3 qualification  or the International Baccalaureate Diploma are often accepted.

Check prospectuses carefully.

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will need at least 2 A levels, or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

Loughborough University offers an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, by distance learning.

The Robert Gordon University offers an MSc in Oil and Gas Engineering, and an MSc in Petroleum Production Engineering, both by distance learning.

The University of Aberdeen offers an MSc in Oil and Gas Structural Engineering, by distance learning.

Training

Information on pathways to registration as a Chartered (CEng) or Incorporated (IEng) Engineer can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Statistics

  • 4% of people in occupations such as energy engineer work part-time.
  • 16% have flexible hours.
  • 7% of employees work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

Professional institutions

Professional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

GreenJobs

Email: info@greenjobs.co.uk

Website: www.greenjobs.co.uk

New Scientist

Publisher: Reed Business Information Ltd

Email: ns.subs@quadrantsubs.com

Website: www.newscientist.com

Earthworks-jobs.com

Website: www.earthworks-jobs.com

Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group

Email: ner@vmgl.com

Website: www.engineerjobs.co.uk

Getting into Engineering Courses

Author: James Burnett Publisher: Trotman

Website: www.mpw.ac.uk/university-guides/getting-into/engineering-courses/

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Utility Week

Publisher: Faversham House

Website: www.utilityweek.co.uk

Maritime UK Careers

Tel: 020 7417 2837

Email: enquiries@seavision.org.uk

Website: www.seavision.org.uk

Energy Institute

Address: 61 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7AR

Tel: 020 7467 7100

Email: info@energyinst.org.uk

Website: www.energyinst.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Electrical Careers - The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership

Website: www.electricalcareers.co.uk/

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