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What Is Energy Technology? Definition, Examples and Uses

Apr 17, 2023 ·

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Energy is a basic human necessity. Without it, we could not cool or heat our homes, cook, commute or access the internet. The demand for energy in turn creates a demand for energy technician skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total energy technician employment is expected to exceed 447,000 in the U.S. by 2031.74 At 14%, this growth rate is faster than average.64

A career in energy technology can be exciting for anyone who wants a job that matters and enjoys problem-solving. Are you up for the challenge? If so, keep reading to learn what energy technology is, why it matters, job outlook and more.

What Is Energy Technology?

Energy technology generates, converts, stores and distributes various forms of energy for use in a safe and economically responsible manner to improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Examples of energy sources include gas, oil, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower and more. As the demand for energy increases, so does the need for sustainable, renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydropower.

Renewable energy technologies aren’t only more sustainable, but they’re also more cost-effective. Producing a megawatt-hour of electricity from a wind turbine costs $26 to $50 while producing a megawatt-hour of electricity from the least expensive type of natural gas costs $45 to $74.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy technologies accounted for 24% of utility-scale electricity generation in 2022. The shift toward renewable energy sources calls for a fresh set of knowledge and skills that most aspiring technicians receive from an energy technology program like the one offered at MIAT College of Technology (part of the Universal Technical Institute [UTI] family of schools).1

How Energy Technology Is Used

Multiple sectors within our society rely on energy and power technology.

The most well-known sectors are residential and commercial buildings, as they require lighting, cooling, heating and more. However, energy technology is also crucial to the transportation and manufacturing industries. Both industries rely on energy sources, such as natural gas and coal to stay running.

A few energy and power technology examples include:

  • Converting sunlight into electrical energy through solar panels.
  • Converting wind power into electricity via wind turbines to power homes and businesses.
  • Converting the energy created during coastal tides and currents in the ocean into electric power.
  • Burning the waste in landfills into a fuel that can be used for energy.
  • Using the combustion from burnt coal to create steam that produces electricity.

Energy Technology School

MIAT College of Technology, located in Canton, Michigan, Houston, Texas, offers students up-to-date knowledge about the current state and future of energy technology. Here, students can sharpen their abilities in both non-renewable and renewable energy technologies.

Upon successful completion of MIAT’s Energy Technology Program, students receive an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree as evidence of their training.

The program was developed in direct response to feedback from industry leaders seeking qualified employees. The Energy Technology Program combines training from MIAT’s Wind Power Technician Program and Industrial Maintenance Technician Programs into a single curriculum.

Wind turbine training covers safety standards, wind turbine operation technology and components, renewable energy technologies, electrical theory and more, while the industrial maintenance training teaches students to maintain, diagnose and repair equipment that generates power.

Teaching students both helps them gain a comprehensive set of skills that can be applied across many fields within the energy industry.

Some of the topics covered throughout the program include:

  • Applied physics and precision measuring
  • DC and AC basic electricity
  • Advanced electrical theory
  • Wind technology and components
  • Wind turbine operation
  • Renewable energy sources

The Energy Technology program in Canton, Michigan, takes 16 months to complete, while the program in Houston, Texas, takes 14 months to complete. The difference in length is due to additional course topics.

Energy-focused training programs are also coming to UTI’s Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Lisle, Illinois, campuses. Both campuses will offer the Wind Turbine Technician and Industrial Maintenance Technician Program.

Upon graduating, students will have a foundation of knowledge and entry-level technical skills that future employers can build on.

Energy Technology Career Outlook

According to the BLS, the average median annual salary for energy technicians in the United States was $59,830 in May 2022.60 This means half of the energy technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Energy technology technician skills are in demand across the solar, wind, oil, gas coal, nuclear and power distribution industries. Let’s look at a few of the most common energy technology careers within these industries.

Energy Technology Careers

Graduates of MIAT’s energy technology program  are prepared to pursue one of the following entry-level roles.

  • Installation technicians read blueprints to install energy technologies, such as solar panels. They may also maintain, test, and troubleshoot the systems.
  • Field service technicians diagnose and repair energy technology systems, such as solar panels.
  • Boiler technicians inspect, maintain, and repair boilers and their related components, such as pumps and motors.
  • Plant technicians monitor, maintain and repair power plant equipment and machines that generate power and keep energy on the grid.

Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work.77 Advanced energy technology carers include:

  • Wind field service technicians monitor and repair wind turbine systems. This may consist of climbing up the turbine to address issues. Some wind service technicians travel from wind farm to wind farm, diagnosing and repairing turbines.
  • Traveling field service technicians travel to and from homes, businesses, or power plants to diagnose and repair systems that produce energy.
  • Maintenance technicians work for energy facilities, monitoring and maintaining power generation equipment and industrial machinery.

Energy Technology FAQ

What Is the Importance of Energy Technology?

Energy technology is crucial to our daily lives. Without it, we would not have the ability to power our vehicles, air conditioners or heaters or have warm water. Energy technology also helps reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, ensuring our quality of life will be maintained in a safe, efficient and affordable manner.

Why Should I Study Energy Technology?

Energy technology is an exciting industry with a range of paths students can pursue after graduation.1 Studying energy technology could also be good for current energy technicians interested in gaining the skills vital to the future of the industry.

What Are the Energy Technologies of the Future?

There has been a shift toward renewable energy technologies, such as solar, wind and hydropower.

Train to Become an Energy Technician

We hope our ultimate guide has helped you answer, “What is energy technology and why does it matter?” Trained energy technicians are valuable to our society. Are you ready to train for a career in energy technology?

In as little as 16 months, you could graduate with an AAS degree and be prepared to pursue an energy technician career. Aspiring energy technicians can enroll in the Energy Technology Program at the MIAT Canton, Michigan, or Houston, Texas, campuses.

Still have questions? Request more info online and we’ll connect you with an Admissions Representative! 

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1) UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

60) The Energy Technology and Industrial Maintenance Technician programs prepare graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as wind power technicians or industrial maintenance technicians. Estimated annual salary is for Industrial Machinery Mechanics as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for graduates. UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary. Graduates’ achievements vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as wind power technicians and industrial maintenance technicians, such as installation technicians, field service technicians, boiler technicians and plant technicians. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Industrial Machinery Mechanics (49-9041) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $37,420 to $55,050 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled wind power technicians and industrial maintenance technicians in North Carolina is $27.05 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages, Industrial Machinery Mechanics). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $21.85 and $17.94, respectively.

64) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Machinery Mechanics, BLS projects total employment will increase from 384,800 in 2021 to 447,900 in 2031. UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit for UTI and for MIAT.

74) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Industrial Machinery Mechanics will be 447,900 by 2031. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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