How to Launch a Career in the Energy Industry
The energy industry fuels both our world and the global economy. For example, Saudi Aramco (which controls 10 percent of the world’s oil supply) is more profitable than Apple, Alphabet, and ExxonMobil combined. And even though the types of energy and fuel we use are constantly in flux, we’ll always have vehicles and buildings that need to be powered up, which makes it an excellent industry for new grads to grow and change with. In fact, it is Vault's No. 1 Industry for Undergraduates.
So what’s it like to work in the energy sector, and what positions are available for those looking to start a career in this field? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
First things first, check out Vault’s overview of the energy industry. We go over what the industry entails, the three primary areas within it (energy sources, forms of energy, and end uses of energy), and what kinds of jobs one can pursue. For example, people who enjoy technical work can pursue careers as engineers, scientists, technicians, or operators. Those who enjoy business management can become supervisors, managers, executives, sales reps, or brokers. And individuals looking to innovate or grow with an evolving field may find their niche in renewable energy. Energy consulting is also gaining popularity, and for those considering a legal career, there are abundant opportunities to practice energy law.
We also outline some pros and cons so you can weigh whether this industry would be a good fit for you: For example, the energy industry offers higher-than-average salaries, but it has an uncertain future—energy and its rules and regulations are always changing, after all.
(Make sure you log in with your college email address to access exclusive Vault Campus content, like current trends and issues and the structure of the energy sector!)
But what do people in the energy sector do all day? Check out these Days in the Life from real people who work in all kinds of areas within the energy field. As an example, this one details the workday of a nuclear core design engineer and gives some great insight into what a day on the job really looks like.
If you’re looking for even more information on specific positions within the energy sector, check out the Vault Guide to Energy Jobs. (It’s free for those with Vault Campus access!) The guide is chock-full of case studies and advice on how to interview for energy positions. And for those with an eye towards sustainability, be sure to check out the Vault Guide to Alternative Energy Jobs, which focuses specifically on alternative energy sources such as biofuel.
Once you have decided the energy industry is for you, the next step is to gain some experience in it. What better way to test the waters than with an internship? Check out Vault's Best Energy Internships as a starting point for potential opportunities. And consult with your career services offices for additional leads.
We here at Vault strive to be a go-to resource for candidates seeking jobs in top industries. The energy sector is a great potential choice for recent grads, but be sure to check out our information on a multitude of other industries, from accounting to transportation and everything in between. You’re sure to discover the industry right for you and some great advice to get off on the right foot in it.