An energy consultant is someone who analyzes a business’s energy use and carbon footprint.
Their job is to look for ways to improve the company’s energy efficiency.
They advise a company’s officers on how to use less energy and produce less pollution.
But what does an energy consultant do on a day-to-day basis?
What are the job requirements, and how good is the pay?
Here’s a high-level overview of this exciting career.
Table Of Contents
- Energy Consultant: The Basics
- Work Opportunities in the Energy Consultant Industry
- What It’s Like to be an Energy Consultant
- Energy Consultant Salary & Income
- Overview of the Energy Consultant Industry
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Energy Consultants
- Energy Consultant Education & Schooling
- Steps to Become an Energy Consultant
- Wrapping Up
Energy Consultant: The Basics
So, what is an energy consultant?
Before we get too far into the weeds, let’s look at some of the basics.
What is an Energy Consultant?
An energy consultant is a full-time employee or third-party contractor who evaluates a company’s energy usage.
Their goal is to improve business efficiency, which helps the planet and reduces costs at the same time.
What Does an Energy Consultant Do?
An energy consultant can have many responsibilities, depending on the business.
Broadly speaking, they look at a company’s energy sources.
They analyze how that energy is used, and how much is wasted.
Then, they make recommendations to improve efficiency.
However, energy consultants sometimes have other responsibilities.
For example, a company might hire a consultant to help them qualify for government certifications.
It all depends on the company’s goals and why they’re hiring a consultant, to begin with.
Work Opportunities in the Energy Consultant Industry
As businesses continue to “go green,” there are more and more energy consulting opportunities.
Let’s talk about that.
Energy Consultant Job Description
As I said, energy consultants fill different roles in different companies.
That said, their duties tend to fall in the following areas:
- Analyzing a company’s energy usage with advanced modeling software.
- Calculating how much energy their clients waste per year.
- Advising companies to adopt alternative solutions like solar power.
- Finding opportunities to reduce energy consumption.
- Advising on the construction of new projects, to ensure sustainability from the ground up.
- Making efficiency recommendations on current projects.
- Conducting studies and reporting the results in “plain English.”
- Staying on top of any changes in environmental regulations.
- Making regular recommendations to senior management.
Top Energy Consultant Jobs and Careers
- A clean energy consultant focuses on renewable energy consulting.
- A freelance energy consultant works on short-term or intermittent projects
- A recruiter works for an agency and helps to find new consulting candidates.
Where Can an Energy Consultant Work?
An energy consultant can work just about anywhere.
Larger companies will often have one or more full-time consultants on their payroll.
Most companies hire an outside energy consulting firm.
You can even work as a freelancer, helping small businesses with their energy management.
Current Career Job Openings
Looking for an energy consultant job right now?
Here are a few opportunities:
What It’s Like to be an Energy Consultant
If you’re considering a career in energy consulting, you probably want to know what the job is like.
Here’s what I’ve learned about this job.
Is Being an Energy Consultant Hard?
It can be hard, depending on your project.
But a lot depends on what you’re doing.
For example, it’s easy to walk around with an infrared thermometer looking for leaky windows.
It’s hard to prepare a five-year environmental study for a new factory.
Is an Energy Consultant Job Stressful?
It’s certainly not stressful in the same way being a firefighter or police officer is stressful.
That said, it’s still a job. If you’re a full-timer, you have to answer to your boss.
If you’re a freelancer, you need to constantly search for new clients.
Either way, there will be deadlines.
But those are only stressful when you’re unprepared.
Common Energy Consultant Work Day
There’s no standard work day for an energy consultant.
One day you might be in the field, sampling exhaust from a smokestack.
Another day you might be in an office, preparing a report for your client.
You’ll also spend a lot of time doing research.
Energy Consultant Tasks & Duties
Energy consultants can work in many fields, from lighting and power to HVAC and installation.
Many specialize in the extraction and transport of natural resources.
Energy Consultant Work Hours & Schedule
Most energy consultants work during normal business hours.
That said, nothing is stopping you from researching and preparing reports on your own schedule.
Energy Consultant Dress Code
In the field, jeans and a tee shirt may be acceptable.
In the office, you’d follow the dress code for the office you’re working in.
If you’re presenting to a bunch of lawyers, wear a suit!
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
Yes. Clients will expect you to work during normal business hours.
But much of the job involves things like research, which you can do at any time of day.
Energy Consultant Salary & Income
Before you take any job, you’ll want to know how much it pays.
Here’s a quick look at what energy consultants earn.
Do Energy Consultants Make Good Money?
In general, yes.
The average energy consultant isn’t wealthy but earns more than the average American.
A lot depends on your level of expertise.
You’ll need a lot of experience to work on the biggest and most complicated projects.
But those are the projects that offer the best pay.
How Much Do Energy Consultants Make?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average US energy consultant earns a base salary of $69,022 per year.
In addition, the average consultant earns an extra $36,135 in commissions and bonuses.
That said, this is only an average. Energy consultant pay ranges from $44,000 to $431,000 per year.
As with most jobs, this is something you’ll have to negotiate during the interview phase.
Overview of the Energy Consultant Industry
Pay alone isn’t the only reason to choose a career.
You also want to know that the field is healthy and growing.
Let’s take a broader look at the energy consulting industry.
Energy Consultant Field: Career Progression
Entry-level energy consultants often work as glorified cold-callers.
They earn towards the lower end of the pay spectrum and spend most of their time selling consulting services.
From there, you can progress upwards.
But it helps if you’re also freelancing and bringing in your own clients.
Is Energy Consultant a Good Career?
If you enjoy the work and appreciate the pay, then yes.
Energy Consultant Job Outlook
With each year, government agencies add more environmental regulations.
At the same time, renewable energy is getting cheaper and cheaper.
As a result, energy consulting is a growing field.
Demand for Energy Consultants
For the reasons I just discussed, the demand for energy consultants remains strong.
According to a January 2022 study, the market size for consultants for energy and other utilities has grown by 3.3% per year for the last five years.
Energy Consultant Facts
- According to the same study, the market size for energy consulting is expected to rise by 3.1% in 2022.
- As of January 2022, the energy consulting industry has a combined annual revenue of $4.7 billion.
Jobs Related to Energy Consultant
- A sustainability consultant helps companies to develop more sustainable business practices.
- An environmental health officer helps companies to create and enforce workplace health policies.
- An oil and gas engineer can work in many stages of fossil fuel storage and transport.
- Energy broker
- Energy manager
- Cost consultant
- Business efficiency expert
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Energy Consultants
To become an energy consultant, you’ll need to meet the necessary requirements.
Read on to see if this career is a good fit for you.
Who Should Consider an Energy Consultant Career Path?
A successful energy consultant needs to enjoy fieldwork.
They also have to be able to communicate their findings to senior managers.
Who Should NOT Consider an Energy Consultant Career Path?
If you’re not attracted to a highly technical job, you wouldn’t enjoy this career.
Is it Hard to Become an Energy Consultant?
Not if you dedicate yourself to the process.
What Do I Need to Become an Energy Consultant?
There are no federal requirements for energy consultants.
That said, most companies will want to see your qualifications.
Requirements for Becoming an Energy Consultant
An ideal energy consultant will have a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, energy management, earth science, or a similar field.
It’s also helpful to have a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) or Certified Energy Manager (CEM) accreditation.
What Skills Does an Energy Consultant Need?
It depends on the project, but you’ll need to be good at math no matter what.
What Education Does an Energy Consultant Need?
Most companies require their energy consultants to hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
Can You Become an Energy Consultant Without a Degree?
Yes, but it’s difficult.
You’ll need to build your own reputation and gain business by word of mouth.
What Experience Does an Energy Consultant Need?
None is required to get an entry-level position.
Beyond that, companies will be looking for real field experience.
Energy Consultant Education & Schooling
As you might imagine, you’ll need the right educational background to get into energy consulting.
What is Taught in an Energy Consultant Course?
It depends on the course.
Most energy consultants have backgrounds in subjects like energy engineering, energy management, or environmental science.
That said, many major in law or business.
How Long Does an Energy Consultant Course Take?
It depends on the course.
Most energy consultants earn a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete.
Energy Consultant Education Options and Degree Programs
There is no such thing as a degree in “Energy Consulting.”
Instead, aspiring energy consultants obtain degrees in relevant fields.
According to research by Zippia, 57.7% of energy consultants hold a bachelor’s degree.
According to the same research, 10.2% of energy consultants hold a master’s degree.
Schools for Energy Consultants
According to U.S. News and World Report, these are the top 5 US universities for energy-related studies:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Chicago
- University of California – Berkeley
Steps to Become an Energy Consultant
To become an energy consultant, earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Next, look for a job with a consulting agency or put out your resume directly to companies.
It helps if you have good networking skills, so you can find customers as a freelancer.
Ultimately, you need to build a reputation for tackling small projects.
Over time, you can work your way up to larger ones.
Energy consulting is a promising career with a lot of upsides.
With our economy putting more and more emphasis on energy efficiency, the demand for energy consultants remains strong.
As with any career, there are potential pitfalls.
You need to stay on top of environmental regulations, and you may have to meet tight deadlines.
That said, working as an energy consultant can be incredibly rewarding.
You get to preserve the environment and make your customers more profitable at the same time.