Renewable Energy Technology Schools and Education Programs

Renewable energy refers to energy from naturally replenishing resources, such as the sun, wind, water, biofuels or the earth's surface (geothermal energy). These types of energy sources, like non-renewable energy sources, require technology to harness the energy flow. Renewable energy technology programs can prepare students for a variety of careers focused on sustainability.

Selecting Renewable Energy Technology Schools

A growing number of 2-year and 4-year schools across the country are offering certificate and degree programs for individuals wishing to become engineers, technicians, data analysts or managers in the field of renewable energy. Many options are available at the undergraduate level.

List of Considerations

  • Type of energy source
  • Level of award
  • Technology and faculty

Type of Energy Source

Many renewable energy technology professionals specialize in a specific type of energy source, including solar, wind, hydro, ocean-thermal, geothermal, biomass and wave or tidal action. Students can seek out certificate or degree programs that include focused courses or optional emphases in one of these energy sources.

Level of Award

An individual with a certificate is more suitable for an entry-level job, while those with an associate's or bachelor's degree are fit for mid- to senior-level positions.

Technology and Faculty

Students looking for a certificate or degree program may want to look for schools that offer coursework aligned with the latest environmental technology and tools, taught by professors who have experience in renewable energy technologies. Access to equipment such as solar labs and wind turbines can help prepare students for fieldwork and eventual employment.

Overview of Renewable Energy Technology Education Programs

Renewable Energy Certificate

A renewable energy certificate can help students to prepare for higher education courses or assist in getting them an entry-level position. A certificate program typically consists of about 12-15 credit hours of coursework. Coursework covers:

  • Energy concepts
  • Sustainability
  • Power systems
  • Hybrid fundamentals
  • Green building

Associate of Applied Science in Renewable Energy

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program introduces students to classes that incorporate computer and electronic technology. Course topics in this program may include:

  • Computer information science
  • Industrial electricity
  • Automation and control electronics
  • Fluid power systems
  • Industrial controllers

Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is for students who want a more advanced education and preparation for a renewable energy technology career. Lab coursework may include:

  • Alternative energy technology
  • Instrumentation
  • Conservation principles
  • Economics
  • Sociology

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