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Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Competency Model

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) worked with technical and subject matter experts from the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL), and several industry associations to develop a competency model for renewable energy. The model supports workforce preparation for jobs in energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and diversify the U.S. energy system. The model is designed to evolve along with changing skill requirements.

In 2017, the model was revised to incorporate foundational workplace health and safety skills from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Program designed to help protect America's workforce and create safe, healthy, and productive workplaces. For more information, download the Summary of Changes.


North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Logo
Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Logo

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Renewable Energy Competency Model

Renewable Energy Building Blocks Pyramid

<strong>1.1 Interpersonal Skills</strong> Displaying skills to work with people. <strong>1.2 Integrity</strong> Displaying accepted social and work behaviors. <strong>1.3 Professionalism</strong> Maintaining a professional presence and adhering to ethical standards. <strong>1.4 Initiative</strong> Demonstrating a commitment to effective job performance. <strong>1.5 Dependability and Reliability</strong> Displaying responsible behaviors at work. <strong>1.6 Lifelong Learning</strong> Demonstrating a commitment to self development and improvement. <strong>2.1 Science</strong> Knowing and applying scientific principles and methods to solve problems. <strong>2.2 Basic Computer Skills</strong> Using information technology and related applications to convey and retrieve information. <strong>2.3 Mathematics</strong> Using mathematics to solve problems. <strong>2.4 Reading</strong> Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents. <strong>2.5 Writing</strong> Using standard business English to write messages to co-workers and reports to managers and associates. <strong>2.6 Communication: Listening and Speaking</strong> Giving full attention to what others are saying and speaking in English well enough to be understood by others. <strong>2.7 Critical and Analytical Thinking</strong> Using logical thought processes to analyze information and draw conclusions. <strong>2.8 Information Literacy</strong> Functional and critical thinking skills related to information, media, and technology. <strong>3.1 Business Fundamentals</strong> Knowledge of business and management principles.  The knowledge and skills that enable individuals to understand the relationship between own job and goals and operations of company and industry. <strong>3.2 Teamwork</strong> Developed capacities used to work with others. <strong>3.3 Adaptability and Flexibility</strong> Adjusting to changing work requirements. <strong>3.4 Marketing and Customer Focus</strong> Actively looking for ways to identify market demands and meet the customer, client, or stakeholder need. <strong>3.5 Planning, Organizing, and Scheduling</strong> Demonstrating the ability to work within a schedule using prescribed procedures. <strong>3.6 Problem Solving and Decision-making</strong> Applying problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to help grow the business and/or to resolve workplace conflict. <strong>3.7 Working with Tools and Technology</strong> Having capability to operate and troubleshoot electric, electronic, and mechanical equipment and products, as appropriate. <strong>3.8 Checking, Examining, and Recording</strong> Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic format. <strong>3.9 Sustainable Practices</strong> Understanding the concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. <strong>4.1 Fundamentals of Energy and Power</strong> Knowledge of the basic and emerging principles and concepts that impact the generation, transport, installation, operation, and maintenance of technologies and related equipment used to produce energy. <strong>4.2 Energy Efficiency</strong> Knowledge of the basic and emerging principles and concepts that promote energy conservation and efficiency while reducing the dependency on fossil fuels. <strong>4.3 Renewable Energy Technologies</strong> Producing sustainable, clean energy from sources such as the sun, earth’s heat, wind, plants, and water. <strong>4.4 Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement</strong> Ensure product and process meets quality system requirements as defined by customer and product specifications. <strong>4.5 Policies, Laws, and Regulations</strong> Compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations that impact the energy industry. <strong>4.6 Health, Safety, and Security</strong> Compliance with the procedures necessary to ensure a safe and healthy work environment, as appropriate. <strong>5.1 Biomass</strong> Generation of power for heat or electricity from organic, nonfood, and renewable resources. <strong>5.2 Solar</strong> Systems that utilize solar energy or convert it into other usable forms, such as electricity and heat. <strong>5.3 Wind</strong> Conversion of wind’s kinetic energy to mechanical or electrical energy. <strong>5.4 Geothermal</strong> Using thermal energy contained in the earth to supply heat directly or convert it to mechanical or electrical energy. <strong>5.5 Water</strong> Utilization of power derived from the energy of moving water. <strong>5.6 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Energy</strong> Systems that produce power from a fuel through an electrochemical process. Click here to search for O*NET Occupational Competencies Profiles