12 High-Paying Clean Energy Careers to Consider in 2020

As our natural resources grow scarcer, more of today’s workforce is finding meaningful employment to help create a brighter, more hopeful future.

New research and innovations in technology are helping the clean energy industry progress at an impressive speed. Leaders in engineering, finance, construction, agriculture and planning are putting their expertise to use to help tackle climate change.

Here are a few examples of high-paying careers that you may want to consider in 2020:

Green Building

Urban and Land Use Planners: tasked with the outlining and development of city and town space. Working closely with government officials to ensure compliance with industry standards, they make recommendations for infrastructure development. Urban planners may also help private property owners meet certain zoning regulations or help protect neighboring ecosystems.

Green Construction Managers: coordinate and supervise a green construction project from the conceptual stage to finalization. These professionals make sure the on-site process is as low-impact as possible, whether it be recycling scrap metal or ensuring no harsh chemicals leach into the ground and contaminate waterways.


Agricultural Engineers: study existing and potential feedstocks to determine what plants (feedstock) such as can corn, sugarcane and soybeans should be used at a particular location to produce biofuel. These engineers have to decide what waste products will be produced during biofuel production as well. They may also use their expertise to design special processing plants to store and process the feedstock.  

Farm Managers: oversee the day-to-day operations of the farm, which grows the feedstock. Because these different crops need to be planted, cultivated and then harvested before they are turned into biofuel, the farm manager is a crucial role. These individuals supervise the work performed by laborers and decide where and when to plant different types of crops.

Solar Energy

Solar Architects: develop innovative ways to add solar to various structures, from schools and parking garages to sports stadiums. Solar architects design new systems, supervise the structure during construction and monitor the new facilities after the solar is system is turned on.

Solar Financial Analyst: conducts strategic and quantitative analyses to help a company achieve its operational goals. These professionals lead activities within the financial planning process, and help make the cost of going solar obtainable for customers. Opportunities for solar financial analysts exist in various organizations – from banks and insurance agencies to solar companies and private financial institutions.

Wind Energy

GIS Specialist: uses computer mapping software to collect essential information on a potential wind farm site. They uncover and communicate to the team details about parcel boundaries, transmission lines, infrastructure, topography, environmentally sensitive areas and land cover. GIS specialists are integral to the planning of a wind farm, as they also determine the ideal wind farm layout (micrositing).

Wind Energy Analyst: evaluates the raw data collected at meteorological towers. With the help of software, they extrapolate specific information from a data set and assess the wind resources of a given site. Wind energy analysts calculate energy output, measure performance and develop methods for improving efficiency.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Drilling Manager: oversees the geothermal energy exploration, as well as the development and resource evaluation of geothermal sources. They analyze surface and subsurface data to evaluate both geologic and hydrothermal conditions. Drilling managers then plan and execute drilling projects, supervise the site, test wells and compile technical reports.

Plant Operators: ensure the successful operation of geothermal plants by monitoring the pipes, generators and other tools that regulate voltage. Performing regular inspections, they aim to prevent any issues that may arise. Plant operators also communicate closely with electrical distribution centers to make sure the grid does not become overloaded.

Energy Efficiency

LEED-Certified Consultants: guide building owners and their projects to help ensure their structure meets LEED certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. These consultants know the latest strategies for performance in green building design, construction and operations – they’re the people clients depend on to streamline the certification process. LEED consultants also help clients identify methods for reducing initial and ongoing energy costs and minimize wasted energy.  

Energy Auditors: inspect homes and commercial buildings to evaluate the structure’s heating, cooling, electrical and natural gas usage. Using thermal infrared cameras, they identify energy leaks, and through blower-door tests, they can determine how airtightness of a given area. From there, they can calculate how much energy is being consumed and recommend areas for improvement.

If you’ve wanted to begin your career, or transition into a clean energy position, be sure to create your free professional profile on Clean Energy Jobs List today! Then start your search for available positions in your area!

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