Minnesota Energy Industry
The energy industry is expecting economic growth to continue trending upward in the coming years and is positioned for expansion. Growth of solar, combined heat & power and related technologies like smart grid and energy storage means there are new developing fields and careers throughout the state.
Looking at the generation mix and its implications on the energy workforce, generation from natural gas is predicted to equal that of coal-fired generation by 2035. However, coal-fired generation will continue to play a significant role in the generation mix through the middle of this century.
Minnesota Energy Careers
Do you want to work with your hands and your head? Are you technically inclined or mechanically minded? Do you like to work outside? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should consider a career in Minnesota’s energy workforce!
Qualified and skilled technicians and engineers are in high demand in all types of energy generation, transmission, and distribution jobs. Students who want to work in the energy industry will be well served to focus on gaining core foundational skills that are transferable and applicable to a wide array of skilled technician jobs like pipeline workers, power line workers, solar panel installers, and wind turbine maintenance workers.
Energy Education in Minnesota
The Minnesota Energy Center serves as an information highway for energy education opportunities throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and University (MnSCU) system. The most critical jobs that need to be replaced are engineers and skilled technicians working in power generation, transmission, and distribution, natural gas, and plant/field operators for all types of energy production. The technician positions require some postsecondary education but less than a bachelor’s degree. The emerging renewable energy industry will continue to generate significant new jobs as technologies continue to advance. The learned skills are far-reaching and transportable across the energy industries.