How to Upgrade Your Electrical Expertise for a Career in Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is the way of the future. From electric cars to rooftop solar panels, both businesses and consumers are embracing eco-friendly methods of generating and using electricity.

First, we’ll examine three fields of study you can pursue to beef up your electrician resume skills. We’ll also take a look at how you can combine electrical expertise with your existing skill set to boost your career and benefit your customers.

Renewable Energy: Three Areas to Pursue

Renewable energy, like many cutting-edge technologies, is a constantly evolving field. The following types of renewable energy have proven their staying power, and businesses are investing in them at ever-increasing rates. Consider specializing in one of these fields.


Solar photovoltaic energy is the most familiar type of renewable energy for the general public. Roles include design, installation, maintenance, and reclamation of spent panels, which can be performed for businesses—from those making small solar devices such as calculators to those producing panels at scale—residential homes, and large utility-scale projects such as solar fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar job growth is projected at 22 percent, a rate much faster than the average.


Turbines for capturing wind energy can be installed in a variety of places, including open fields, mountaintops, and even at sea. Roles include the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance, operation, and recycling of wind turbines. Job growth for wind turbine technicians is predicted to have a staggering growth rate of 45 percent in the coming years.


Much new industrial construction is harnessing geothermal energy for heating and other applications. For example, facilities can be both heated and cooled by ground-source heat pumps. Job growth projections for geothermal technicians are at an average rate of 2 to 4 percent, with nearly 19,000 new openings expected by 2032.

How to Master Renewable Energy Skills

How can you get involved in one of the renewable energy fields mentioned above? Generally, a high school diploma or its equivalent is the basic education requirement for these fields. If you’re already working as an electrician, your apprenticeship and work experience have already afforded you much of the electrical expertise you need.

If you want to venture into solar photovoltaics, you might pursue renewable energy at a local university. This will help you to grasp the principles needed for project site assessment and code compliance considerations. A year of on-the-job training will likely be required by your employer.

To become a wind turbine technician, you may need to acquire a post-secondary non-degree award, followed by on-the-job training. As you move along in your career, you might pursue a bachelor of science degree in an engineering specialty to advance to the role of wind turbine engineer.

Geothermal technicians may enter an apprenticeship or receive on-the-job training. Geothermal technology is an excellent field to pursue if you are already certified or working with heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC). You may also wish to pursue certifications sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Enhance Other Career Paths With Electrical Expertise

Renewable energy careers are not limited to the generation of said energy. There are also specialized needs in other fields. Consider a few examples—and think about adding a bit of electrical expertise if you currently have a career in one of these fields.


Energy efficiency goes hand-in-hand with renewable energy—both have the goal of reducing the impact on our planet. For example, consumers may hire professionals to install energy-efficient appliances. Some of these tasks—such as installing an energy-efficient water heater or a dishwasher—have traditionally required both an electrician and a plumber.  

If you are a plumber, you can study the principles of electricity and pass the licensure exam. Then, you will be able to provide these energy-saving services to your clients as a one-stop service. This will improve both the customer experience and your bottom line.

Auto Mechanics

Electric vehicles (EVs) that rely on renewable energy (including solar-powered charging stations) are shaking up the industry. Some consumers are reluctant to make the switch, however, because repairs to the cars’ electrical systems are expensive, and expert technicians may not be available locally.

 If you’re already a trusted mechanic, consider upskilling to work on EVs. Community colleges and technical schools offer training programs varying in length from two to 24 weeks. This training includes topics such as electric motor theory, charging systems, and battery systems. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate or even an associate’s degree in automotive technology.


The sun shines brightly on the future of energy, and change is in the wind. You can be more than relevant—cutting edge, in fact—when you upskill to handle solar, wind, and geothermal power projects. You can even add electrical expertise to your other industry skills, such as plumbing or auto mechanics, to help your customers get the best value from their energy consumption.