Energy Efficiency



About the Energy Efficiency Program

Reserve All Your Energy for a Career in Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency education at Santa Monica College provides fundamental training in the energy services field designed to help you compete for job opportunities with energy-related industries anywhere in the country. Step into an exciting career or change careers by earning a department certificate in energy efficiency. Job roles include energy efficiency auditor, home energy efficiency rater (HERS), energy benchmarking professional, and building analyst.

Our curriculum introduces you to basic energy concepts, then moves quickly into real-world training. You will learn the fascinating principles of heat transfer, for instance, which make heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies possible. This is just one of many more scientific principles that power the systems, technology, and tools of the trade that are integral to the energy efficiency field.

Learn how to analyze electrical and gas systems in order to make cost-effective recommendations for alternative energy production and storage methods; sustainable resource use; and energy efficiency upgrades to residential and commercial properties, including alternative energy sources, LED lighting, solar heating and advanced technology cooling, and more.

Students who complete the department certificate (PV11, EE1, EE2, EE3) qualify to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Installer Entry Level Exam.

Degrees and Certificates


13 units

This program is designed to provide formal training for individuals who seek entry into the Energy Services field. Students will learn to conduct energy audits in residential buildings; establish energy efficiency benchmarks for commercial buildings and data center physical infrastructures; and help utilize resources more efficiently by reducing lighting, and lowering heating and cooling energy consumption in building systems and processes. Students will learn to provide analyses and recommendations that will help suggest alternative energy sources, as well as unconventional lighting, cooling, space heating, and resource management procedures.

View Requirements

SMC Resources

Potential Career Options

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Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Geothermal Production Managers Some College $107,940
Biomass Power Plant Managers Bachelor Degree $107,940
Hydroelectric Production Managers Certificate $107,940
Energy Auditors Bachelor Degree $70,007
Meter Readers, Utilities High School Diploma or More $51,938
Geothermal Technicians High School Diploma or More $34,615
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators High School Diploma or More $82,170
Power Distributors and Dispatchers High School Diploma or More $74,173
Power Plant Operators High School Diploma or More $96,741
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators High School Diploma or More $80,621
Gas Plant Operators High School Diploma or More $95,368
Biomass Plant Technicians High School Diploma or More $56,534
Hydroelectric Plant Technicians Certificate $56,534