The Energy cluster uses your interests in helping people and passion for your community to prepare for careers in the energy sectors. Energy workers find rewarding experience in keeping the energy flowing. Responsibilities may include accessing natural resources used as fuel, directly assisting the utility and non-utility generation of power, constructing, operating and maintaining infrastructure such as power lines, power and pipeline construction, fuel distribution, and the manufacture of electrical transmission equipment such as solar and wind equipment. The cluster also deals with energy efficiency and sustainability.
Hiring of energy efficiency jobs makes up the larger portion of state total energy workers. Job prospects will be good those employed in transmission, distribution and energy storage. Electric power generation jobs in solar and traditional fossil fuel generation are in demand. Fossil fuels make up the largest segment of employment related to fuels; however, alternative power is in high demand.
Employment Projections: 2016-2026*
Energy efficiency employers expect to hire the most workers at about a 9% growth annually. Although there is a relatively good outlook for the energy industry, employers in Virginia reported that three occupations in this cluster are the most difficult occupations to hire for; technical or mechanical support, management, and installation workers. The reasons for this difficulty are lack of experience, training, or technical skills; need for industry specific knowledge, skills and interest, and need for certifications and education.
*NOTE: The methodology for classifying occupations within the cluster/pathway system has been updated since the previous data cycle (2014-24), so 2016-26 Trailblazers employment projection data may not be comparable to data from previous cycles.
|Selected Occupation(s)||Employed in Virginia
|Annual Virginia Median Wage||Predominant Level of Education|
|Electrical Power-line Installers and Repairers||2,972||$66,850||Associate/some College and Training/Certification|
|Gas Plant Operators||357||$71,930||High School or less and Training/Certification|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation||841||$81,890||Associate/some College and Training/Certification|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters||14322||$47,270||High School or less and Training/Certification|
|Electrical Engineers||6,443||$100,170||Bachelor’s or more|
|Mechanical Engineers||9,997||$92,870||Bachelor’s or more|
- Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2017.
- Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Long-Term Occupational Projections, 2016-2026.
- Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE Administrative Planning Guide (APG) – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. The APG is organized by career clusters, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
A resource for students and counselors
Career Planning Guide – includes an easy way for students and counselors to look for courses to further career goals. One can search for occupations, browse by Career Clusters or favorite academic subjects.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
- Energy Cluster Information – coming soon
- Checklist for Developing Career Clusters Plans of Study (Word)
Sample Academic and Career Plans of Study
School divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Energy:
- Energy Sustainability and Efficiency – to be released soon
- Energy Transmission, Distribution and Storage – to be released soon
- Fuels Production – to be released soon
- Power Generation – to be released soon
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) – to be released soon
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
Report: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Business Management & Administration – coming soon
Cluster Analysis Document for Virginia
- Center for Energy Workforce Development
- Get Into Energy Get Into STEM
- National Energy Education Development
- PHET Interactive Simulations
- WindWise Curriculum
- Renewable Energy Classroom Kit Lending Library
- Switch Energy Video Series
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.