For Scotland to become green, we must produce four times as much renewable energy as we do right now.

To do this, the energy industry will help implement Energy Transition across every sector. This will involve switching fossil fuels for friendlier energy sources like solar, wind and wave power.

A drawing of a windfarm

Your prospects in an energy career

Energy – which is perhaps the most recognised green industry – will need almost 15,000 new workers to bring net zero to life, according to the Sector Skills Assessments.

Net zero has increased the focus on the energy industry. This means there’ll be more training and job opportunities for you to take advantage of.

As Scotland works towards net zero, there’ll be an increased demand for almost all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles.

Current roles within energy

Most energy workers already have the required skills to move to new roles within the sector.

If you come from an oil and gas background already, your current skillset could mean you’re suitable for a role helping to deliver Energy Transition, such as:

  • civil engineering
  • Surveying
  • construction project management
  • control systems engineering
  • aeronautical design
  • electrical technician
  • rig and crane operatives

You may benefit from additional training as new processes and approaches to renewable power are developed.

New roles within energy

Cleaner energy practices, such as hydrogen power, will create opportunities for labourers and technical workers in production and distribution roles, such as:

  • Solar panel fabrication
  • Marine turbine designer
  • Wind farm maintenance
  • Biomass process operative
  • Repair of gearing mechanisms
  • High voltage cable technician

Energy and the circular economy

The energy industry is already taking steps to contribute towards a circular economy.  

At least 60% of oil and gas platforms in the Northern and Central North Sea will be decommissioned by 2030. This will save materials as drilling platform topsides alone weigh 950,000 tonnes.  

Discussions are ongoing about how to reuse and remake these materials once their life at sea is over. 

How to break into the energy industry

College or university

There are lots of college courses available in green energy subjects such as:

  • electronics
  • technology
  • engineering

Working towards either an HNC or HND qualification in any of these disciplines will help you apply for an energy role or progress to university.

For specialist roles in engineering, design and surveying, you may need to go to university.


Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships are fantastic routes into a green energy career. An apprenticeship allows you to work towards a qualification and gain real workplace experience, while earning a wage. There are apprenticeships available in:

  • engineering
  • design
  • data coordination
  • IT technical support
  • chartered surveying

Green energy courses

Brush up on your knowledge of renewable energy sources, including how you can incorporate them into your home. Discover Reed’s range of courses and training.   

If you ever find yourself wondering how renewable energy sources are able to power the world, you can find out with Open Learn’s free online introductory course.  

Learn about solar power, one of the most popular forms of renewable energy, including how it’s generated and distributed, with the University of Aberdeen’s short postgraduate course.  

A diagram of some green industries

Further information

For further information about the job roles and courses mentioned, including current vacancies, visit Scottish Renewables. Energy career pathways and qualifications can be found in this list compiled by

Explore other industries


Scotland’s nature-based industries represent the second largest source of net emissions after transport - find out how green energy resources can help.


Technological innovations that lower energy loss, reduce waste and improve the management of resources will help us meet net zero.

Construction and built environment

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is essential to realising the net zero target for Scotland.  

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