Online Renewable Energy Courses and Degree Programs
Read about your options for online study in the renewable energy field, including degree and certificate programs. Explore the course topics covered by these programs and classes. Find out what it's like to take renewable energy courses in an online format.
What Types of Online Renewable Energy Courses and Degree Programs are Available?
There are a few online educational opportunities in renewable energy that can earn you a certificate or a master's degree. Certificate programs aimed at architects, designers, contractors and project managers are available as a way to increase your knowledge, skills and marketability. Master's degree programs are limited, but available as a specialty within an engineering department.
|Degree Levels Available||Certificate and master's|
|Common Courses||Renewable energy technology, environmental economics, green buildings, environmental sustainability|
|Online Learning||Learn through forum discussions, broadcast lectures, video conferencing; requires high-speed internet connection|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||master's degree: 8% ( for Environmental Engineer ); certificate or associate's degree: 96% ( for Wind Turbine Technicians); 105% ( for Solar Photovoltaic Installers);|
|Median Salary (2018)||master's degree: $87,620 ( for Environmental Engineer); certificate or associate's degree: $54,370 ( for Wind Turbine Technicians); $42,680 ( for Solar Photovoltaic Installers);|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn in These Programs?
Online non-credit courses are designed for anyone wanting to learn more about green energy and may be taken individually and in any order. Some courses can lead to certification or increase your skill set for more job opportunities. Courses available may be similar to the following:
- Solar energy applications
- Biofuel production
- Building analyst
- Compliance inspection
- Green supply chain
- Adopting green business practices
Online professional certificate programs and non-credit courses are designed for professionals in the broad field of green energy and also for those with a desire to learn about this emerging technology. Professional certificate courses typically consist of a certain number of required courses for graduation and include topics such as green buildings, environmental economics, energy auditing, introduction to renewable energy and green solutions for the home.
Master's degree programs in sustainable engineering are geared towards those with a bachelor's degree in engineering and a desire to develop expertise or participate in cutting-edge research in this emerging field. Specialty tracks may be offered in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, environmental or watershed sustainability and alternative and renewable energy technology. Thesis and non-thesis options may be available. Core courses may include topics such as the following:
- Environmental economics
- Sustainability and climate change
- Industrial ecology
- Impact assessment
- Evaluating life cycles
How Do Online Programs Work?
Online master's degree programs may include video conferencing from distance education classrooms in addition to online broadcasts, lectures, coursework and asynchronous classes. A high-speed Internet connection is required. Communication with your instructors is typically through online discussion boards and through e-mail. Certificate and individual courses are typically delivered as asynchronous classes via the Web.