If you are entering college or if you are already enrolled and can’t decide on a major, you might want to consider the energy industry. When deciding on a major you need to look at what kind of job suits your talents. One important issue is to look at the job market as a whole and determine where it might be in the next 5 to 10 years. In the world of employment opportunities there is one area still expanding, still hiring and that is in the energy economy, clean renewable energy. A recent report entitled “The Clean Energy Economy”, states that between 1998 and 2007 the number of jobs in the clean energy economy grew nearly two and half times faster than the overall job market during the same time frame. With national incentives and funds for clean energy provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) the energy economy is the most exciting developing area of our economy for future graduates. The ARRA provides $61.3 billion in spending and loans for green energy technology including more than $500 million for the training of green-collar workers by the Department of Labor, $400 million for electric vehicle technologies and $2.5 billion for energy efficiency research. It all adds up to a brighter future for you, the energy economy and the greater health of our planet.
On an individual note there are specific jobs that, depending on your preference, can provide a good source of income. Anything from construction of transmission lines for wind energy, truck drivers for transportation of wind turbine parts, Geologists, Engineers, specialized Attorneys and the Right of Way Agent.
The Right of Way Agent, for instance, had typically been unknown. In the past the only way to secure this type of career was to know someone and to be personally trained. Nationally there were a relatively small number of people with the unique qualifications and experience to do the job. Those men and women traveled to where the work took them. Right of way is not limited to just natural gas exploration. Right of Way Agents are needed in telecommunications for cell tower construction, road improvements and water/sewer lines for cities. Cable companies still need to negotiate for fiber optic lines. With wind farms like Wolf Ridge in Denton, TX dotting the landscape there will be a need for new transmission lines. And of course, with the introduction of drilling in the various natural gas shale play locations around the United States you can see why there is a need to educate and train a new generation of Right of Way Agents.
Don Valden of TRWA Land Services has been an agent for over 30 years. “I was introduced to the industry by a family friend. I had never heard of a Right of Way Agent before but I knew I wanted to utilize my real estate background and the skills in negotiating that I had learned in sales.” He quickly discovered that he had made a smart career choice. With the boom of the Barnett Shale Valden, one of the first agents buying right of way, also recognized the need for that new generation of Right of Way Agents. He began teaching the skills he had honed during those years as an agent at the American Right Of Way Acadamy.
Agents today need to be computer literate, have a state notary and either a Real Estate background or formal education in the industry. States differ in the qualifications they require to negotiate easements. Texas requires an individual to have a Right of Way License procured through the Texas Real Estate Commission. In Florida you will need a Real Estate License. And, companies that contract agents are looking for real professionals, someone who has taken the time to learn the craft and is well versed in it.
There are several avenues you can take when securing a career in the energy industry. Texas Christian University offers a wide variety of degrees such as, Geologist, Petroleum Engineering, Energy Environmentalist and Land Management, through the Energy Institute of the Neeley School of Business, TCU Energy Institute . American Right Of Way Acadamy Center in Fort Worth, Texas Right of Way offers comprehensive one day training in Right of Way and Title Abstracting. If you want to see more job opportunities in the energy field just try searching for green jobs online. Because we have begun to research and utilize cleaner renewable options in energy it is a new world coming and the future is looking brighter.