The changing face of energy: new jobs in the broad energy sector

Powering the industrial base, fueling all modes of transportation including the nation’s food distribution system, and setting the table for national economic growth—filling jobs in the energy industry is critical to the future economic success of the U.S.

Energy-related job openings are changing. New jobs are growing fast, and it’s not just an offshoot of the oil and gas recovery. It’s much bigger.

Energy enjoys a much broader definition within the overall U.S. economy, and the growing universe of jobs touches almost every aspect of the energy economy: transportation, manufacturing, power generation and transmission, petroleum and alternative fuels–including oil and gas extraction and refining and many positions have a heavy technology and analysis component.

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Image: Tesla Inc.

A period of rapid change for energy

The U.S. Department of Energy in January released the agency’s second annual analysis of how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in key sectors of the economy. By administering a new supplemental survey to over 30,000 energy sector employers, the DOE’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) tracked dramatic growth in several key sectors of the U.S. economy in 2016.

Some key findings of the report include:

  • 4 million Americans now work in the traditional energy and energy efficiency industries which added over 300,000 net new jobs in 2016, 14% of the nation’s job growth
  • Energy efficiency jobs increased by 133,000 jobs for a total of 2.2 million
  • Investments in energy transmission, distribution and storage (our energy infrastructure) generated 65,000 new jobs
  • Solar industry employment jumped by over 73,000 jobs or 25%
  • Wind industry employment added 25,000 new jobs to land at 102,000

The 2017 report analyzed four sectors of the U.S. economy:

  • Electric Power Generation and Fuels
  • Transmission, Distribution and Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Motor Vehicles

The first two of those sectors make up what the DOE report calls the “Traditional Energy” sector–power generation and fossil fuel extraction. The sector increased in 2016 by just under 5 percent, adding over 300,000 net new jobs, roughly 14% of all those created in the country. Electric power generation and fuels technologies (including the oil and gas industry) directly employ more than 1.9 million workers.

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Photo: Ensco

In 2016, 55%, or 1.1 million of these employees, worked in traditional coal, oil, and gas, while almost 800,000 workers were employed in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear, and advanced/low emission natural gas, according to the DOE report.

Just under 374,000 individuals work, in whole or in part, for solar firms, with more than 260,000 of those employees spending the majority of their time on solar. There are an additional 102,000 workers employed at wind firms across the nation. The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, while wind employment increased by 32%.

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Image: CSP

Download the full report and state charts.

The DOE said that the report is designed to “provide a quantitative lens with which to evaluate the employment impact of new energy technologies, shifting fuels deployment, and evolving transmission and power distribution systems during a period of rapid change.”

Hard to find qualified employees

Almost three‐quarters of employers across these sectors (72%), according to the DOE’s findings in its first release, reported difficulty hiring qualified workers over the prior 12 months; 26% said it was very difficult.

Is it because more of the overall energy sector jobs are highly technical in nature, requiring higher analytical skills and a focused mastery of math and technologies on the part of people needed in the energy sector?

There are new technologies coming nonstop to the energy sector, the advent of big data is overwhelming, dumping higher amounts of data onto energy management teams, and an industry-wide drive toward efficiency in everything from oil and gas drilling to power plant load management are all driving new jobs in the sector.

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Photo: Core Lab

Case in point: a quick look at today’s energy jobs include software development, NREL, S&P, government, manufacturing 

 The first page of, a popular web-based job site, using the word energy as the search parameter, presented the following job openings on June 12, 2017:

  1. Global Industry Director-Utilities and Energy

Software AG –  23 reviews – New York, NY 10001

Help develop and qualify opportunities for license revenue in Utilities & Energy through early stages of deal-cycle….


S&P Global –  27 reviews – Denver, CO

Persistent with a natural curiosity about energy market fundamentals and technical details. We’re the leading independent provider of information and benchmark…

3.     Project Coordinator

National Renewable Energy Laboratory –  36 reviews – Golden, CO

NREL’s IEC fosters the acceleration of renewable energy & energy efficiency technologies into the marketplace by connecting lab resources with the clean energy…

4.     Operations Analyst

Concord Energy –  8 reviews – Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo area)

Concord Energy Transportation is rapidly expanding and is seeking an Operations Analyst for its downtown Denver office….

5.     Environmental Programs Manager

Gates Corporation –  85 reviews – Denver, CO

Support resource conservation initiatives, including leveraging projects across sites on energy and recycling….

6.     Energy Market Analyst

Siemens –  4,802 reviews – Fairfax, VA

Fundamental energy market analysis. Ability to provide technical oversight for a wide range of economic and statistical analyses in the energy field….

7.     Energy Efficiency Associate, Atlanta, GA

ICF –  268 reviews – Atlanta, GA

Energy Efficiency Associate. Energy Efficiency Associate, Atlanta, GA. Work as part of an energy efficiency team ensuring that the implementation of utility…

8.     Program Analyst

Department of Energy and Environment – Washington, DC

$81,050 – $104,423 a year

In accordance with the District of Columbia Green Finance Authority Establishment Act of 2017, the DC Green Bank will be a new, innovative policy tool to help…

9.     Credit Analyst – Utilities/Energy Industry

U.S. Bank –  3,601 reviews – Denver, CO

Credit Analysts are encouraged and expected to attend Energy Industry conferences, events, training sessions, etc. in order to gain experience specific to the…
  1. EnergyStorage and Charging Systems Engineer

GILLIG –  6 reviews – Livermore, CA

The Energy Storage and Charging Systems Engineer will be responsible for the development of the energy storage and charging systems electrical design and…
  1. Engineer, Renewable Energy

IGS Energy –  68 reviews – New York, NY

Experience with CHP/Renewable Energy. Understanding of alternative energy technologies. Responsible for the engineering, design and project management of new…

Oil and gas hiring too

Interestingly, the search for “energy” jobs above returned zero oil and gas job openings on the first page. However, oil and gas and related jobs are plentiful on Indeed if you search under the oil and gas sector name. Here are some of the open jobs from that search:

1.     Division Order Analyst

AQYRE Energy – Denver, CO

We provide high level energy consulting with a core focus on oil & gas acquisitions. AQYRE Energy has an innovative approach to a traditional industry….

2.     Landman 1

Bill Barrett Corporation –  4 reviews – Denver, CO

Undergo continuing education classes relating to oil and gas as a means of advancing current knowledge base and keeping up with industry changes….

3.     Senior Gas Specialist (Flared Gas Utilization)

The World Bank Group –  384 reviews – Washington, DC

Minimum 8 years of broad international work experience, preferably in the oil, gas or power industry, and ideally gained in the oil production, gas processing…

4.     Mineral Acquisitions Sales and Landman

L3 Resources – Houston, TX

$30,000 – $150,000 a year

We can teach Oil & Gas, but can’t teach empathy and an engaging personality. L3 Resources is an Oil & Gas mineral rights and royalties acquisition company…

5.     Oil and Gas Field Inspector

Railroad Commission of Texas –  12 reviews – Abilene, TX  +1 location

$3,700 a month

This position offers the opportunity to learn up-to-date oil and gas operations and procedures, regulatory requirements, drilling, production, and…

6.     Sr. Proposal Coordinator

Kiewit Corporation –  897 reviews – Denver, CO 80205 (Northern Denver area)

Kiewit offers construction and engineering services in a variety of markets including transportation, water/wastewater, power, oil, gas and chemical, building…
  1. Process and Mechanical Engineering Department Leader – Denve…

CH2M –  494 reviews – Englewood, CO 80112

Recognized as an Oil & Gas industry leader in gas and liquids processing. Experience working in Conceptual study, FEED, EPC, EPCM, and process optimization on…

8.     Sr. EHS Manager

PDC Energy –  15 reviews – Denver, CO 80203 (Capitol Hill area)

Minimum 10-12 years of experience working within a similar capacity in the oil & gas industry; Maintain knowledge of new regulations and standards as they are…

9.     Senior Manager II, Quality Assurance

T.D. Williamson, Inc. –  8 reviews – Tulsa, OK 74131

Of which a minimum of six (6) of HSE work experience in the oil and gas industry and in an ISO 9001 / TD 16949 / AS 9100 Quality System….

10.  Senior Strategic and Business Development Manager

John Crane –  62 reviews – Chicago, IL

Experience working in a B2B industrial company or in the oil & gas sector is highly desirable. Experience in presenting results and recommendations to senior…

11.  Senior Manager – SEC Reporting

Energy Transfer Partners –  17 reviews – Dallas, TX

In total, ETP currently owns and operates approximately 62,500 miles of natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines….

Electricity sector

An Indeed search under electricity generation returned the following opportunities:

  1. PV Systems Design Engineer

EnSync, Inc. – Menomonee Falls, WI

Wind power generation experience a plus. Provide technical solutions of power and energy sizing for optimizing generation versus load where generation is…
  1. Sr Manager, Engineering and Technical Services, Renewable O&…

NRG Energy –  133 reviews – Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country….

3.     Senior Manager of Energy Forecasting

Southern California Edison –  502 reviews – Rosemead, CA

Join the utility leader that is safely delivering reliable, affordable electricity to our customers for over 125 years….

4.     Store Manager

Tesla Motors –  449 reviews – Fremont, CA  +3 locations

Model 3, our third generation EV, is currently under development. Tesla Energy produces the Powerwall, a residential battery pack, as well as commercial and…

5.     Principal Manager of Energy Contract Management

Southern California Edison –  502 reviews – Rosemead, CA

Experience working at a high level in power procurement, generation project development,. Join the utility leader that is safely delivering reliable, affordable…

6.     Corporate Cost Estimating Manager

General Electric –  2,230 reviews – New York State

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise that helps customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources….

7.     Senior Manager of Energy Asset Resource Optimization

Southern California Edison –  502 reviews – Rosemead, CA

Join the utility leader that is safely delivering reliable, affordable electricity to our customers for over 125 years….

8.     Trade Surveillance and Monitoring Manager

Direct Energy –  389 reviews – Houston, TX

Electricity – Physical and Financial;  ad hoc reporting, data extraction, and analyses for purposes such as Capacity Release testing, Generation Offers testing,…

Texas needs analysts 

  1. Division Order Analyst

Border to Border Exploration, LLC – Austin, TX 78738

Sr. Division Order Analyst. Familiarity and understanding of oil and gas practices, and leasing & mineral rights in the state of Texas….
  1. Total Rewards & Recognition Analyst

Flowserve –  464 reviews – Irving, TX 75062

Flowserve is the recognized world leader in supplying pumps, valves, seals, automation, and services to the power, oil, gas, chemical, and other industries….
  1. Manager of Trading Support

Asset Risk Management – Houston, TX

Headquartered in Houston (with offices in Calgary, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Midland), ARM has been providing comprehensive hedge strategies for oil and gas…

4.     Senior IT Analyst Products and Technology – Houston TX

Baker Hughes –  2,648 reviews – Houston, TX

Experience in Oil & Gas or High Tech Manufacturing industry. IT Analyst – Products & Technology . Baker Hughes Incorporated has an opening for a Sr….

5.     Sr. Production Analyst

DiamondBack –  7 reviews – Midland, TX

Production Analyst – Permian. Create and distribute daily, weekly, and monthly production reports for non-op partners Create monthly SWD allocations, Oil…

6.     Sr. Lease Analyst

DiamondBack –  7 reviews – Midland, TX

Senior Lease Analyst. Oil and Gas Lease provisions Joint Operating Agreements Farm-in and Farm-out Pooling Unitization Rentals Shut-in Surface operations Depth…

7.     Sr Land Analyst – Gulf of Mexico & Exploration

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation –  164 reviews – The Woodlands, TX

Sr Land Analyst – Gulf of Mexico & Exploration. 8 or more years’ oil and gas, land, legal, real estate or other relevant experience….

8.     Sr. Finance Analyst

Honeywell –  4,358 reviews – Houston, TX

Senior FP&A Analyst. Partner with PAS Senior FP&A Manager and HPS BI/GDW Team to drive implementation and adoption of Tableau in PAS globally….

9.     Senior Land Analyst – Division Orders Job

Hess Corporation –  369 reviews – Houston, TX 77010 (Downtown area)

Exposure to oil and gas operations. Laws and regulatory provisions related to oil and gas extraction. Law, Petroleum Land Management, Lease and Title Analyst,…


DiamondBack –  7 reviews – Midland, TX

This position is responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing oil and gas well operations, remote surveillance of general field operations and…

11.  ES&H Technical Analyst Job

Bechtel –  1,369 reviews – Gregory, TX

And oil, gas, and chemicals. Reports to and receives operational direction and functional supervision from the GBU ES&H Manager, GBU Senior ES&H Manager, Safety…

12.  IT End User Prod Sr Analyst

Occidental Petroleum –  92 reviews – Midland, TX

Oil and gas companies, based on equity market capitalization, with more than 40,000 employees and contractors worldwide. IT End User Prod Sr….

13.  Systems Analyst / Senior Systems Analyst – Midland, TX

IES Engineering –  9 reviews – Midland, TX 79701

Systems Analyst / Senior Systems Analyst. Classification as Systems Analyst or Sr. (dba IES Engineering), a privately held multidisciplinary engineering and…

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Photo: Oil & Gas 360


Climbing the energy ladder

Universities are recognizing the need for online and “hybrid” graduate programs to yield MBAs. But what about an advanced business degree tailored specifically to the energy sector?

Graduate university programs like the University of Colorado Denver Business School’s Global Energy Management program—GEM—offer working professionals a chance to advance within the industry, even cross-sector, by gaining management and finance skills applicable to today’s changing energy landscape. The GEM program admits graduates students, most of whom are degreed and already working in an energy field, who want to add energy sector-business knowledge to create value for their career paths with an advanced degree that is focused on the energy industry.


Industry sectors, companies of students & alumni representative of the broad energy sector

The University of Colorado Denver Business School GEM program student and alumni population is representative of the energy business and the professional service industries serving energy companies–law and finance. According to the CU Denver, the student population breaks into these categories: 

  • Oil and gas – 66%
  • Renewables – 10%
  • Utility – 16%
  • Other, Law/Finance – 8%

Ninety-five percent of GEM students are currently working in the energy industry, according to the GEM program’s Director of External Affairs Catherine Steffek.

The program starts cohorts quarterly with a fly-in weekend of concentrated course work in the classroom led by senior faculty and executives in residence from the energy industry. The balance of the term is completed remotely with students on project teams collaborating online from all sectors and locations. Students have come to the program from Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Norway, the UK, Europe, and the Americas. All students have individual access to 12 different energy executives who serve as executives in residence during the 18-month program.

In 2016 when the downturn in oil and gas was just over two years in duration, Oil & Gas 360® talked to GEM’s Catherine Steffek about the strategy of students entering into the program in the past year or two: “You will position yourself to be ahead of the market when the industry picks up again. In 18 months, you’ll have a graduate business degree from an accredited institution that is focused on the energy industry. You’ll be able to understand how the leaders of a company work and think, and how and why decisions are made.”

Students graduate with a B.S. in Global Energy Management.

“It has definitely been a help for me,” Sean Howley, Development Planning Team leader at Noble Energy (ticker: NBL), and a graduate of the GEM program, told Oil & Gas360® in a phone interview. “I have actually had three different positions since I graduated from the program,” Howley said, referring to some of his own moves up the ladder within his company.

New Jobs in Energy: Technology, Innovation and Big Data

Source: Society for Human Resource Management

The GEM students and alumni are from the following companies:

  • Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Baker Hughes, Inc
  • Bill Barrett Corporation
  • CH2M Hill, Inc
  • Chesapeake Energy Corporation
  • Constellation Energy, LLC
  • DCP Midstream, LP
  • Duke Energy
  • Encana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • EOG Resources, Inc
  • Forest Oil Corporation
  • FPD Power Development, LLC
  • GE Power
  • Haliburton Company
  • Hess Corporation
  • Helix Electric, Inc
  • IHS Inc
  • JPMorgan Chase & Company
  • Kodiak Oil & Gas Corporation
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Marathon Oil Corporation
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Newfield Exploration
  • Noble Energy, Inc
  • Occidental Oil & Gas Corporation
  • PDC Energy
  • Pioneer Natural Resources
  • Company
  • QEP Energy Company
  • Renewable Energy Systems, LT D
  • Santos International D&C S
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Company
  • Siemens Industry, Inc
  • SolarCity
  • Solar Energy Systems, LLC
  • Southern California Edison
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission
  • Association, Inc
  • URS Corporation
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • US Bank
  • Venoco, Inc
  • Whiting Petroleum Corporation
  • Williams Production Limited
  • World Bank Group
  • Xcel Energy, Inc

The Global Energy Management Program was started in 2007. It is the first of its kind in the country and has been in operation the longest, according to the University of Colorado. GEM is part of CU Denver’s Business School, which is among the 5% of all business schools worldwide awarded full accreditation by AACSB. The Business School at the University of Colorado Denver has sustained AACSB accreditation at both undergraduate and graduate levels for 25 years. Less than 5% of the world’s 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB accreditation, according to the University of Colorado.

The school reports that 58% of GEM students and alumni have received a promotion or a raise since starting the GEM program.

Save the date: GEM Lunch and Learn – July 14, 2017

The GEM program is hosting a free informational lunch program and presentation for prospective students in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, July 14.  Advanced registration link for the lunch is here.  General information about the GEM program is available here.

Energy Master’s Program Prepares Energy Professionals for Company Leadership Roles - Oil & Gas 360



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