How to get a job protecting the planet: Aine's story

Meet Aine, 23, from Belfast, to find out more about her job making buildings more energy-efficient. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

a young woman sits at a desk in an office with papers in front of her

"On my work placement I became really interested in the impact buildings can have on the environment."

In my job

I'm a junior simulation engineer. That means I run simulations on buildings using computers to see how much carbon they emit. This means I measure the thickness of walls, the types of windows and bricks that will be used; every detail of the building! I put the measurements into a computer software program which tells me if it passes or fails its building compliance. One day I will be at the computer running simulations, another day I could be on the phone to clients talking about the project or in meetings with architects.

At school

For my options I chose the subjects I was doing best in. Technology and Science stuck with me, so I decided I wanted to carry on with them after my GCSEs.

At college

Aged 16 I still had no idea what I wanted to do. At that time, I became really passionate about my A-level in Technology and Design; I just clicked with it. It helped develop my STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and also helped develop my creativity.

At university

I was lucky enough to get on a course at the University of Ulster called Clean Technology. In my final year I was able to focus on energy-related subjects and I learnt a lot about renewable energy.

Papers on a desk display graphs
A young woman, Aine, working on her computer in an office environment

Aine's career path

Aine's career path

What to expect if you want to be an energy assessor within construction

A similar role to Aine's in an energy assessor.

  • Energy assessor: £16,000 to £35,000 per year
  • Energy assessor working hours: Variable, can be self-employed
  • Energy assessor entry requirements: You may study towards a Level-3 Certificate in Non-Domestic Energy Assessment qualification, if you have no experience of working in a relevant setting and are new to energy assessing. You can get into this job through an apprenticeship. Experience in a related field like property surveying, construction and engineering is useful.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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