Saturday, April 7, 2012

5 Hot Jobs in Alternative Energy

The natural energy sector is one of the hottest job markets to get into these days. With governments and other organizations around the world working to develop, implement and promote the use of cleaner alternative energy sources, the natural energy job market is steadily growing. There are loads of different job

opportunities available in the field, from construction work to NGO management, engineering, power plant operations and more. Think that a career in the natural energy field might be the right choice for you? Check out these six hot jobs in the natural energy sector to get an idea of what's out there.

1. Green-Friendly General Contractor
General contractors are responsible for coordinating construction projects an ensuring that planned projects are carried out properly and completed correctly and on time. Thanks to a growing demand for more eco-friendly structures, more and more general contractors are going green and working to build environmentally friendly structures - everything from private homes to schools and luxury condos. By taking measures like installing solar panels into the structures they build, green-friendly general contractors are meeting popular demand for green-friendly living, helping the planet - and making good business!

2. Solar Panel Installer
Solar panel installers have the job of placing and installing solar panels onto rooftops, poles and other structures. There are two types of solar panels which a solar panel installer can work with: photovoltaic solar panels and solar thermal panels. Photovoltaic panels capture the sun's rays and convert the sun's energy into usable electricity, while thermal panels convert the heat of the sun's rays into usable heat. Many country's governments have only recently started creating incentives for homeowners to install solar panels in their residences, like tax credits and loans to pay for solar panel installation, and such incentives are likely to increase in the future. As demand for solar panels increases, the job market for solar panel installers is bound to grow.

3. Power Plant Operator
Power plant operators are in charge of helping to manage day-to-day operations at power plants and to ensure that everything is running smoothly. In some cases, they may have to deal with problems that arise on the job, such as malfunctioning machinery. The need to use cleaner forms of energy than petroleum means that a greater number of alternative energy power plants, including nuclear plants and wind power plants, will be built in the future. Skilled power plant operators will be necessary in ensuring that these new structures are functioning properly and remain well-maintained.

4. Resource Analyst
Resource analysts are responsible for determining whether sufficient resources are available to harvest energy in a given area. These positions will become increasingly important in coming years, as attempts are made to install new natural energy plants, such as wind power plants. For example, before installing a wind turbine field to create a power plant, it is necessary to determine if the area where the power plant is to be installed even has enough wind to effectively power a full turbine field. This is where a resource analyst would come in. Before any construction could begin, a wind analyst would have to perform tests, like auditing wind measurements, to determine whether the site was suitable for a wind power plant.

5. Chemical Engineer
Essentially chemical engineers use chemistry to solve problems and create new useful chemicals. Chemical engineers are becoming more and more in-demand to help develop alternative energy sources. Chemical engineers are essential to exploring and developing alternative energy sources, such as fuel cells and hydrogen power. The need for more alternative energy forms means that chemical engineers should enjoy good employment prospects in the coming decade.