An experienced battery engineer can earn a six-figure salary and help shape the future of energy while doing it.
You've probably read about the advancements in battery technology or the quest for renewable energy and thought to yourself, "I want to be a part of that future".
Perhaps you've looked at the college degrees and the salary reports and asked yourself if there is a viable future to be had as a battery engineer.
Maybe you've just stuck a 9v battery on your tongue and wondered if you could make a career out of it?
Well, wonder no more. The article below is fully charged with all the information you need to start your career, including a full breakdown on a battery engineer salary.
Battery Engineer Salary
So you want to get straight down to brass tacks, we get it.
According to leading salary comparison sites, an entry-level Battery Engineer can earn anywhere from $70,000 to over $85,000 per year in the US.
A recent Payscale study ranked chemical engineering 10th in their 'Highest Paying Jobs With a Bachelor's Degree' list. Their report shows promising salary growth, with mid-career pay already well into six figures.
How to Become a Battery Engineer
So the numbers look good, but what does it take to secure a job in battery engineering?
It should come as no surprise that you are most likely going to need a relevant degree. Ford recently posted a job specification for a battery research engineer. The specification asked for candidates to have a degree in chemical engineering. This along with significant similar experience.
You should expect to spend at least four years studying for your bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. You might also want to include extra time spent in pursuit of an advanced classification, such as a Master's degree.
A 2016 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment growth of chemical engineers to grow by approximately 8%. This was over a ten year period. They also list the median pay to be around $102,160 per year (or $49.12 per hour, if you prefer).
Lithium-Ion - Charging into the Future
But how promising are the prospects of a battery engineer? Is it really one of the best engineering jobs for the future?
In short, yes.
The future of the automotive industry, to name but one example, is electric. JP Morgan estimates that by 2025, electric vehicles and hybrid-electric vehicles will account for an estimated 30% of all vehicle sales.
There is a concerted effort from many of the world's governments to shift away from vehicles powered solely by internal-combustion. The US government will even offer incentives for owning an electric vehicle. These range from reduced charging rates to tax credits.
Automotive pioneers Tesla use over 6,800 individual Lithium-Ion cells in a single battery system. They state that there is a market-driven push to improve battery technology.
And it isn't just the automotive industry. Lithium-Ion batteries have many advantages over traditional NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium). Because of this Lithium-Ion batteries are the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to cordless drills.
Tech giants Apple insist upon Lithium-Ion batteries in all their devices and with Tesla recently sending one of their Roadsters (complete with battery) into space we can quite comfortably state that Lithium-Ion batteries are space-age tech. Smaller companies like LithiumBatteryPower.com are starting to make a rise on the internet selling lithium ion batteries for various vehicle types.
Despite the misconceptions, Lithium-Ion is the most popular style of rechargeable battery in the world. This is thanks largely to their high storage capacity and low weight.
It is clear then that becoming a battery engineer, especially one who is a forward-thinking expert in the latest battery technology, may be one of the best engineering jobs for the future.
Opportunities in Other Industries
Job opportunities for a battery engineer are not limited to the automotive or technology industries. The advancement in Lithium-Ion batteries has created job opportunities in other industries.
According to a study by the United States Geological Survey, the Lithium-Ion battery industry accounted for 21 percent of all annual lithium consumption in 2009. That figure is expected to double by 2018.
With sales of the sale of electric vehicles expected to double by the year 2021, the increase in lithium consumption has called for a commensurate increase in lithium mining.
The growth of the Lithium-Ion battery industry creates an increasing number of opportunities in other fields associated with battery engineering. This is especially clear when considering the opening of Tesla's 'Gigafactory' in Nevada. When completed it is expected the factory will be the biggest building in the world.
According to a report by Bloomberg the increase in lithium usage will need extra investment. They estimate that the investment in new lithium mines will be anywhere from $350 billion to $750 billion by 2030.
The increase in investment and opportunities is good news for the prospective battery engineer.
The world of battery engineering is an exciting, emerging field. Lithium batteries especially are a comparatively new technology with great practical applications. There are a number of great college courses and job opportunities to get you going.
Once you're ready to start your career you will find that the battery engineer salary is right up there with the best engineering salaries.