The energy industry comprises the companies and people who locate fuel resources, harness them or remove them from the earth, and then process and distribute them for use. It is one of the largest, most dynamic, and often most controversial industries in the world.
The demand for energy first began when our ancient ancestors discovered they could keep themselves warm and cook food with fire. Since that time, our sources of energy have evolved, and the technologies we use to generate, distribute, and deliver energy have changed dramatically. Today energy is almost as essential to life as the air we breathe and the food we eat. We use energy every day, all day, when we work, play, drive, and eat. Even when we sleep, we need energy to heat or cool our homes and power our alarm clocks to wake us up in the morning.
See more here
- Good opportunities to get started. Unlike some other industries, such as law or medicine, workers can get a job in the energy industry without needing years of additional education or specialized training. It can be easier to launch a career in the energy industry with a college education than in some other fields.
- Higher than average salaries. The pay range can vary from job to job and sector to sector, but many energy workers earn higher salaries than they could with similar jobs in other fields. Compensation packages typically include excellent benefits such as health insurance, dental insurance, paid college education assistance, and retirement plans.
- Job stability and security. Although energy generation sources and delivery methods most likely will change in the future, most workers recognize that there are long-term opportunities in the field.
- Working with exciting new technologies. Decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and developing environmentally friendly alternative fuel and energy sources are major trends in the industry. Energy companies are designing and developing many new technologies, and one of them may someday become the world’s leading source of energy.
- Establishing a career can take longer. It may be easier to get a foot in the door, but it may take you longer to establish a successful career than in other industries. You may need to work for several years as an intern, apprentice, or in training before being considered a practicing operator or technician. Engineers must work several years and pass two exams to be certified as practicing engineers. Promotions and advancements in nontechnical positions may take longer to earn because most workers in the industry stay for many years, leaving less room for advancement.
- Working conditions are not always ideal. Even people who love to work outside find it challenging to work in extreme heat, extreme cold, sleet, rain, or snow. Many energy workers, such as electric distribution line workers, surveyors, or engineers, spend a great deal of their time outside.
- Health and safety concerns. In many sectors of the industry, mistakes can result in severe injury or even death. For example, workers at electric power plants, or working on distribution lines or transformer vaults have been injured or killed while working. Heavy equipment accidents can cause injuries, and workers in mines, oil wells, and drilling rigs, also can be seriously injured in accidents.
- An uncertain future. The energy industry is changing quickly. Workers may find themselves in a booming sector one day and a dying one the next. Wind energy, solar energy, nuclear energy, biofuels, and other new sectors are all struggling to become the next major source of power. However, market conditions, politics, international relations, and regulatory environments can change the future of an industry almost overnight. For example, many fears about nuclear energy had been alleviated by 2010, and plans to build new nuclear power plants were increasing throughout the United States and the rest of the world. After the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that damaged the Fukushima power plant and spread radiation in the area, most of these plans were postponed or tabled.