There are few industries that you could work in which leave you truly able to say that what you do for a living makes a difference. Makes a difference to your local community, to the national interest, and to the world as a whole. A career in Renewable Energy and Engineering is one of those careers.

As people become more aware of the impact and repercussions of carbon and other fossil fuels and are keen to explore greener, more sustainable sources of power, there is a great need for highly skilled, passionate people to work in the industry is only going to continue to grow.

The renewable energy sector comprises of wind, hydro, marine, solar, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to energy sources. Scotland has an abundance of the raw natural ingredients needed to power the budding renewables sector.

The renewables sector

Not only is the renewable energy sector a massively aspirational one to work in, it’s also an incredibly exciting one to be a part of at the moment.

The industry is undergoing an unprecedented period of growth and development, and is having a real impact on the way that businesses operate throughout the world.

The rise of the global renewable energy sector has been fascinating to watch. What started as something that was seen by many as idealistic, and even fanciful, in its infancy has grown into a multi-billion pound global industry that is set to get even bigger – and more important – in the next few years.

It’s not just a sector that boasts great career opportunities, it’s a sector that allows you to contribute positively to the production of new, clean energy that will help to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions around the world. As a part of renewable energy sector, you will be helping to build a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Facts and figures – renewable energy

  • 55% of all new electricity capacity in 2017 was contributed by renewable sources
  • In 2016, there was an 8% global increase in renewable capacity being built, despite a decrease in investment of 23%
  • There has been a decline in the costs associated with building renewable products – meaning that there will be even more job opportunities in the future
  • In 2015, there were 234,000 full-time workers in low carbon and renewable energy related employment in the UK
  • Over 600 companies in the UK are involved in wind and marine energy related activities – including large national utility companies, small independent businesses, and everything in between – and the number is still rising

A career in renewable energy

With the renewable energy industry continuing to thrive, so too does job creation. As an industry that is still growing and yet to reach its full potential, there is still a increasing number of jobs becoming available in the sector.

What’s more, the current lack of enough skilled people to work in the industry means that there are more and more opportunities for those who do have the necessary specialist skills to develop and advance in their careers.

Couple this with growing demand for skilled engineers in the sector, and this also leads to increased long-term job security.

The growing diversity of the renewable energy sector also means that there are only going to be increased, and more varied, opportunities for those that have the expert knowledge needed to enter a career in the industry.

Because everything is still so new in renewable energy, you will be able to work with the newest cutting-edge technology. Being able to operate the most advanced equipment available will ensure that you are able to stay relevant in the industry with continuous professional development a daily part of your work. This will only help to increase your job prospects and general employability.

Renewable energy doesn’t just offer opportunities in the UK. It’s a worldwide industry that offers the chance to travel and experience what the world has to offer, from the North Sea to Dubai and South America.

A career in renewable energy will be challenging as well as hugely rewarding. And there will be more opportunities for career development and advancement than in many other sectors.

How do I break into the industry?

The answer is simple; by gaining the appropriate skills and knowledge to succeed.

How do you gain this specialist know-how? Wind Turbine Maintenance (Technical Knowledge) at Fife College aims to provide the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for a career in the field of wind turbine technology. It is based on the standards set by industry in the UK, and focuses on developing the generic employability skills needed for success in the workplace through a variety of practical experiences in the energy area.

Over the course of the year on the course, you’ll study a variety of units designed to increase your knowledge of key areas within wind turbine technology. These include:

  • Health and safety in the power industry
  • Electrical theory and principles for wind turbine technology
  • Mechanical theory and principles of wind turbine technology
  • Hydraulic theory and principles of wind turbine technology
  • Control and instrumentation theory and principles of wind turbine technology
  • Theory and background of wind turbines/energy
  • Wind turbine systems technology

What do I need to get in?

The Wind Turbine course is set at SCQF Level 6, meaning that you’ll need three National 5s at a C or above (or equivalent) to meet the entry requirements. However, the College also takes relevant industrial experience into account, and you should contact them to discuss this.

Read more on the course

What would I do next?

The course provides the underpinning knowledge for a Modern Apprenticeship, and equips you with the skills you’ll need to undertake various roles working with wind turbines, and in the renewable energy industry in general.

It also gives you the qualification you’d need to continue your studies at the College at degree level, through HNC: Electrical Engineering, or HNC: Engineering Systems. These HNCs are the same level of study as year 1 of a university course and could allow you to progress to university in the 2nd year of a renewable energy degree.

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