What Companies Are in the Energy Field?
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- The energy industry consists of both renewable and non-renewable energy resources.
- Some subdivisions of the energy industry include solar, wind, gas, oil, and refining.
- Multiple energy companies offer tech jobs and opportunities to professionals looking to work on the technology side of the energy industry.
The energy industry is a huge part of our political and social discourse. Energy companies provide a vital resource – electricity and power – but traditional methods of energy production have drawn attention as they contribute to the rising global pollution levels.
However, the industry continues to grow, with major energy companies committing to increase their renewable energy resources — such as wind, solar, and battery power. With this increased interest in renewable energy comes new companies and new jobs.
Companies like Tesla are looking to change the way energy is made and used. With less reliance on fossil fuels, they have a higher demand for coders and other tech roles.
Because the landscape of renewable energy is still being discovered, change is inevitable. Read on to get a better understanding of what we know now and what opportunities are available.
What Is the Energy Sector?
Simply put, the energy sector is the source producing the energy used to power our daily lives. This includes electricity, natural gas, and oil.
You might be surprised to learn there is a distinction between the energy industry and the energy sector. In popular discourse, these two phrases are used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference.
The energy industry is everything that contributes to the production of energy. This is broadly separated into two categories: equipment and services and the actual sources of energy (oil, wind, etc.).
Often in politics, you hear the energy industry divided into two sectors: renewable and non-renewable energy. Renewable energy naturally replenishes at the source (wind, sun, etc.), whereas non-renewable energy has a finite limit.
Types of Energy Companies
Within the energy industry, there are subcategories that further divide the processes of making, mining, and transporting energy across a country. Below are some of the primary energy company types.
As we mentioned, renewable energy naturally replenishes itself at the source. This includes wind, solar, and geothermal sources. Sometimes renewable energy is also referred to as clean energy.
Most of us have seen wind turbines, solar panels, or battery-powered equipment. These are the common pieces of equipment related to renewable energy.
One of the largest renewable energy companies in the world is Orsted, based in Denmark.
Gas and Oil
Gas and oil are synonymous with the energy industry. While gas and oil have been known for centuries, mining oil and gas didn’t take off until the 1800s.
After it’s mined, oil is burned, which creates heat and powers a turbine that produces the electricity we use. Natural gas is mined, then filtered, and refined before being transported via pipeline to a company storage unit and distributed to consumers.
Natural gas in the U.S. is generally produced domestically, with a few pipelines running from Canada or Mexico. Oil, on the other hand, is a large component of international trade. The largest oil production company in the world is Saudi Aramco
Refining and Pipeline
Oil refining is the process in which oil is boiled and separated into different fuel components, from butane to diesel fuels.
Before oil can be refined, it must be transported to the refineries from the locations where it was mined. This is done primarily through pipelines that run hundreds of thousands of miles underneath the earth’s surface.
There are many companies that refine oil. Some of the larger companies may be energy and oil providers, like ExxonMobil. Other refineries include Marathon, BP, and Chevron.
How Can I Get a Tech Job in the Energy Field?
Many posted tech jobs for power companies seek high ly educated and experienced professionals. Several postings reference Ph.D.-level requirements.
But don’t give up hope! There are a few things to consider. First, if companies have senior-level positions in tech, they likely have entry-level or more junior positions. Second, some of the newer or smaller companies (like Apex) might take an equivalent of industry experience or a bootcamp education instead of a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Most tech jobs require some background in engineering or another science. Based on this information, the strongest candidate for many of these positions would be someone with a computer engineering or computer science bachelor’s degree who has also completed a bootcamp.
Top Companies for Tech in the Energy Field
If you are fascinated by the energy industry and have a passion for technology, you may be interested in some of these companies offering tech roles. Below, we have outlined some of the largest tech companies in the U.S. and examples of their more common tech jobs.
ExxonMobil traces its history back to 1859, the early days of the oil industry. They operate primarily in the oil and natural gas sector. It is one of the largest oil companies in the world.
As a large and well-known company, ExxonMobil brings recognition and stability with its name. If you’re looking for a tech job in a stable industry that will be recognizable to employers, consider working for Exxon.
Because of the global scope of ExxonMobil’s operations, there may be opportunities to work around the world.
Headquarters: Irving, Texas
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Senior Data Engineer - Cloud
- SAP Developer
- Software Developer (Argentina)
Duke Energy provides energy to the Southeast and Midwest parts of the U.S. It began as a hydroelectric company and is continuing to diversify its energy portfolio.
Natural gas is Duke energy’s largest source, at 37% of the energy generated by the company. Nuclear energy comprises 35% of the portfolio, and coal makes up 21% of Duke’s energy. They also use wind and solar energy.
If you want to work in the Southeast and Midwest. They are committed to growing their green energy options which could provide great opportunities for someone in the tech industry.
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Controls Engineering Technologist
- LIT Support Agent
- GIS Data Analyst
Exelon was founded in 2000 from the merger of two regional power suppliers and has acquired more subsidiaries since. They primarily serve the Mid-Atlantic and Chicago areas.
The majority of Exelon’s energy comes from nuclear power. Renewable energy sources are the smallest portion of Exelon’s portfolio.
Compared to other energy companies, Exelon offers more traditional tech-focused jobs. Their job descriptions require expertise in a variety of coding languages.
Many of the job descriptions require previous tech and coding experience. However, there are likely entry-level jobs as well.
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Senior Data Scientist
- Senior Services Analyst (IT)
- Senior Software Engineer - Java
Apex Clean Energy
Apex is a relatively new energy company founded in 2009. Apex focuses on renewable and sustainable energy.
They have several locations with enough infrastructure to provide wind and solar-powered energy to clients.
If you are passionate about sustainability and tech, Apex could be the right power company for you. They are a mission-driven corporation striving to have the largest sustainable energy portfolio in the U.S.
Headquarters: Charlottesville, Virginia
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Information Technology Systems Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- Geographic Information Systems Analyst
Tesla is often associated with its controversial founder, Elon Musk, or perhaps its innovative battery-operated cars. However, the company is also involved in creating sustainable energy.
The company works to create products that lower emissions and increase sustainability. It also offsets emissions and aims to sustainably produce products. According to the company website, Tesla’s solar panels have offset their auto manufacturing.
If you want to work in energy and tech, Tesla might be your best bet. They offered the largest variety of tech positions that align with bootcamp skills such as software engineering, back/front-end development, and data analytics.
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Software Engineer - Vision Automation
- Software Engineer - Back End
- Software Engineer - Distributed Systems
General Electric (GE) is one of the most well-known power companies in the world. They can trace their founding back to Thomas Edison, one of the forefathers of electricity.
As an older power company, GE’s portfolio is made up of more traditional power sources, such as gas, oil, and nuclear energy. However, they are working to diversify their portfolio in a meaningful way. With GE supplying a third of the world’s power, this is a meaningful shift.
GE could be a good place to start if you want to work in energy and tech. GE is a mammoth company with many subdivisions. If you can’t get a job directly in energy, you might want to consider a position in another division and make an internal move.
Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Cybersecurity Engineer - Embedded Systems
- Staff End User Support Engineer
- Engineering Software Configuration and Compliance Engineer
American Electric Power
Also known as AEP, American Electric Power is another traditional energy company with 42% of its energy coming from coal. As of 2022, 20% of their power is sourced from renewable energy, a higher percentage than many other companies.
Compared to other companies, AEP makes its goals and plans for increasing renewable energy generation clear on its website. This implies transparency and a genuine desire to make sustainable changes.
If you’re looking to work with a company making big changes, AEP might be a good choice. Based on their job postings, they are also leveraging tech roles in their transition.
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Solution Engineer Associate
- Economic Forecast Analyst (Data Analyst)
- Load Research Analyst Associate
Another regional power company, Dominion Energy, serves 13 million customers. They have an ambitious goal to become the most sustainable energy company in the U.S.
While Dominion Energy outlines strong goals for renewable energy innovation, the bulk of its energy is still derived from fossil fuels.
Dominion could be a good fit if you want to work for a smaller power company. They had several tech postings with a variety of experiences.
Their goals to improve renewable energy sources are ambitious, so you could be involved in making meaningful changes to the energy industry.
Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
Offered Tech Jobs:
- Software Systems Engineer Specialist
- Associate Programmer Analyst
- Senior Programmer Analyst
Frequently Asked Questions About the Energy Field
What are the highest-paying energy jobs?
The highest paying energy jobs are in engineering, such as environmental, civil, or air quality engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental engineers earned a median annual salary of $96,820 in 2021. The same year, civil engineers made a median annual wage of $88,050. A bachelor's degree in engineering is the minimum requirement to enter these occupations.
Other high-paying energy jobs include geoscientists, solar project developers, and renewable energy consultants.
What is the fastest-growing energy field?
Solar energy is the fastest-growing energy sector at the moment. Solar photovoltaics, in particular, is the source of most solar energy growth.
Solar photovoltaics are what most of us think of when we consider solar power: the panels often seen on roofs or sides of homes and offices. These panels convert sunlight to energy using a photoelectric effect.
While solar energy is rapidly growing, it only made up 3% of the energy used in the world as of 2020. While jobs may be in demand, keep in mind that this is still a small slice of the pie.
Are energy engineers in high demand?
Yes! With efforts to diversify energy sources, the energy engineer role is expected to grow faster than average in the next decade.
Energy engineers innovate solutions for energy production and consumption. In this role, engineers strive to make environmentally friendly systems to reduce the impact of energy production.
For those with expertise or interest in solar energy, look for jobs in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. If you’re looking for a job in wind energy, you may want to consider some of the same states, including Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, and California.
Of course, there are jobs around the country, but these states have the most opportunities.