Responsible non-technical career paths in renewable energy

I have received quite a few questions about my previous posts about responsible careers in education and in healthcare. Many of these questions had to do with how build a responsible career in the energy industry.

You might think that building a responsible career in the energy industry means being an engineer or a lab researcher.   Such opportunities are indeed most relevant to creating new (and sustainable) energy sources.  However, they are also a number of other positions available in the energy industry that does not require a research or engineering background.   First, a series of opportunities are available based on the fact that many companies (and countries) have realized how complacent they have become in their energy consumption.  Many companies are going full force on their energy efficiency initiatives because it is an obvious win-win:  energy efficiency cuts costs and is good for the environment (or more precisely for their Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR - report).  Furthermore, the energy industry as a whole is currently under quite a bit of pressure to reinvent itself.  Of course, the Oil Spill tragedy that continues to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico has root causes that have been ignored for too long.  It is imperative to find ways to use less energy and to provide sustainable sources of energy to curb (or even better eliminate) the addiction of industrialized countries to oil and other fossil fuels.

As recently reported in very insightful posts from our justmeans energy and emissions' team, encouraging signs of a serious commitment to renewable energy by leading nations are propping up all around the globe. Germany just announced a plan to have 100% renewable energy by 2050. Egypt is aggressively pursuing its goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020 through solar and wind energy initiatives. Moreover, the new solar initiative introduced by US Senate Majority leader Senator Harry Reid, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu last week is making me hopeful that the trend is gaining momentum in the US.

These initiatives indicate that business as usual is unsustainable for the energy industry. This is excellent news for responsible professionals, as this means that the industry will need new energy (pun intended) and ideas from professional dedicated to get business done better through their expertise in marketing, finance, operations, or strategic planning. Not convinced? Well investigate for yourself through some of the good jobs in the energy industry that were advertised on our justmeans job board over the last month:

Marketing and Communications:

  • Marketing and Communications Director - Environmental Defense Fund (New York, NY):  Would you like to become the principal liaison with the media and public to promote and advance the work of the Energy Program of a leading national nonprofit organization that represents more than 700,000 members?
  • Marketing Coordinator - Community Energy Services Corporation (Berkeley, CA):  Would you like to manage client outreach and information, coordinate projects, and track participation rates for an organization dedicated to revitalizing East Bay neighborhoods through building improvement programs that are designed to protect consumers, conserve natural resources, build local supply chain relationships, and promote the long-term economic security of residents and businesses?

Finance and Operations:

  • Controller - Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (Burlington, VT):  Would you like to manage and supervise all accounting and financial operations for an organization that partners with national and international utilities, regulatory agencies, and energy advocacy groups to create programs that reduce the economic and environmental cost of energy use?
  • Deputy Wind Facility Manager - BP Wind (Nashville, KS):  Would you like to work as part of a team to assure the facility operates safely while achieving maximum profitability for a company that desperately needs to reinvent its product line?

Sales and Business Development:

  • Solar Sales Specialist - Patriot Solar Group (Albion, MI):  Would you like to secure new contracts and manage existing accounts for a company dedicated to providing the highest quality units using only the best materials for solar and lighting products for home and commercial use that support renewable energy?
  • VP of Sales, Renewable Energy - SASCO (Fullerton, CA):  Would you like to design and implement strategies to identify, develop, establish, and secure new clients for one of the largest privately held electrical and data contractors in the US?


  • Director of Environmental Affairs - Xanterra Parks and Resorts (Death Valley, CA):  Would you like to design and implement environmental strategies and optimize energy efficiency for the largest park concessions management company in the US?
  • Director of Sustainability - Natural Products Co-Op (Norway, IA):  Would you like to drive higher financial margins through building partnerships throughout the organization and drive the implementation of energy efficiency initiatives for a co-operative dedicated to produce natural and organic products?

Whether your functional expertise lies in marketing, finance, operations, or strategy, you can build a responsible career to get business done better in renewable energy or in energy efficiency!  Are there responsible careers in other industries you would like to learn more about? If so, please use the comment section below to ask about your responsible careers of interest, and I will be sure to provide additional information in future posts!

Photo Credit: Green The World.