Becoming a Renewable Energy Engineer
The UK energy sector is changing. By 2020, the UK government has pledged that all energy will come from renewable sources, which signals a growing demand for Renewable Energy Engineering contractors.
If you're currently an engineer, now could be a good time for you to become a contractor. We've outlined how to get started in our guide.
How to become a Renewable Energy Engineer
Before securing a role in engineering, t's likely that you will need to obtain a relevant degree. It is also desirable for you to undertake a placement year in the industry.
Before becoming a contractor, it's often preferable for you to have a few years of experience as a permanent employee, as often you will be working on your own and other employees will not be able to aid in training you.
Clients will be interested most importantly in your experience and what you can offer them. This means your CV needs to look as appealing as possible, have a look at our guide to writing a CV for more information.
Thinking about becoming a contractor?
If you're thinking about taking control of your career and working for yourself, we're here to help. For any advice starting up or finding a contract, get in touch with our team.
How do I find work as an Energy Engineer?
Below are some of the most popular options when it comes to finding a contract:
Using recruitment sites
Recruitment sites and niche-specific agencies who specialise in one particular area of renewable energy are the most obvious ways to find work. By becoming a member of their network you then have a direct source which can send you regular updates on upcoming contracts and news in your sector.
Visit useful sites such as:
Contacting clients directly
Another option is contacting companies directly. Now not all companies will have their information published for all to see, so online community sites such as LinkedIn may allow you to search for a point of contact within the company, again it may be a hunting game in finding their details, however, there is no harm in also sending your CV in the post and by email once you have their details, with a covering letter explaining what contract work you are looking for and what you can offer them.
LinkedIn is not the most obvious source when searching for a new contract, and it is very rare that you will actually find work using LinkedIn, however it is a good way to build up your network, get some strong points of contact within the Renewable Energy sector and a way to make people aware of when you are looking for a new contract. For more information visit our guide to LinkedIn.
How much could I earn as a Renewable Energy Engineer?
Daily rates usually start at £300 and can go up to £1,000 per day. It depends on your experience, the type of project and specialist skills. The good news is some of the highest-earning consultants can earn in excess of £1,000 per day.
Daily rates as with any sector are often linked to supply and demand. With the high industry demand, especially in solar photovoltaics (PV) sector; a 46% growth forecast over the period 2018 to 2023; and a lack of skilled contractors available within this sector; Renewable Energy Engineers can demand higher rates of pay.
Advantages of working as a Renewable Energy Engineering contractor
- Making a difference - The Renewable Energy sector is unique, as it gives you the chance to make a more sustainable future for generations.
- Prospects - A large number of projects are the ‘first‘ of their kind within this sector, giving you the opportunity of gaining invaluable skills that only a handful of, or no other contractors hold.
- Higher rates of pay - With the demand high and the supply ratio low, contracting within this sector makes you a highly desirable candidate, giving you a greater opportunity to negotiate a higher rate of pay, which is only fair as unlike permanent employees, you do not get holiday or sick pay, giving you a greater chance of a higher rate.
- Freedom - You can choose which contracts you take on and the length of time you work. You could take a contract in the North Sea followed by a contract in Dubai. The choice is yours!
- Experience - The more contracts you take on the greater your practical and managerial skills. Giving you a wider choice of projects and the ability to charge higher daily rates.
- Lower taxes - Trading through your own limited company is the most tax efficient way possible. This is to be expected, after all, as a contractor, you do not get sick pay, holiday pay, and have to manage your own tax affairs. However, with a good accountant you don't need to worry about limited company administration.
We've been providing expert accountancy advice and helping contractors to focus on doing what they do best since 1992. Get in touch with us for more information.
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