Renewable Energy Masters and Graduate Degree Program Information

Master's degree programs in renewable and clean energy are relatively new and rare, and are generally offered as engineering degrees. Graduate certificate programs in renewable energy are becoming more available, as are concentrations in renewable energy within environmental and policy management graduate degrees.

Essential Information

Master's and graduate degree programs in renewable energy are ideal for students who have an interest in protecting the environment. Students in these programs learn about the various sources of renewable energy, as well as the economic and practical realities of using those sources.

  • Program Levels: Master's degree and graduate certificate program
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree and GRE scores
  • Program Length: 2 years for master's degree, 1 year for graduate certificate program
  • Online Availability: These programs are normally available online
  • Other Requirements: A thesis or project may be required

Master's Degree and Graduate Certificate Program in Renewable Energy

Student's enrolled in renewable energy programs can expect to learn about energy research methods and advanced renewable energy systems. Some other common topics include:

  • Solar energy
  • Hydrogen energy
  • Wind power energy
  • Electrical power processing
  • Fuel cell science
  • Thermodynamics

Popular Career Options

According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (www.pewclimate.org), several states in the U.S. have to meet mandatory standards to reduce energy reduction by using renewable sources. These mandates have given rise to the demand for renewable energy engineers, specialists and experts. Some positions in the field that are open to graduates of a master's degree program include:

  • Energy consultant
  • Solar panel equipment engineer
  • Wind power equipment engineer
  • Carbon sales adviser
  • Energy auditor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide job outlook information on renewable energy careers, O*Net Online listed that energy engineers were projected to see a median annual wage of $94,240 in 2014. Additionally, energy auditors or consultants were projected to see median wages of $67,280 in 2014.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

As a way to highlight their expertise in the field of renewable energy, graduates may consider becoming certified. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners offers various levels of certification to professionals in the renewable energies industry. Certifications are available for solar thermal installers, small wind installers and PV installers. Individuals must typically demonstrate their professional experience and pass an examination before they are eligible to gain certification.

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