Finding Your Career Path in Energy Management

03/11/2013 |

The facility management industry is expanding, evolving, and exciting

The energy field is expanding and creating many new career opportunities. Already I have seen new fields of jobs not only in energy, but in manufacturing and high-tech facility management, which expands the scope of an FM’s duties as well as the need for qualified energy managers. Perhaps due to some of these shifts and changes within the facility management field, it is likely that some existing jobs will become obsolete and that your career may need to shift likewise.

A good starting point is acquiring education and knowledge in some of these new aspects of facility management. Because the energy field is expanding, we need more experts on the newer subjects. It’s important to differentiate your knowledge by having a degree, certificate, or some accreditation (especially if you lack experience). For example, if you want to become an HVAC technician/consultant or an energy manager, you might want to pursue some training and certifications from BOMA, AEE, and USGBC. Examples of these earned titles include Certified Energy Manager, Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, and LEED Accredited Professional (AP).

Eric A. Woodroof, Ph.D., is the Chairman of the Board for the Certified Carbon Reduction Manager (CRM) program and he has been a board member of the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Program since 1999. His clients include government agencies, airports, utilities, cities, universities and foreign governments. Private clients include IBM, Pepsi, GM, Verizon, Hertz, Visteon, JP Morgan-Chase, and Lockheed Martin.

If you seek a career in the sustainability field, you should be aware of the relevant regulations, industry standards, and trends. You should learn and study terms like corporate social responsibility and scope 1 emissions, understand what they represent, and know how to report them. On these topics, the Certified Carbon Reduction Manager Program may help you learn the necessary skills that lead to high-value jobs.

If you require more basic training, there may be subsidized opportunities in your area. Some states have re-training programs that offer free classes. For example, in Los Angeles from 2009-2011, I taught a few workforce development courses on carbon and energy. They were 5-day training classes provided at no cost to the students. Although that training opportunity has expired, I have seen similar examples in other states.

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