Overview | Specific Work Activities | Common Work Activities | Related Occupations | Skills and Abilities | Working Conditions | Physical Demands | Knowledge | Interests | Wages | Current Employment | Outlook |
Helpful High School Courses | Preparation | Related Educational Programs | Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration
At a Glance
- Help clients determine ways to cut their energy use and increase efficiency
- Work with people throughout the day
- Are knowledgeable about construction
- Stand for long periods of time
- Train on the job
Energy auditors evaluate energy use patterns. They look at both home and commercial buildings, and recommend ways buildings can use less energy.
Energy auditors perform many types of audits. Some are small audits of homes and offices, while others are large, such as those of schools or industrial complexes. The amount of detail on the audit also varies. Some are in-depth and take more time and expertise, while others are quick, walk-through audits.
Home energy auditors look at the outside characteristics of a home, such as its size, the number of windows and doors, if there are skylights, and the type of siding or exterior. They look at the patterns of the people who live there. They ask questions, such as, "Are the people there during the day?" "Is there a room that never gets used?" "What source of heat is used during the winter?" The auditor does a room-by-room analysis. They use the same process when inspecting a non-residential building. They look for patterns such as how many people work in the building and what hours it is unoccupied. They look for ways to reduce electricity use.
Energy auditors use different types of tests during the audit, such as the blower door test and a thermographic scan. They also analyze the client's utility bills (water and electricity) for the previous year. After the audit, auditors write a report that describes the customer's energy use patterns and offers suggestions of ways to use less energy. Energy auditors use software to develop these recommendations for improvements.
Once a project is complete, the auditor checks that the work meets safety and design standards. They make sure the new equipment, like water heaters, windows, and insulation, matches the designs.
Government and utility companies provide money for people to weatherize their houses. Auditors make sure people qualify for these programs.
Specific Work Activities
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to energy auditors.
- Find ways to save electricity by installing systems to lower power use during peak demand and other equipment.
- Prepare reports of energy analysis results and recommendations for energy cost savings.
- Collect and analyze data related to energy use.
- Inspect and evaluate building exteriors, mechanical systems, and electrical wiring to determine how much energy each uses.
- Perform tests to locate air leaks.
- Educate customers on energy efficiency. Answer questions related to household energy use.
- Calculate potential energy use savings, using knowledge of engineering, construction, and energy use.
- Prepare information on home energy improvements, such as attic insulation, new or improved windows, and upgrades to heating systems. Check improvement projects for health or safety hazards.
- Check the income of people using public programs to improve energy use.
- Recommend alternative energy sources, where applicable.
- Check the effect of improvement projects on electricity use.
- Analyze energy bills to gather historical data.
- Use measuring devices such as data loggers, light meters, wattmeters, and thermometers.
- Inspect and test new equipment installation. This includes water heaters, insulation, and windows.
Common Work Activities
Energy auditors perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Use computers.
- Analyze data or information.
- Perform activities that use the whole body.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Document and record information.
- Process information.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials needed.
- Explain the meaning of information to others.
- Schedule work and activities
- Establish and maintain relationships
- Provide advice and consultation to others.
- Think creatively
- Handle and move objects
- Teach others
- Perform for or work with the public
- Perform administrative tasks.
- Architecture and Construction
- Construction and Building Inspectors
Occupational Interest Codes:
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Skills and Abilities
Energy auditors need to:
- Understand written information.
- Read and understand work-related materials.
- Understand spoken information.
- Listen to others and ask questions.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Write clearly so other people can understand.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
- Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.
- Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Recognize the nature of a problem.
- Develop rules that group items in various ways.
- Understand new information or materials by studying and working with them.
- Think of new ideas about a topic.
- Recognize when important changes happen or are likely to happen in a system.
- Identify what must be changed to reach goals.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
- Think of original, unusual, or creative ways to solve problems.
Use Math and Science
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.
- Use math skills to solve problems.
- Use scientific methods to solve problems.
Manage Onself, People, Time, and Things
- Manage the time of self and others.
- Check how well one is learning or doing something.
Work with People
- Look for ways to help people.
- Persuade others to approach things differently.
- Change behavior in relation to others’ actions.
- Use several methods to learn or teach new things.
- Solve problems by bringing others together to discuss differences.
Work with Things
- Analyze needs and requirements when designing products
- Watch gauges, dials, and output to make sure a machine is working properly.
Perceive and Visualize
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.
In a typical work setting, energy auditors:
- Have a medium level of contact with others during the day. They interact with clients, but also spend time alone analyzing data.
- Communicate daily by e-mail, telephone, and in person. They also write letters, memos, and reports on a regular basis.
- Are somewhat responsible for work outcomes and the work done by others.
- Sometimes work as part of a team.
- Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of others.
Physical Work Conditions
- Frequently must get into awkward positions to reach cramped work spaces.
- Work both indoors and outdoors when performing audits.
- Are often exposed to hot or cold temperatures, depending on the weather.
- Are sometimes exposed to extremely bright sunlight when working outdoors.
- May sometimes wear protective or safety gear, such as hard hats, when performing an audit.
- Are sometimes exposed to contaminants.
- Occasionally are exposed to high places, such as atop scaffolding, during an audit.
- Typically work in environments where they must test heating and air conditioning. Therefore, temperatures fluctuate.
- Often travel to work sites in a car, truck, or van.
- Occasionally are exposed to loud or distracting sounds and noise levels.
- Must be very exact and accurate when analyzing data and submitting recommendations.
- Repeat the same mental and physical tasks during audits.
- Usually set their daily tasks and goals for the day, but they may check in with a supervisor first.
- Often make decisions without consulting another first. These decisions impact their company's reputation and their client's energy bills.
Hours / Travel
- Usually work a regular work week. May work overtime to meet deadlines.
Energy auditors frequently:
- Stand for long periods of time.
It is important for energy auditors to be able to:
- See details of objects that are less than a few feet away.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- See details of objects that are more than a few feet away.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
It is not as important, but still necessary, for energy auditors to be able to:
- Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- Use one or two hands to grasp, move, or assemble objects.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Determine from which direction a sound came.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- See objects in very bright or glaring light.
- Coordinate movement of several parts of the body, such as arms and legs, while the body is moving.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
- Use muscles for extended periods without getting tired.
- Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
- Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
- React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
- Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.
- Be physically active for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
- See objects in very low light.
- While looking forward, see objects or movements that are off to the side.
Energy auditors need knowledge in the following areas:
- Building and Construction: The tools and methods used to construct buildings, roads, and other structures.
- Mathematics: The rules and uses of numbers.
- Customer and Personal Service: Providing special services to customers based on their needs.
- Engineering and Technology: How to use computers and rules of engineering to design and produce goods and services.
- Physics: The features and laws of matter and energy.
- Mechanical: The design, use, and repair of machines and tools.
- English Language: The meaning and use of the English language.
- Clerical: General office work such as filing and storing information.
- Design: Making and using plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Computers and Electronics: Computer hardware and software.
- Education and Training: The methods of teaching and learning.
- Sales and Marketing: The methods for selling products and services.
Energy auditors are people who tend to:
- Consider support from their employer important. They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up. They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
- Consider independence important. They like to make decisions and try out ideas on their own. They prefer jobs where they can plan their work with little supervision.
- Consider achievement important. They like to see the results of their work and to use their strongest abilities. They like to get a feeling of accomplishment from their work.
- Consider recognition important. They like to work in jobs which have opportunities for them to advance, be recognized for their work, and direct and instruct others. They usually prefer jobs in which they are looked up to by others.
- Consider good working conditions important. They like jobs offering steady employment and good pay. They want employment that fits their individual work style. They may prefer doing a variety of tasks, working alone, or being busy all the time.
- Have conventional interests. They like work activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Have enterprising interests. They like work activities that involve starting up and carrying out projects, especially in business. They like to lead and persuade others, make decisions, and take risks for profit.
Occupational Interest Codes:
Wage information is not available specifically for energy auditors. However, they are part of the larger group of "all other business operations specialists."
Wages vary by employer and area of the country. Wages may also vary by the type of audits being performed. Energy auditors who perform smaller audits (such as an individual home) may earn less than auditors who perform audits of larger buildings and structures.
Full-time energy auditors may receive benefits. Typical benefits include health insurance, sick leave, and paid vacation. Those who work for small companies may need to provide their own insurance.
Business operations specialists, all others
The number of energy auditors employed in Hawaii and nationally is not available.
- Federal, state, and local government agencies
In Hawaii, outlook information is not available specifically for energy auditors. However, they are included in a larger group of "business operations specialists, all other. A decline in the number of jobs is expected for workers in this group through the year 2024.
Nationally, outlook information is not available specifically for energy auditors. However, they are included in a larger group of "business operations specialists, all other. The number of jobs for workers in this group is expected to grow slower than average through the year 2024.
Demand for this occupation is growing. People are becoming more concerned about energy conservation. This will increase the demand for buildings that are more energy efficient. Energy auditors will be needed to perform audits on new buildings as well as existing buildings.
In addition, tax incentives will create more job opportunities for energy auditors. These incentives make it more affordable for individuals and businesses to make their buildings energy efficient.
Job prospects are best for those with formal training.
The table below provides information about the number of workers in this occupation in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.
Business operations specialists, all others
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from our state's graduation requirements. Click here for the graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond. If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation requirements.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Blueprint Reading
- Building Maintenance
- Computer Applications
- Technical Writing
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
To work as an energy auditor, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- have up to one year of related work experience; and
- complete long-term on-the-job training;
Education after high school
Some energy auditors complete a formal degree program. These programs range in length from two-year associate degree programs to more in-depth four-year programs. You study energy management, basic building principles, learn how to evaluate energy use patterns, and understand HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology) systems. You also take courses in algebra, English, and physics.
Most energy auditors take courses to become a Certified Energy Auditor. If you wish to own your own business, consider taking business classes as well.
Early in your career, you spend up to a year gaining work experience before getting a job as an energy auditor. Working alongside or in support of another energy auditor allows you to have an idea of the day-to-day responsibilities associated with the occupation.
Most beginning energy auditors learn additional skills on the job from an experienced worker. You begin as a helper and do basic tasks. During training, you learn:
- inspection techniques;
- data analysis;
- equipment use; and
- computer software programs.
Training generally lasts at least one year.
Related Educational Programs:
- Construction Trades
- Drafting/Design Technologies
- Electrical/Electronics Technologies
- Engineering Technologies
- Environmental Control Technologies
- Other Mechanics and Repairers
Licensing / Certification / Designation / Registration
Some states require energy auditors to have a license. Requirements vary by state. Check with schools in your area that offer energy management programs to find out about locally preferred certifications. Certification is available through national organizations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers. For more information, visit:
Association of Energy Engineers
© Copyright 2016 Hawaii Green Jobs Initiative, LMI Innovation Grant, Research and Statistics Office, Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, State of Hawaii. All Rights Reserved.