The energy management sector is generally responsible for auditing, developing and maintaining the maximum efficiency of the use and flow of energy throughout a system. This is specially relevant nowadays that people, companies and even state and city governments are becoming more environmentally and ecologically aware and are therefore seeking ways to improve the efficiency of their systems and processes. More and more plans for a "greener" world are being conceptualized, and along with it, more manpower to implement these plans is being required.
Some examples of jobs in the energy management sector include the following:
- Energy consulting. It is the job of energy consultants to audit current systems and processes, and through their analysis formulate plans on how to make these more energy-efficient. They will also plan for the implementation of their proposals, using cost-effective measures in ways that would maximize available energy resources. Job titles under this category include solutions consultant, efficient energy consultant, resource conservation and efficiency manager. They may also produce handbooks for employees to disseminate knowledge on energy efficient procedures. To be an energy consultant, knowledge in the following fields is needed: mechanical systems, building controls, energy efficiency measures, pertinent software programs, and lighting efficiency, among others.
- Energy efficient project managers. Energy efficient project managers generally are in charge of the administration of specific (and perhaps short-term) projects and company programs. Part of their responsibility may include intensive planning and participation in every aspect of that project including proposal development, feasibility studies, product development and sales monitoring.
- Energy control technicians. Part of the responsibilities of a technician specializing in energy controls is to conduct intensive energy monitoring in order to assess the baseline spending rate of the company on such aspects as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and other energy consuming devices. Through this analysis, they should be able to conceptualize methods on how to better operate and maintain utilities to maximize energy and resources. Other job titles for this include systems technician, or measurement and verification technician.
- Energy analyst. An energy analyst is tasked to analyze the building and systems data and research opportunities to further save on energy, including viable and practicable renewable energy options. The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) provides standards for manpower training in this specialized sector.
The general requirements for pursuing a career in the energy management sector include a bachelor's degree in engineering (or equivalent experience in the energy management field) from a superior university or institute; thorough systems and services knowledge; relevant technical background; and proficiency in computer software applications. A Certificate in Management Engineering is often preferred. There are options, however, to take specialized certificate courses from community colleges that offer training for energy efficiency occupations.
A good candidate needs to be analytical, a creative problem-solver and be able to think out-of-the-box in order to conceptualize more efficient methods. They must also understand business processes. The candidate must also be able to work with a team and to supervise a team as well.
If you're planning to become part of the energy management sector, know that the demand for such jobs is expected to increase in the next few years. Think about it: you won't just be earning your livelihood, you just might be able to give a hand in saving the earth, as well.