What is an Energy Auditor?

If you’re looking for “green” jobs that help protect the environment, you may want to consider becoming an energy auditor. Most people are becoming more energy-conscious with today’s growing threats of climate change, pollution, rising sea levels, and natural resource scarcity. Yet, America is still ranked the #1 producer of greenhouse gases in the world, according to California State University Northridge. The U.S. population also consumes 25 percent of the globe’s fossil fuels each year. That’s why energy auditors are becoming more prevalent in construction trades. Energy auditors are trained professionals who analyze buildings to help home and business owners find strategies to lower energy usage. Energy auditors strive to reduce clients’ carbon footprints while also saving money on utilities. Below we’ve created a brief job profile to determine if energy auditing is your ideal career match.

What Energy Auditors Do

Energy auditors carefully inspect clients’ properties inside and out to calculate exactly how much energy is being consumed. They’ll perform various assessments, such as the blower-door test to detect air seepage. Energy auditors have thermometers, volt meters, amp probes, sling psychrometers, and other tools in their arsenal. Most use data logging software to organize their findings. Auditors then compose a comprehensive report listing their recommendations to maximize energy efficiency. Improvements could include insulating the attic, sealing windows, repairing duct leaks, installing programmable thermostats, choosing energy efficient doors, replacing HVAC systems, and upgrading to LED lighting. Energy auditors may also help property owners file paperwork for energy tax incentives, according to the US Department of Energy.

Where Energy Auditors Work

It’s common for home inspectors, real estate agents, architects, electricians, and other general constructors to double as energy auditors. The AHIT reports that over 1.2 million people call themselves energy auditors. Most are employed by utility companies, HVAC firms, home inspection services, insurance carriers, and government agencies. Another large percentage of energy auditors are self-employed and own their own small businesses. Some may work for construction companies to build energy efficient homes. The majority of energy auditors are employed full-time and travel frequently to clients’ properties. Most of their workday is spent on their feet and crawling through tight attic or basement spaces.

How to Become an Energy Auditor

Educational requirements for energy auditors vary considerably. Energy auditors typically must hold at least a post-secondary certificate in sustainable energy or energy innovation. Around 25 percent of energy auditors obtain an associate degree from an accredited community college or technical school. A four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture could also be useful. Individuals with only a high school diploma could choose enrolling in the AHIT Energy Auditor training program instead. Energy auditors generally will work as apprentices to gain one or two years of experience. Although it’s not required, many pursue the Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) credential from the Association of Energy Engineers by passing a 130-question examination.

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Overall, energy auditors inspect buildings and analyze data to identify energy-saving measures that can be utilized for lowering gas emissions. Energy auditors can assume salaried, freelance, or consulting positions to provide suggestions on alternative energy sources that will boost efficiency. Certified energy auditors are rewarded with an average annual salary of $58,257, which is equivalent to $28 per hour. Becoming an energy auditor is a rewarding career path for eco-friendly people to help conserve and protect our Earth’s most precious resources.