You must have read about how oil is one of the biggest sources of trade for nations. Most of the Arabic nations have become rich due to oil and many nations like India spend most of their money importing Oil. This is because crude oil is one of the largest sources of energy. However, if you are interested in knowing more about how alternative energy sources like wind, solar, tidal, thermal, nuclear, etc can be beneficial to the world, then you should consider a career in Energy Engineering.
Energy Engineers are specialist who specializes in energy efficiency and energy services and management. As an energy engineer, you will be working on a renewable energy source for power generation like solar, wind, tidal, nuclear, etc. You will be working on implementing energy development power plants or you will be working to improve the existing technology. In both cases, you will work for finding the most efficient and sustainable way of building and manufacturing the energy plant.
Why become an energy engineer?
Energy Engineers are engineers who specialize in the field of energy efficiency, energy production, energy management, energy equipment, energy generation, etc. As an energy engineer, you also work to ensure total environmental compliance and work with different kinds of alternative energy sources.
As energy engineers, some of you will work in the energy generation function. Here you will work on the installation of energy equipment, power generation, and compliance with environmental laws. Etc. Some of you will work on the manufacturing and construction of energy equipment and technology side. Here, you will develop new technologies to produce energy; you will improve existing technologies, and manufacture equipment and machinery.
As an Energy Engineer, you could be working with a conventional energy source like coal, petroleum, and natural gas, or you may be working with new renewable energy sources like Solar, wind, nuclear, water, biomass, etc.
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Popular specialization in a career as an Energy Engineer
- Nuclear Engineers specialize in the production of nuclear energy through either fusion) where they work on the principle of combining atomic nuclei) or fission (where they work on the principle of breaking down atomic nuclei) or similar nuclear material processes. They work to design, run and maintain nuclear stations, power plants, and nuclear reactors and some of them even work on nuclear weapons. As a nuclear engineer, you might also be working in the medical field or other related fields and technology around nuclear physics like radioactive materials.
- Power Engineers specialize in the generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization of energy (especially electrical energy). As a power engineer, you will work for the conversion of AC to DC power and vice versa, equipment around electrical energy, etc. You may also work with train and plane manufacturing companies.
- Renewable Energy Technologists specialize in energy production through clean energy sources like solar, tidal, wind, etc. As a Renewable Energy Technologist, you will work on developing new means of energy extraction and designing equipment and machines for the same.
- Solar Engineers specialize in designing and developing photovoltaic cells that utilize solar energy (from the sun) and convert it into conventional electricity. As a solar energy engineer, you will be working in the manufacturing, developing, and maintenance of equipment and machinery that utilizes photovoltaic cell systems to create electricity or power. Although most engineers work to produce electricity, some of you will also work to produce another kind of energy from solar energy like heat energy used in solar geysers.
- Wind Energy Engineers specialize in designing wind farms. They work to design the farm, set up the process, develop the site, inspect the site, plan the site, manufacture farm machinery and equipment, test hardware and electrical components, and finally start the energy production. As a wind energy engineer, you will also work to ensure the transportation of components to the installation site. Wind energy components include rotor blades, polls, motors, electrical components, turbines, etc. You will also study the aerodynamic properties of the new design as that is the essential technique and no energy can be produced without it.
What does an energy engineer do?
As an Energy Engineer, depending on your field of specialization, you would have the following roles and responsibilities:
- You will work on new technologies to produce greener energies. At the same time, you will also be working on new equipment and machinery for the same purpose.
- You will work to identify and recommend energy-saving methods to achieve the target of greener energy production.
- You will conduct energy audits to evaluate the use of energy. You will also work to identify the key points where energy can be conserved and how can it be done.
- You will monitor the consumption of energy and analyze all methods to control energy consumption.
- You will install energy production machinery and equipment like solar panels, windmills, etc.
- You will work on the sustainable design of electrical and electronic daily systems like AC, Washing machines, Refrigerators, etc.
How to become an Energy Engineer – Eligibility Criteria
Undergraduate studies after school
- To become an Energy Engineer, you should complete your schooling in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics and join an undergraduate course of B.E. or B. Tech. in Energy Engineering.
- Alternatively, you can also study Civil Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electrical & Electronics Engineering/ similar fields.
Post Graduate Studies
- After finishing B.E. or B.Tech., you can take an M.E. or M.Tech. course in India or Foreign University. There are many specializations in M.E. and M.Tech. Energy Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy Technology, Solar Engineering, Wind Energy Engineering, etc.
- You can go for further studies by choosing to complete a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering after M.E. or M.Tech.
The educational fees for becoming an Energy Engineer in India can vary depending on the institution and the level of education. Typically, an Energy Engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, which can take four years to complete. The fees for a four-year engineering program in India can range from INR 50,000 to INR 5,00,000 per year, depending on the institution.
In addition to the bachelor’s degree, some Energy Engineers may pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D., which can take an additional two to five years of study. The fees for a master’s degree in engineering can range from INR 50,000 to INR 3,00,000 per year, depending on the institution.
There may also be additional fees for books, materials, and other resources required for the program. It’s important to research the specific institutions and programs to get a more accurate estimate of the educational fees for becoming an Energy Engineer in India.
At the entry-level, you may join the following profiles of energy engineering:
- In academics and research, after your doctorate degree in Energy Engineering, you can join as an Assistant Professor. Some colleges may take you as an Instructor after your post-graduation also. But to have a good career in academics and research, you must have a Ph.D.
- Research institutes and nuclear and atomic research stations can hire you as a scientist with the lowest grade of “C.”
- In the Power Grid sector (government and private) you may join as Assistant Engineer in various departments.
- In Solar, wind, and other renewable energy sectors, you may join as a site engineer working on the installation sites.
- You may join as the design engineer, in the designing side of the equipment and machinery.
- You may join as the manufacturing engineer, in the development side of the equipment and machinery.
You can find job opportunities at the following facilities:
- National and State level power grid companies like REC, Haryana Power utilities, RITES India, etc.
- Solar, wind, and hydel power energy equipment manufacturing companies.
- Solar, wind, hydel, etc, installation companies.
- Government defense departments like DRDO in India.
- Nuclear stations and atomic research stations like BARC in India.
- The engineering department of all IITs and Engineering colleges.
Salary of Energy Engineer
- At the entry level, you can join as a research associate with a basic salary of Rs. 25,000 to 30,000. As a doctoral research fellow (junior research fellow) you would be earning around Rs. 35,000 to 38,000 per month. At the entry level, as a Scientist (grade C) you would be earning around Rs. 80,000 to 100,000 per month. As an assistant professor, you would be earning anything between Rs. 65,000 to 70,000 per month. If you are working in the private sector, then you will join as a design engineer/manufacturing engineer and will earn anything between Rs. 15,000 to 1,00,000 per month. If you are into power grid companies, you might earn anything between Rs. 40,000 to 70,000 per month as an assistant engineer. All these salaries are inclusive of some allowances.
- At the junior level with a work experience of 2-6 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 50,000 to 2,00,000 per month.
- At the middle level with an experience of 10-12 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 70,000 to 1,90,000 per month as a scientist and Rs. 1,20,000 to 1,60,000 as a professor. If you are into private industries, then you would be earning anything between Rs. 80,000 to 3,00,000.
- At the senior level of over 15 years of work experience, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,60,000 to 2,00,000 per month as a professor and Rs. 2,10,000 to 2,50,000 per month as a Scientist. If you are into private industries when you would be earning anything between Rs. 2,00,000 INR to 5,00,000 or more per month.
Career Progression of Energy Engineer Profession
- If you join a private industry as a design engineer/ manufacturing engineer, then you will move to Design Engineer, Senior Design Engineer / Design Head Engineer, and finally Vice President of Product Design.
- My career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor, and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc
- If you are hired as a research associate, then you will go on to become a Doctoral Research Fellow, then Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and then Scientist in Progressive Grades.
- Research laboratories will hire you as a scientist/scientist officer with the lowest grade and the grade changes from low to high. In India, grades are “Scientist “C” as the joining level and then D, E, F, G, H, etc. A senior-level scientist can also get into administrative positions like Principal Scientist, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Director, etc
- If you are hired as an Assistant Engineer at the power grid, you might become Senior Engineer and then Deputy Manager (Engineering), etc.
- If you join as a site engineer, you may become Senior Site Engineer, Planning Engineer, Project Manager, etc.
What do industry trends say – Future Prospects
Power generation is one of the key indicators of a developed nation. India is strongly moving in that direction. No country can develop without power. While India depended on conventional power for decades, now as a country we are moving towards more renewable power generation methods like wind, solar and hydel energy. Between 2000 to 2018, 3.14% of total FDI in India was in the power sector. Recently Indian initiated connecting each village in India with electricity.
In 2017, India started Inter-state wind power distribution. In 2018, India installed 1 MW of solar energy each hour. At present we have renewable energy installed of 73 GW, but our capacity is 363 GW. While, India has the potential, last few years, we are also moving in this direction. Thus, it is a lucrative career for an energy engineer with different career prospects in the future.
period; it will continue to do so in the future too. This is a good sign for people looking for opportunities in the textile sector.
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