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What is Energy Management?
Energy Management and systems technology is a field of study fusing technical skills with engineering know-how to prudently manage energy usage. An Energy Manager will utilize technical and engineering knowledge to support other engineers and cross-functional professionals to design, upgrade, retro-fit, install, monitor, and manage energy-efficient systems in a variety of settings.
Energy manager jobs can include a number of tasks that can include:
- Energy loss auditing
- Systems applications
- Facility security
- Systems administration
- Energy conservation
- Instrumentation calibration
- Systems monitoring
- Testing procedures
- System design
- Report management
As an ever-evolving field of study, energy management degree programs may dip into system administration and computer coding while others focus on operating systems and networking.
Top Energy Management Degrees
A variety of degree programs exist in the energy management track. Academic programs range from undergraduate certificate programs through degrees in the field of study. Additionally, many schools are creating online degrees in energy management to provide quality and flexible curricula in a digital format.
As the fastest growing segment in higher education, distance learning is a viable option for students who have competing work and home priorities. A summary of degree and certificate programs in energy technology can be found below to help make your research as efficient as possible. We have gone the extra step to include a variety of accredited colleges and degree tracks in a centralized location.
Energy Management Certificate Programs
A certificate program in energy management can be earned on-site or online from a variety of accredited schools. Certificate programs are designed to be focused, shorter-term programs to help students enter the workforce quickly. However, the length of each program will vary from school to school affecting the time to complete a particular program. Additionally, your course load will dictate how long it takes to earn a certificate.
Certificates can be earned in a general track or a defined area of concentration from schools around the country. Examples of specializations include:
- Electric Line Technology
- Industrial Wind Technology
- Renewable Energy Technology
- Power Plant Technology
- Natural Gas Technology
Examples of classes you would likely see in a renewable energy certificate program may include: advanced manufacturing, electricity basics, energy industry, wind power, wiring principles, smart grid integration, electric power distribution, power transmission, power distribution, geothermal, wind, solar, and photovoltaic systems.
Energy Management Associate's Degrees
An associate’s degree in energy technology is a 2-year program for full-time students. Degrees in the field are conferred as an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS).
Associate degrees generally blend liberal arts classes with core curricula to provide students with a balanced education. In fact, the value of a liberal arts education has been well documented from all sectors of the economy with employers favoring liberal arts graduates. General education classes you will typically find include communications, sociology, psychology, economics, history, and statistics.
Core classes in the energy technology program will vary by school and concentration. You may find the following science courses in a core program: alternative energy, physics, earth sciences, industrial technology, machine maintenance, natural gas technology, electrical line technology, renewable energy, wind technology, and power plant technology.
Energy Management Bachelor's Degrees
A bachelor’s degree in energy management can be conferred as either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA). How the degree is conferred will depend on the school’s curricular design and overall program emphasis.
Bachelor degrees will take full-time students approximately 4-years to complete. Much like the program emphasis found in an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree will fuse liberal arts classes with core classes. However, the bachelor degree will provide introductory and upper-level courses far wider than any lower level degree program.
While core classes in a BA or BS degree program will not be identical from school to school, we find it important to illustrate a typical course. Examples of classes you may find in a energy management track include:
- Financial Reporting
- Project Management
- Energy Business Analysis Software Applications
- Physical Geology
- The Environment and Natural Resources
- Chemical Engineering
- Power Generation
- Energy Commodity Trading Basics
- Value Chain and Energy Logistics
- GIS for Energy
- Analytics and Statistics
- Land Management and Resource Management
- Energy Management and Ethics
- Environmental Law
Educational Requirements for Energy Managers
In terms of educational requirements, energy management majors will take a series of technical and operational courses. While each university will curate unique curriculum, a common set of classes emerge. Foundational classes found in most energy management courses include:
- Public Policy
- Business Management
- Environmental Health
- Computer Programming
- Computational Mathematics
- Information Technology
- Sustainable Energy
- Environmental Science
- Computer Science
- Statistics & Math
- Computer Networking
Employment in Energy Management
Students earning a graduate or undergraduate degree in energy management will have a multitude of career specializations to consider. Career options can from a research scientist and environmental scientist to a geological technician and environmental engineer. Students may also choose to consider jobs in postsecondary teaching, natural science management, physicist, atmospheric scientist, or sustainability director.
Energy Management Job Outlook
Career outlook numbers for energy managers and systems techs look quite robust. In fact, employment projections for energy engineers is expected to vault by 9% creating 9,500 new jobs in the coming decade. To parallel, jobs for environmental engineers and environmental scientist are expected to jump by 12% and 11% respectively. A robust industry coupled with rapid job growth will translate to in-demand jobs and rising wages for technical positions. It can also mean companies grow and add leadership positions in key divisions for qualified technicians.
Resources for Energy Managers
Additional information about the field of study can be found by visiting the Energy Management Association (EMA). The EMA has a substantial trove of resources, membership benefits, guidance, and professional networking opportunities. Other associations worth investigating include the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), ASHRAE, and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).