Paid Internships in the Energy Sector
Are you looking to gain real-world clean energy experience and earn money through a paid internship? By participating in New York State’s Clean Energy Internship Program, you will gain hands-on experience in the growing clean energy sector as either a part-time or full-time paid intern in one of many potential roles.
New York clean energy businesses employed 165,000 workers in 2021, a 17% increase from 2015.
Through the program, you’ll have the opportunity to work with one of NYSERDA's Host Employers companies that are helping combat climate change including energy efficient product manufacturers and installers, wind and solar developers, and even businesses that work in the alternative transportation sector such as electric vehicle and charging station companies.
While NYSERDA and Host Employers may approve remote internships, interns must be physically located in New York State during their internships, including any remote work, to be eligible for funding through the program. Interns may only participate in one internship through the program and cannot be hired by a previous or multiple employers under the program.
To be eligible for the program, you must qualify as at least one of the following:
- An individual currently attending or who attended a degree program at a college or university, located in New York State within the within the last 12 months as of the date of the intern application.
- A current New York State resident attending or who attended a college or university outside of New York State within the last 12 months as of the date of the intern application. New York State residency, with proof of residency such as rental agreement or utility bills, must have been established prior to the start of the internship.
- A current New York State resident who is at least 16 years of age and is a member of a disadvantaged community and/or priority population.
Ready to Get Started?Apply Now
We are currently accepting applications online. To complete your application, you’ll need to have the following items handy:
- Cover Letter
- Documentation of New York State residency. Acceptable documentation includes driver's license, cell phone bill, lease agreement, or evidence of mail sent to you at a New York State address. Please obscure or black out ID and account numbers on submitted documentation.
- Official or unofficial transcript for applicants who are current college/university students or recent graduates (Note: transcript must include your name, school, and semester dates)
What Happens After I Submit My Application?
After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by a member of the Clean Energy Internship team, and you’ll be notified if your application has been approved or denied. If your application is approved, your cover letter and resume will be added to a directory of approved interns that is shared with businesses participating in the program to help them find eligible interns. When a business is interested in your skillsets or experience, they’ll contact you directly to schedule an interview. If a business decides to hire you as an intern, they’ll provide you with an offer letter outlining your role, responsibilities, and hourly rate, and then coordinate your internship.
All interns are only eligible for a single internship and cannot be hired by multiple employers under this program. If you are currently or were previously employed by a business that is participating in the program, they cannot hire you as an intern through the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my internship by full time or part time?
Internships may be full time or part time. If an intern is enrolled in one or more classes during the internship, NYSERDA will only provide reimbursement for a part time internship schedule (up to 18 hours per week). For interns not taking any classes during the internship, NYSERDA will provide reimbursement for a full-time internship schedule (up to 40 hours per week). Individual intern schedules will be determined by the intern and their employer.
How many interns will be selected?
The final number of interns will be determined by successful matches between the Host Employers and applicants. Wage subsidies for Host Employers are available on a first-come, first-served basis until NYSERDA has committed all the funding allocated to the program. After all funds have been allocated, employers may still access the database of candidates and offer internships at the employer’s discretion.
What paperwork is required for an individual to participate?
All applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and documentation of New York State residency via the NYSERDA Portal. Applicants who are current college/university students or recent graduates must submit an official or unofficial transcript. Employers may require further documentation.
What is the intern stipend and how will interns be paid?
Interns will be hired and paid directly by the Host Employer. The pay rate should be established prior to accepting the internship offer.
My employer wants me to sign a non-compete agreement. What should I do?
It is NYSERDA policy that no intern participating in the Internship Program be asked to sign a non-compete agreement. Signing a non-compete agreement may compromise your ability to work in this industry after completion of your internship. Any employer that asks you to sign a non-compete agreement should be reported to NYSERDA by emailing [email protected].
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to email NYSERDA at [email protected].
Interviewing Tips for Future Interns
- Be Prepared
- Research the company you are interviewing with and know their main goals and objectives.
- Practice answering sample interview questions with a partner.
- Wear appropriate attire.
- Prepare a list of questions about the company and their expectations for the position.
- Bring a copy of your résumé, a writing sample, and a notebook and a pen to take notes.
- Make a Good First Impression
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before the interview is set to begin. If it is a phone/video interview, make sure to have all your materials in front of you ten to 15 minutes before the call is set to begin.
- Turn your phone OFF.
- Relax and be yourself!
- Focus on Your Relevant Skills
- Emphasize your skills that are related to the position including coursework, volunteer work, previous internships, and/or work experiences. Keep the emphasis on skills that can help you be successful at any particular internship you’re applying for.
- Be ready to provide specific examples or your skills. What makes you a good communicator? How can you show that you take direction well?
- If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
- Answer questions in a concise manner, and do not spend too much time answering each question.
- Close the Interview with Confidence
- Thank the interview by name for the opportunity. Ask for an expected timeframe for their hiring decision.
- Follow Up the Interview with a Thank You Note
- Take this opportunity to clarify a topic discussed in the interview and to reaffirm your interest in the organization and the internship. Send a thank you note to everyone in the interview. This is a crucial step.
- Respond to any Follow-up Requests from the Company
- Respond promptly to all follow-up requests from the interviewer or company representative. If they call you, call them back. Do not e-mail or text unless that is how the representative contacted you.
For questions regarding internships, contact [email protected]
Paid Internships at NYSERDA
NYSERDA also offers paid internships at NYSERDA for full-time college students to work on a range of clean energy programs and initiatives.