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 their flow. Renewable energy technology programs can prepare students for a variety of sustainability-focused careers.

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

Schools with Renewable Energy Technology

These institutions offer programs in renewable energy technology.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition*
Northwest Michigan College Traverse City, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $6,163 In-state Undergraduate; $7,902 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Heartland Community College Normal, IL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $8,250 In-state Undergraduate; $12,240 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA 4-year, Private Certificate, Master's $45,300 Undergraduate; $26,541 Graduate
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $8,838 In-state Undergraduate; $11,792 In-state Graduate
SUNY - Canton Canton, NY 4-year, Public Training program $270** In-state Undergraduate per credit; $453** Out-of-state Undergraduate per credit
Illinois State University - Normal Normal, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,666 In-state Undergraduate; $21,482 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Appalachian State University Boone, NC 4-year, Public Master's $4,518 In-state Graduate; $17,060 Out-of-state Graduate
Lane Community College Eugene, OR 2-year, Public Associate's $4,047 In-state Undergraduate; $9,213 Out-of-state Undergraduate

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); **School Websites(2016-2017)

School Selection Criteria

There are several factors to consider when choosing a renewable energy technology school.

  • Some programs have emphases in certain energy sources, like solar, wind, hydro, ocean-thermal, geothermal, etc.
  • Certificates prepare students for entry-level positions while an associate's or bachelor's would quality graduates for higher-level positions.
  • Look for faculty with experience in renewable energy technologies.
  • Access to equipment such as solar labs and wind turbines may prepare students for fieldwork and eventual employment.

Renewable Energy Certificate

A renewable energy certificate prepares students for higher education courses or assists in getting them an entry-level position. A certificate program typically consists of about 12-15 credit hours.

Associate of Applied Science in Renewable Energy

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) introduces students to classes that incorporate computer and electronic technology.

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.

Renewable energy programs are offered at the certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree and master's degree levels; when choosing a program the first thing to consider is which degree level you plan to pursue. Reviewing the program course options can help determine which schools offer programs that are best suited to your interests.

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