With the focus on the environment, a hot new career opportunity awaits those with expertise in energy efficiency or environmental topics. Being environmentally friendly is a trend among big business right now. Not only does it make a company look better in their marketing efforts, but it saves them money too. This emphasis on being “green” means that career opportunities for environmental and energy consultants will continue to explode over the next decade or so.
Energy consultants provide expertise and advise companies how to cut costs by becoming more energy efficient. As an energy consultant, you may analyze your clients’ utility bills to track patterns in energy usage. You may also help them devise the most energy efficient means by which to run their factory, heat their office buildings, or run their equipment.
Environmental consulting is a broader area. Environmental consultants may deal with energy consumption, but can also advise businesses on areas where they can cut back on consumption, reduce waste and shrink their overall environmental footprint. Environmental consultants could be specialists in a number of different areas, including waste reduction, natural resource management, wildlife preservation, water pollution, and air or land contamination.
To become an energy and environmental consultant, you should have a degree in engineering or geology. An advanced degree in engineering, geology, or business would put you ahead of your competition at the start. You should also have the ability to communicate with upper level executives and decision makers comfortably, because these are the people you will be dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
To be successful as a consultant, education alone won’t be enough. You’ll need real-world, hands-on experience and a track record that proves you know your stuff. So if you’re aspiring to be the next big environmental consultant for big business, you’ll need to gain some experience working for someone else before breaking out on your own.
If you’re an expert in any area relating to environmental concerns or energy management, and you already have several years experience and a proven track record of improving processes, reducing waste, and saving money, you’re in a great position to start your own consulting business. If your experience lies in a specific area, you may have an added advantage over your competition because you’ll be considered a specialist.
Consider the following things when deciding whether a career in energy or environmental consulting is right for you:
o Are you an adept researcher?
o Do you have relationships with potential clients?
o Are you comfortable both in the field and in a business suit, giving a presentation to a group of senior level executives?
o Are you a problem solver?
o Are you able to take complex information and break it down into easily understandable terminology for laypeople?
o Are you a skilled communicator?
o Do you have specialized knowledge in the energy and/or environmental industries that could help businesses improve their processes, save money, and reduce waste?
o Are you comfortable networking, building up a list of contacts and marketing your own services to organizations?
o Do you constantly stay abreast of new developments in your field?
If you’ve answered yes to most of the above questions, you’re probably very well-suited to independent consulting. Take advantage of your expertise, and start owning your own talent. You’re ready to embark on the hottest new career path in independent consulting!
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