Best Paying Jobs in the Energy Sector

by | Oct 12, 2022

The energy sector is one of the most critical industries in the world. It helps power our homes, businesses, and economies. In addition, the energy sector is a major employer, providing long-term jobs and benefits for millions of people.


A number of skills are needed to work within various renewable energy sectors. It is crucial to have a strong understanding of the science behind energy production and consumption. This includes having knowledge of physics, chemistry, and engineering.


In addition, being well-versed in economics and finance is important, as the energy sector is a highly competitive and fast-paced industry. Here are some of the best-paying careers in this sector. 



Computer and Information Systems Manager: Average Salary: $159,010

Computer and information systems managers are responsible for overseeing the work of computer analysts, programmers, support specialists, and other IT employees. They plan, coordinate, and direct all computer-related activity within an organization.



  • Skills and Qualifications

To be successful in this role, computer and information systems managers must have strong leadership and problem-solving skills. They must also be able to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical staff.


Additionally, computer and information systems managers should have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree. 



  • Duties

Computer and information systems managers, also called IT managers, plan, direct, and coordinate computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals. 


Duties include overseeing the installation of new hardware and software, ensuring system compatibility, providing training to users, maintaining network security, and developing contingency plans for system failures. Because computer systems are essential to nearly all businesses and organizations in the energy sector, demand for IT managers is expected to remain high. 



  • Projected Career Growth

Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 16% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Candidates with experience managing small teams or projects will have the best job prospects in this occupation. 


Architectural Manager: Average Salary: $152,350

An architectural manager is a professional who oversees the design and construction of buildings. In the energy sector, that means designing energy-efficient zero-emissions buildings. 



  • Skills and Qualifications

The qualifications and skills necessary for the job vary depending on the company and position. However, most architectural managers should have strong communication and project management skills. They should also be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. Additionally, architectural managers should be familiar with building codes and regulations. 


To become an architectural manager, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture or civil engineering. You may also need a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in technology management (MSTM) or engineering management (MEM or MsEM). Many architectural manager positions also require a minimum of five years of experience in the field. 



  • Duties

The duties of an architectural manager vary depending on the size of the company they work for. In a small company, they may be responsible for the design and construction of all buildings. In a large company, they may specialize in one area, such as housing or commercial buildings. 


Regardless of the company’s size, architectural managers must communicate effectively with clients, architects, and engineers and provide on-field job training for construction workers. 


They may also determine staff, training, and equipment needs, propose budgets for projects and programs and lead research and development projects to produce new products, processes, or designs.



  • Projected Career Growth

The job outlook from 2021 to 2031 is 2%, which is slower than average. However, architects are always in demand with a great median starting salary and room for compensation growth. 


Petroleum Engineer: Average Salary: $130,850

Petroleum engineers typically work for oil companies but may also work for government agencies or consulting firms. Petroleum or chemical engineers are responsible for safely and efficiently extracting oil and gas from underground reservoirs. They use their geology, chemistry, and physics knowledge to find new reserves, develop energy-efficient drilling methods, and supervise the drilling process. 



  • Skills and Qualifications

Petroleum engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although many also hold a master’s degree. You may also need a Professional Engineering (PE) license for higher-level positions. A state license typically requires that you get a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program. You must also pass both the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. Finally, you need at least four years of relevant work experience.


They must be able to solve complex problems and work well under pressure. In addition, they must communicate effectively with other team members. 



  • Duties

Along with overseeing the drilling process, petroleum engineers also develop plans for the completion and production of wells. This includes designing and supervising the construction of wellhead equipment, pumps, and pipelines. 


As oil and gas deposits become increasingly challenging to access, petroleum engineers, play an essential role in ensuring that these valuable resources can be extracted safely and efficiently.



  • Projected Career Growth

For petroleum engineers, the job outlook shows an 8% growth, which is faster than average. Jobs within this field are constantly in need of new talent, and with an ever-changing landscape, plenty of opportunities will be available. 


Nuclear Engineer: Average Salary: $120,380

Nuclear engineers are highly qualified professionals who design, develop and operate nuclear power plants. To become a nuclear engineer, you must have a strong understanding of physics and mathematics. 



  • Skills and Qualifications 

Nuclear engineers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some positions may require a master’s degree or higher. They must also be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Once licensed, they can work in various settings, including power plants, research laboratories, and government agencies. 


Nuclear engineers must also be able to use computer modeling and simulations to design nuclear reactors. 



  • Duties

Nuclear engineers play an important role in ensuring that nuclear power plants operate safely and efficiently. Along with designing and building reactors, they also oversee the safe disposal of nuclear waste. 


Nuclear engineers must have a strong understanding of physics and math to perform their duties effectively. They typically work in offices but may also spend time in laboratories or on-site at power plants. 



  • Projected Career Growth

For job outlook, this position has -11% in relation to all other occupations, with only around 700 openings becoming available each year. With this field being so niche and concentrated, newer positions are not as readily available despite how important the job is. 


However, with experience, nuclear engineers can advance to management positions or become research directors.


Solar Project Manager: Average Salary: $98,420

A solar project manager is responsible for successfully completing photovoltaic (PV) installation projects. They are responsible for managing all aspects of the project, from initial feasibility studies and site selection to commissioning and handover. 



  • Skills and Qualifications

To be a successful solar project manager, you will need to have a strong technical background in PV systems and experience in project management. You will also need to be highly organized and have excellent communication skills. If you can demonstrate these qualifications and skills, you may have a successful career as a solar project manager.



  • Duties

Duties include overseeing the work of contractors, ensuring that quality standards for solar panel installation are met, and maintaining a safe work environment. In addition, solar project managers are often responsible for budgeting and financing the project and managing the customer relationship throughout the project life cycle. 



  • Projected Career Growth

Solar project managers have a job outlook of around 4%, only slightly below average. With management jobs always available, plenty of positions will be available with an increase in concentration on renewable energy.


Atmospheric Scientist: Average Salary: $94,570

Atmospheric scientists work in various settings, including research laboratories and government agencies. Many atmospheric scientists also choose to specialize in one or more subfields, such as climatology or meteorology. 



  • Skills and Qualifications

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a related field, atmospheric scientists in research positions need a master’s or Ph.D. They must also have strong math and computer skills. 


Those who wish to pursue a career in atmospheric science can take advantage of internships and fellowships to gain experience in the field. 



  • Duties

Atmospheric scientists study the Earth’s atmosphere and the effects of atmospheric conditions on the environment and human life. They collect data on the atmosphere’s physical properties, such as temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. 


They also monitor the atmosphere’s chemical composition, including greenhouse gases and pollutants. Based on their observations, they develop models to predict future changes in the atmosphere. 


Their work is essential for understanding and predicting weather patterns and climate change.



  • Projected Career Growth

The job outlook for an atmospheric scientist is 4%, which is slightly below average. With experience, atmospheric scientists may advance to higher-paying positions with more responsibility, such as project managers or lead researchers.


Wind Farm Site Manager: Average Salary: $76,370

Wind farm managers are responsible for a wind farm’s overall operation and maintenance. They typically have a background in engineering or a related field and must be familiar with the various types of equipment used at a wind farm, including wind turbines. 



  • Skills and Qualifications

Wind farm managers must be able to communicate effectively with other members of the team and outside contractors. They must also have strong project management skills to plan and oversee the construction of new wind farms. 



  • Duties

The duties of a wind farm manager include ensuring that the turbines are correctly maintained, that the power output is optimized, and that any safety concerns are addressed. In addition, wind farm managers must liaise with government officials to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.



  • Projected Career Growth

Wind power accounted for 32% of energy capacity growth in the U.S. in 2021, and the wind energy sector employed approximately 120,000 people. These numbers will increase in the coming years due to an increased focus on renewable energy. This means managers have plenty of opportunities for promotions to broaden their careers.


Find Your Ideal Career in the Booming Energy Sector

The energy sector is growing daily, and new career opportunities are always being created. With so many options available in the energy industry, it can be tough to know where to start your search. We’ve got a range of tips to help you land your ideal career in the energy sector. Start your search today at