The U.S. Department of Energy offers a wealth of information about energy and the environment at https://www.energy.gov/science-innovation/energy-sources. Visit this site to get a basic understanding of biofuels, renewable energy, fossil fuels, and other topics. Also, visit the Web sites of energy consulting firms to learn about the services they offer and possible career paths.
Ask your science teacher or counselor to arrange an information interview with an energy consultant. Speaking with an energy consultant will provide you with firsthand information regarding work in the field, training opportunities, and the positives and negatives of energy consulting.
Consultants are experts who help organizations solve problems. Energy consultants apply their expertise in one or more energy areas to help address issues that range from reducing power costs, to studying the feasibility of launching major energy projects (such as construction of pipelines or oil platforms in dangerous deep-water areas of the ocean), to ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. External energy consultants are employed by consulting firms such as Hart Energy, or by management consulting/professional services firms such as Deloitte LLP and Booz Allen Hamilton that have energy consulting practices. They work with clients on a project basis, and clients are billed by the hour for consultants’ services. Internal energy consultants work as salaried employees for companies and other organizations, and they provide advice only to their employer. Other energy consultants are self-employed and run their own consulting firms.
The following are examples of typical energy consulting duties: