Want to use your STEM skills to help power a brighter future? Here are 6 reasons renewable energy engineering could be the right path for you
1. You’re passionate about fighting global warming
Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and while there are plenty of jobs playing a role in tackling global warming, renewable energy engineering has to be one of the most obvious and impactful! After all, the greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels is what got us here – so transitioning to clean renewable energy is the solution.
2. You want a degree with diverse job outcomes
If you’re still not sure exactly what you want your future career to look like, but you know you’re passionate about sustainability and renewable energy, then this study path is for you. Graduates from UNSW’s School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, for example, have gone on to work everywhere from TESLA to NASA, for government, energy retailers, and they’ve launched their own start-ups and more. The sky (or Sun!) is the limit!
3. You want to graduate with in-demand skills
Demand for renewable energy engineers is through the roof, so you’ll have no trouble landing a job straight out of uni with this degree under your belt.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 26,850 new jobs created in the renewable energy sector in 2018-19 alone – an increase of almost 30% on the previous year, and up 120% in 10 years!
After all, transitioning how we power our world in the 21st century is no simple task and will involve every industry and sector – so there’s serious demand for new grads with skills and knowledge in renewable energy and sustainability to help make that happen.
4. You want a good paying job
Working in a high-demand sector means you can demand a high salary for your skills! According to specialist energy sector recruiter, Freshwater Group, a recent graduate with a renewable energy engineering degree should expect a salary in the region of $60K-$80K; $100K-$140K by mid-career and up to $160K or more at senior level, depending on whether or not you are managing a team.
“Different cities will have some variation and the current market is starting to inflate some people’s expectations and this will likely lead to some increases as companies compete for talent,” points out Freshwater Group Managing Director, David Young.
5. You want a future-proof career
We’ve already established that renewable energy is the future, so kickstarting your career in this fast-growing sector will set you up with skills and knowledge that will only get more relevant as the years pass.
6. You want to meet like-minded people and participate in cool competitions and clubs
Let’s face it, university isn’t all about getting a job; the journey counts too – and as a student of renewable energy engineering you will not only be studying alongside equally passionate people, but you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in fun competitions like the World Solar Challenge – dubbed the “world’s toughest and most prestigious solar car event”.
This post is brought to you in partnership with the UNSW School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE). Find out more about their courses here.
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is an author and editor and past Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.