Energy Efficiency Engineers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

A high school diploma is required for engineering work. Engineers must have high grades in mathematics (including algebra, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry), as well as biology and chemistry. Other classes that are required include English, computer science, and design.

Postsecondary Training

All engineers are required to have a bachelor's degree in engineering. Most energy efficiency engineers have a degree in engineering, environmental science, applied science, or a similar technical or scientific field. Course work usually includes general engineering, mathematics, physics, and life science. Some engineering companies may require a master's degree, and government agencies and companies that require high-level energy research and systems development may require a doctorate degree.


The American Public Power Association offers an Energy Efficiency Management Certificate Program that covers energy efficiency program development, implementation, budgeting, marketing, and management. Visit https://www.publicpower.org/energy-efficiency-management-certificate-program for more information. 

Other Education or Training

Engineers must keep up with developments in the engineering business as well as legislation and public policies regarding energy usage and compliance requirements. They often attend seminars and take classes throughout their careers to hone their skills and knowledge. Professional associations offer educational programs and networking opportunities for engineers of all specialties.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

A professional engineer (PE) license is required for engineers whose work may affect the life, health, or safety of the public. To receive a PE license, engineers must have a bachelor's degree from a school accredited by ABET, the accrediting board for engineering and technology, four years' relevant work experience, and pass a state examination. States often recognize licenses from other states. New engineers may qualify for licensing in two stages. They may take the Fundamentals in Engineering examination after receiving a bachelor's degree, for the engineer in training (EIT) or engineer intern (EI) designation. The next stage is the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, which they may take after securing the EIT or EI designation and meeting work experience requirements. Engineers must meet continuing education requirements to maintain their license in most states. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (http://www.ncees.org) offers engineering exams.

Energy efficiency engineers who work in residential, commercial, or industrial construction may also be required to hold the LEED AP designation (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional). This accreditation shows knowledge of environmentally friendly building practices and concepts.

The Association of Energy Engineers offers energy certification programs that are accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Visit http://www.aeecenter.org for a list of accredited programs.

Certification is not required for engineers but there are certification programs available and they vary by engineering specialty.

Other Requirements

Engineers who work on high-level research for certain government agencies may be required to have security clearance.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Some companies hire energy efficiency engineers for entry-level roles on projects. Position qualifications often include a bachelor's degree, internship, at least one year of related work experience, and knowledge of energy systems.

Energy efficiency engineers must have strong oral and written communication skills. The job requires writing reports and making presentations to clients and management. Organizational acumen and attention to detail are required to successfully manage multiple projects and meet deadlines. The ability to manage teams and coordinate communications and work flow with others are also important in this type of work. Strong knowledge of various types of building structures, systems, and services is essential, as is current knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and public policies regarding energy systems and energy usage. Energy efficiency engineers must also be well versed in computers and know how to use three-dimensional software such as AutoCAD and energy modeling and analysis software such as EnergyPro.