The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Design, develop, or evaluate energy-related projects or programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction. May specialize in electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; green buildings; lighting; air quality; or energy procurement.
Sample of reported job titles:
Energy Efficiency Engineer, Energy Engineer, Industrial Energy Engineer, Measurement And Verification Engineer, Test and Balance Engineer
Identify and recommend energy savings strategies to achieve more energy-efficient operation.
Conduct energy audits to evaluate energy use and to identify conservation and cost reduction measures.
Monitor and analyze energy consumption.
Monitor energy related design or construction issues, such as energy engineering, energy management, or sustainable design.
Inspect or monitor energy systems, including heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) or daylighting systems to determine energy use or potential energy savings.
Advise clients or colleagues on topics such as climate control systems, energy modeling, data logging, sustainable design, or energy auditing.
Analyze, interpret, or create graphical representations of energy data, using engineering software.
Verify energy bills and meter readings.
Collect data for energy conservation analyses, using jobsite observation, field inspections, or sub-metering.
Manage the development, design, or construction of energy conservation projects to ensure acceptability of budgets and time lines, conformance to federal and state laws, or adherence to approved specifications.
Perform energy modeling, measurement, verification, commissioning, or retro-commissioning.
Review architectural, mechanical, or electrical plans or specifications to evaluate energy efficiency.
Prepare energy-related project reports or related documentation.
Review or negotiate energy purchase agreements.
Train personnel or clients on topics such as energy management.
Direct the implementation of energy management projects.
Research renewable or alternative energy systems or technologies, such as solar thermal or photovoltaic energy.
Promote awareness or use of alternative or renewable energy sources.
Write or install energy management routines for building automation systems.
Recommend best fuel for specific sites or circumstances.
Consult with construction or renovation clients or other engineers on topics such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Green Buildings.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Detailed Work Activities
Advise others regarding green practices or environmental concerns.
Analyze energy usage data.
Monitor industrial energy consumption or management.
Direct energy production or management activities.
Inspect equipment or systems.
Create models of engineering designs or methods.
Research energy production, use, or conservation.
Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
Prepare technical or operational reports.
Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
Research design or application of green technologies.
Perform marketing activities.
Operate computer systems.
Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
Electronic Mail — 95% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 73% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 55% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 55% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 62% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 59% responded “Very important.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 64% responded “Some freedom.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 68% responded “Some freedom.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Very important.”
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 48% responded “High responsibility.”
Deal With External Customers — 41% responded “Very important.”
Spend Time Sitting — 45% responded “About half the time.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
Letters and Memos — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 29% responded “High responsibility.”
Time Pressure — 59% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Level of Competition — 41% responded “Moderately competitive.”
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
- Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.
- Related Experience
- A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Job Zone Examples
- Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, conservation scientists, art directors, and cost estimators.
- SVP Range
- 2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)
Training & Credentials
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
Bachelor’s degree required
Post-baccalaureate certificate required
Master’s degree requiredmore info
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Engineers, All Other.
Employment data for Engineers, All Other.
Industry data for Engineers, All Other.
- Median wages (2021)
- $48.38 hourly, $100,640 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 167,100 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Slower than average (1% to 5%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
external site and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings