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Landing a Job in Renewable Energy: Degree Programs

12/3/2009 2:44:50 PM

Tags: green jobs, renewable energy, solar power, solar installer, classes, renewable energy education

Interested in a job in the renewable energy field as an installer, engineer, or even as a salesperson or marketing director? Now is the time to get moving.

In previous blogs, I’ve discussed some advice on obtaining training and also ways to secure a job once you’ve completed your training.

PV training at the Evergreen InstituteMany people who take my classes at The Evergreen Institute inquire about certificates and degrees. They ask “Is it worth the time and effort to obtain a degree or a certificate?” More specifically, “Will a certificate or degree increase my employment prospects?”

My answer is yes. Both will serve you well when it comes time to find a job. In this piece, I’ll start with the degree route.

A quick search of the Internet reveals numerous technical and community colleges that offer degrees in renewable energy. Here are a few examples, just to give you a sense of what’s out there.

Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis., for instance, offers an associate’s degree in wind energy technology. This program is designed for those who want to become technicians that service large commercial wind turbines.

The Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City is gearing up to offer numerous classes in solar electricity and wind energy. Several of their instructors have taken courses at our center.

The San Juan College in New Mexico has a renewable energy program as well. They offer a two-year degree that focuses primarily on solar electricity.

Some four-year universities offer bachelor’s degrees in renewable energy. The Oregon Institute of Technology, for instance, offers a four-year degree in renewable energy engineering.

The State University of New York at Canton offers a four-year degree in alternative energy and renewable energy.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a single listing of all renewable energy degree programs offered in the states, so you’ll have to do some digging to find a program in your area. (This would be a great project for readers who have a little spare time and who would like to make a significant contribution to the field.)

If you have the time, sign up for a two- or four-year degree program.

A far quicker way of receiving the training is to sign up for a certificate program like the Residential Renewable Energy Certificate offered at my educational center, The Evergreen Institute. We even offer a Renewable Energy Educator Certificate.

If you want to become a solar PV, solar hot water, or wind site assessor, you can sign up for a certificate program offered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. I’ll talk more about certificate programs in an upcoming blog.

 


Photo courtesy Dan Chiras/The Evergreen Institute

 



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Post a comment below.

 

Tremain Jennings
11/18/2011 12:39:26 AM
This website 'Energy University' offers FREE online energy efficiency training. http://www.schneider-electric.com.au/sites/australia/en/company/energy-university-free-online-training.page

Bridgid Cummins
3/30/2010 9:17:54 AM
Don't forget Evergreen State College! It has not only taught Environmental Studies, Engineering and Ecology for many years it is also a "green" School!

Jane Pulaski_1
12/28/2009 2:45:45 PM
Dan...you and your readers should know about the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (http://irecusa.org/irec-programs/workforce-development) which has a directory of four-year universities that offer both undergraduate and graduate courses in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Courses may be searched by state, technology or both. IREC also offers a renewable energy training catalog where you can browse renewable energy training providers in your area using our map-based search, then drill down to view more information about each individual provider. Hope this is helpful.

Yvonne_8
12/14/2009 7:54:51 PM
Esme, IBEW 48 (www.IBEW48.com) in Portland, Oregon has a 'Helmets to Hardhats' program for veterans. They are also ramping up a renewable energy program with current emphasis on solar. They were just awarded NABSEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) training and testing credentials, which is quite an honor for a training facility. Now is the time to get in on the ground level of a program that will do nothing but grow in the future. Solar has a great future in Oregon. The training centers website is: http://www.nietc.org/ Contact Asst. Training Director Ron Umali at rumali@nietc.org He is a veteran himself and would be uniquely suited to answer all of your questions. I just graduated from their Limited Energy program and can tell you from first hand experience that the facilities are world class, the instructors and support staff are dedicated to help you succeed. The time is now, this is your future..... are you ready to ask the questions you need to ask to get ahead? Good luck!

Thomas Schildman_1
12/14/2009 1:13:51 PM
Ranken Technical College in St. Louis is offering a program next fall. Info at; http://www.ranken.edu/OurPrograms/Evening_Cont/Greensolar.asp

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:05:37 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:04:04 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:03:55 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:03:43 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:03:33 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:03:26 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_2
12/14/2009 11:01:53 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

James W. Moore_7
12/14/2009 10:59:49 AM
Conservation is to benefit the present and future generations, that do not have the power to input their beliefs and concerns, as to what previous generations have done in their name. They will be the beneficiaries of our greed and/or conservatism in our ever changing environment, that could be or may not effect their ability to function in their environment, that may or may not be detrimental to their mental and/or physical well-being. Are we willing to be their conscious and think about what they will think about our concerted effort, in their behalf to have a future, that is as sustainable as our present or even better? Every step we take now can give our future generations an ability to be more healthy and prosperous, than our own. Can we do less to ensure, that future generations view us in high regards for our efforts, in reassuring them their lives will be better than our own? What more can we ask?

Esme Kelly
12/11/2009 1:49:16 PM
My husband just got a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology. He was also an Electrician in the Reserves (although that training does not transfer over to civilian jobs as far a obtaining a license). He would love to start a career in wind/solar power. Does anyone know if there are opportunities for him out there that don't require further schooling in the renewable energy field? We live in the Midwest but wouldn't mind moving. It just seems that an entry-level job wouldn't pay enough for all the training he's already had.







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