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Design & planning

Energy engineer

Energy engineers research, design and build power generation plants, and work in the oil and gas industry.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

41 to 43 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Energy engineer jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • researching and designing new generating sites
  • deciding on the best locations for sites
  • planning and overseeing production programmes for sites
  • managing and coordinating teams of technicians or site workers
  • designing and selecting equipment
  • meeting environmental standards, like carbon reduction targets
  • finding the most cost efficient and productive processes
  • carrying out laboratory experiments
  • converting experiments into large-scale industrial processes
  • working with geologists, geophysicists and specialist contractors
  • managing projects and budgets

Working environment

You could work at a power station, in an office, in a laboratory or on a rig.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
University

You can do a degree in an engineering or a scientific subject. Some employers may expect you to have a postgraduate qualification.

Relevant subjects include:

  • mining or petroleum engineering
  • energy engineering
  • Earth sciences
  • environmental engineering
  • renewable or sustainable energy

If you're interested in postgraduate research and want to continue your studies up to PhD level, you may be able to apply for a course like an EngD.

These courses are offered by the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy. You would be sponsored by a company to research offshore technologies for wind, wave and tidal power.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
Apprenticeship

You may be able to start by doing a degree apprenticeship in power or nuclear engineering.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

More information

Further information

You'll find more on energy engineering careers from the Energy Institute, [National Grid Careers | https://careers.nationalgrid.com/] and Talent Source Network.

With experience, you could move into planning, policy development, or freelance consultancy.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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