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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Considering a Career in Renewable Energy?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Considering a Career in Renewable Energy?

Choosing the right career has always been and will continue to be one of the most difficult and important decisions a person has to make — especially when choosing a path to take in one’s education. 80% of college-bound freshmen have yet to choose a major, according to Dr. Fritz Grupe, creator of It is little wonder 50% of those who do declare a major, change majors — with many doing so two and three times during their college years, according to Grupe.  As for post-graduation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average U.S. worker changes careers 3-5 times during their lifetime. So even if you don’t get it the first time, it’s okay to go back and change it! However, the most efficient way is to explore all your available options and make a deliberate and careful decision regarding the path you choose as early as possible.

One the most dynamic and diverse career fields can be found in the renewable energy industry.  Renewable energy careers are increasing in number daily, not just in the United States but around the world, as the dedication strengthens to move toward a sustainable energy future.  As nations race to find reliable, cost effective alternatives to fossil fuels, it is clear that renewable energy jobs are here to stay!

So, what kinds of jobs are available? There are positions in research, agriculture, logistics, biorefining, end users, public relations, economics, politics—all in a variety of settings:  federal, state, and local government, universities, the private sector, non-profit agencies…we could go on all day!

The Executive Task Force on Biomass and Biofuels Development in Kentucky final report indicates as many as 10,000 permanent jobs can be created, mostly in rural communities with the growth of this industry within the state. Under projected expansion by 2015, the economic impact of the newly  reinstated 2011 Biodiesel Tax Credit would grow to supporting more than 74,000 jobs, $4 billion in income, and some $7.3 billion in GDP, according to the Economic Analysis of the extended tax credit by

There are many bioenergy projects being initiated in Kentucky. Here is a brief list of organizations in the state utilizing bioenergy that create jobs and economic development:


East Kentucky Power Cooperative– Richmond, KY: Demonstration of biomass co-firing

Louisville Clean Energy– Louisville, KY: Developer of integrated biorefinery

Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC– Owensboro, KY: Developer of plant based enzymes for cellulosic ethanol production

East Kentucky Biodiesel– Allen, KY: In-Process Developer of biodiesel facility


For even more information on these organizations, plus even more businesses, see the Commonwealth of Kentucky Biomass Development and Technology Directory.

“Depending on your area of interest, there are unlimited opportunities for employment in all sectors of Bioenergy, whether you’re scientifically based, or more into the liberal arts, the opportunities are abundant,” offered Tim Hughes, director for Kentucky’s Division of Biofuels.

So if you’re considering a career change or having trouble picking a college major, keep in mind the endless possibilities of the renewable energy field.  

Published on February 08, 2012

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