I currently have an eye on a transition from the military to the energy industry, and was wondering what kind of certifications/training I should work on before leaving the military and after leaving the military in order to better prepare myself for a roll in the energy industry? Currently I am looking mostly at wind, gas and oil with a strong focus on being very willing to work outside of the United States. Thanks for any help you can offer and hope you're staying warm!
The Energy world is rather large so my first question would be are you looking to work at say a utility, or with a company that provides a product / service to that industry? There really are so many different ways you can go that it can be a bit daunting.
One thing I've found true is that there are a lot of ex-military in the Energy world. I run into many in the operations and services side of the business.
To try to answer your question though, what certs can you get, really depends. A CEM as someone stated previously is one way, but it aligns you with a certain job title. A PMP may be useful as well if that's the route you want to pursue. QA is another route of many.
It may be useful to read job postings for numerous companies and begin to get a feel for what you would best align with, and then pursue that role. Some companies that you may want to look at to get a feel:
Dominion Energy (Utility)
NAES (Staffing for energy sites)
Emerson (product / services provider)
NUS Consulting (Nat gas consulting)
Jacobs Engineering (EPC)
ABB (Product provider)
Piedmont Nat Gas (Gas provider)
O2 Energies (solar utility)
DZ Atlantic (outage services)
I could fill a page with more companies, but these should at least give you an idea of what jobs you can expect to find in the Energy industry.
As “energy” is such a wide field, first off start studying to find your passion, many of the certifications encompass a wide variety of subjects, both old and new technologies, some of which you may never see or be involved with. It is fine to a have a wealth of knowledge but if not useful or applied very often it is just ballast that you drag around and paid to learn.
Find out which field you that interests you, new home High-Efficiency construction or building design and automation, conservation retrofit/upgrades, LEEDS, Geothermal, Net-Zero, solar and wind, each is unique, exciting and specialized all are growing in adoption and application.
There is all the transportation options, biofuels, alternative energies (battery, hybrid, hydrogen) that may fit into your garage experience, desires, some are leading edge.
As “energy” is a new, expanding and developing field what WAS important may not be leading edge so “classroom” training may not be up-to-date but “hands-on” experience is more important.
Now the flip-side is if your “dream job” already exists then research their/industry requirements of licensing or certifications and get those so you can get an initial interview. Additionally define who’s and exactly what certifications or licensing is acceptable or recognized in your target industry/company - all are not the same.
Consider obtaining a certified energy manager (CEM) certificate.
The first question is what level of education do you currently have. I am assuming you have a bachelors degree. Some of the certifications only require a high school diploma while some others require higher education. The level of education will determine which certifications you may qualify to pursue.
An additional question is what industry are you looking to go into. The Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) industry has some different certifications which relate to their industry as opposed to working in the Energy and Power industry.
An overall great resource for you is the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) at https://cewd.org/. There are three sites they administer which can help: Get Into Energy (http://www.getintoenergy.com/), Troops to Energy Jobs (http://www.troopstoenergyjobs.com/), and Energy Industry Curriculum Center (http://www.cewd.org/curriculum/). The Troops to Energy Jobs site offers virtual coaching, job matching, apprenticeships, and available career positions.
A good resource for wind careers is at https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/wind-career-map. Education and certification requirements are listed along with the different jobs being identified by clicking on them. This also identifies the different industry areas and education identification which I discussed above.
Lets Go Solar provides some great information about education requirements and certification entities such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE), UL Knowledge Services. See https://www.letsgosolar.com/consumer-education/solar-jobs-careers-certifications/.
For Oil and Gas, the Coming Training site appears to have a good listing of education and certifications for consideration. See https://coming.training/oil-and-gas-best-careers-and-certifications/
Hope this helps.
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