Top 5 Renewable Energy Careers


Wind-farm Developer

In an industry that’s growing at a shocking clip – by 45 percent in 2007, says the American Wind Energy Association – the opportunities are practically endless. Wind farms -- those huge, sprawling groups of turbines that spot wide-open, high-wind areas all over the world -- are popping up in still-increasing numbers, sending megawatt on megawatt of relatively clean power to the grid. With the increasing success of offshore wind-farm development, the industry can only grow.

Those who have the talent to put together these projects from the ground up can find tremendous success in today’s renewable-energy market. Securing the land, the power purchaser and the legal permissions, and facing a building trend toward anti-farm lawsuits and government regulation is not an easy task. However, if you have the drive to get it done, wind-farm development can be a moneymaker. When huge utility companies express interest, which they’re doing at an increasing rate, dollar signs follow.

Developing a wind farm can also be an extraordinarily fulfilling career if you happen to care about cleaning up the electrical grid. Wind plays a truly significant role in displacing coal and nuclear power. It has a long way to go in making a big dent, but it’s the current best bet. That alone makes wind-power development a top job in renewable energy. The profits don’t hurt, either.

To familiarize yourself with the initial steps involved, check out the AWEA’s 10 Steps in Building a Wind Farm.

Negotiating such massive-scale involvement in wind power isn’t for everyone. So, the No.1 job on our list takes a more hands-on approach to harnessing wind energy.