Clean Energy Internships
Discover opportunities within the energy industry.
An internship is a short-term work experience offered by companies and organizations, typically for students, to gain entry-level exposure to a particular field. Internships are an important step for many- and offer meaningful, practical work related to a student’s field of study. Some internships may be required to earn a degree.
Many of our industry and education partners, listed below, offer valuable work experience through internships. Students are given an opportunity for career exploration, development, and develop new skills for future careers. Fields of study can include: electrical engineering, nuclear science, IT/cybersecurity, high energy physics, renewable energy, hydro maintenance, and energy efficiency.
Internships are posted when open and needed, so check back often!
Avista is an investor-owned utility, providing safe, reliable, and responsible energy service since 1889. The energy they produce is 60% renewable energy and includes hydro, wind, and biomass. Avista hosts several development programs for students. High school students can participate in Energy Pathways, a four-week summer program of activities and job shadowing, or the new Craft Student Program that employs students in a nine-month, work study program. Programs for college students are typically posted in January and include engineering, meter readers, technical and support positions, and more.
Bechtel is a global engineering, construction, and project management company that includes a variety of projects that range from advanced fuels and hydrogen to transmission and storage. Bechtel is helping customers accelerate their efforts to reduce carbon emissions to achieve a future net zero GHG emissions. There are intern opportunities at many locations – including positions in engineering, cybersecurity, and IT.
Benton PUD became a locally owned, non-profit utility in 1946. It provides electric services to over 56,000 customers with a fuel mix that is 91% carbon free and includes hydropower, nuclear, wind, and solar energy sources. Each summer, they offer an internship that lasts up to 12 weeks and student worker positions that work in the warehouse and assists various departments.
Bonneville Power Administration
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) delivers reliable, affordable, and carbon-free power produced in the Northwest to local communities. They market wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one non-federal nuclear plant, and several small non-federal power plants; as well as operate and maintain about 15,000 miles of high-voltage transmission in their service territory. BPA offers internships in engineering, energy efficiency, information technology, and power services.
Chelan County PUD
Chelan County PUD operates three hydro projects: Rocky Reach Dam, Rock Island Dam, and Lake Chelan Dam. The construction of Rock Island Dam began in 1930, and was the first dam to span the Columbia River. The PUD’s engineering internship accepts full-time students from Pacific Northwest colleges and universities pursuing a BS/MS in engineering, with power option studies being a plus. Positions are typically available May through August, depending on school schedules.
Clark PUD provides service to more than 225,000 customers throughout Clark County, as well as water service to about 39,000 homes and businesses. They hire students in a variety of positions including: engineering, grounds helper, and invasive species (a program focused on controlling invasive Japanese knotweed and other invasive plant species in the Salmon Creek watershed and East Fork Lewis River watersheds).
Douglas County PUD
Douglas County PUD (DCPUD) has been providing clean, efficient, and reliable electric service since 1936. The Wells Hydroelectric Project was built in the late 50’s and 60’s and has since built the most effective juvenile fish bypass on the Columbia River. DCPUD is currently building a 5MW pilot project to produce green renewable hydrogen, with a goal of production starting in late 2024. They offer internships in distribution operations, hydro maintenance, and accounting.
Energy Northwest is a joint operating agency that produces and distributes reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electric power to a consortium of 28 PUDs and municipalities. Their projects include White Bluffs Solar Station, Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project, Nine Canyon Wind Project, and Columbia Generation Station. Student programs include year-round and summer internships which are posted in January and usually filled by mid-April each year.
Grant County PUD
Grant County PUD (GCPUD) was founded in 1938 and provides power and fiber service to Moses Lake and the surrounding area. GCPUD owns and operates the Priest Rapids Project, which includes both the Priest Rapid and Wanapum dams, and manages 3,922 miles of distribution lines. Opportunities with them include engineering and computer science internships, as well as student helper positions for high school and college students.
Lewis County PUD
Lewis County PUD (LCPUD) began in 1936 with just 66 miles of rural lines and 60 customers; and has since grown to over 2,925 miles and serves more than 32,500 customers. The fuel mix provided by LCPUD is full of renewable energy- 79% hydro, 10% nuclear, and 6% solar. They have opportunities each summer for internships and student jobs in a variety of fields including engineering, office clerical, IT, and fleet management.
PACCAR is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture, and customer support of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF nameplates. Under the Kenworth nameplate, PACCAR introduced a battery electric truck in 2020, and a hydrogen-powered T680 fuel cell electric vehicle in 2021. They offer internships at many locations in areas such as IT, manufacturing engineering, and systems engineering.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a leading national center for scientific discovery in chemistry and technological innovation in sustainable energy and national security. PNNL offers a variety of opportunities for students ranging from high school to graduate students. These include high school research positions, summer apprenticeships, and internships in areas such as: renewable energy sciences, engineering, and nuclear physics.(See below with the Department of Energy for other national lab opportunities.)
Pacific Power, the largest regulated utility owner of wind power in the west, serves over 800,000 customers across Washington, Oregon, and California. By 2040, they plan to have added even more renewable resources. Pacific Power supports interns in different business departments as well as student engineers.
Plug Power, a green hydrogen company founded in 1997, is dedicated to building an end-to-end hydrogen system that includes production, storage and delivery, and generation – with a global reach that includes the U.S., France, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, and Spain. Plug Power produces hydrogen fueling stations, electrolyzers, fuel cell engines, and backup power; and hire interns in areas such as material science, marketing, and engineering.
Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric (PGE) has delivered clean, reliable energy to Oregon for more than 130 years. With a service area spanning 7 counties, they serve nearly half of the state’s population; as well as roughly 75% of the state’s commercial and industrial activity. PGE has several ongoing partnerships within the community and offers internships for engineering, finance, IT, hydro maintenance, and utility workers. Internships include networking and other opportunities.
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has supplied electric and natural gas services for more than 145 years. Headquartered in Bellevue, PSE’s service area ranges from Lewis to Whatcom counties. Currently serving 1.2 million electricity customers and nearly 840,000 natural gas customers, they support students and recent graduates with summer internships in areas such as engineering, accounting, museum, and more.
Snohomish County PUD
Snohomish PUD (SnoPUD) is the 12th largest public utility in the U.S. and the 2nd largest in Washington state- serving 875,000 residents and businesses and managing 6,652 electric line miles. They own and operate several hydroelectric projects including the Jackson Hydroelectric Project, the Calligan Creek Project, and others; and operate the Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Center which represents a new technology and approach for grid resiliency and renewable energy integration. SnoPUD offers internships in a variety of areas including: engineering, safety and health, IT, and operational technologies.
Tacoma Public Utilities
Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) provides electric service to Tacoma and the surrounding area, and has been publicly owned since 1893. TPU owns four hydro projects: Cowlitz River Project, Nisqually River Project, Wynoochee River Project, and Cushman Hydroelectric Project. Openings for both college and high school students are posted throughout the year, while summer internship positions are typically posted in late winter and include positions such as customer energy programs occupational intern.
United States Army Corp of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has approximately 37,000 dedicated civilians and soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more the 130 countries worldwide. Intern and fellow positions are offered in areas such as lock and dam operator and multiple disciplines of engineering. Some recent PNW projects include restoring the Shoalwater Bay Dune on the Tokeland Peninsula in WA, seismic repair project at Willamette Falls Locks in OR, and operating the Bonneville Lock & Dam.
Get Into Energy
Get Into Energy was created by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) to build awareness among students, teachers, military veterans, career changers, and others about the fantastic opportunities available in the energy industry. CEWD is a national organization that offers information on finding an apprenticeship, what technical positions require pre-employment testing, scholarships, and schools that offer energy curriculum. Be sure to view their job board to search for internship opportunities.
State of Washington Job Opportunities
The State of Washington Job Opportunities website is a job board for all government agency departments within Washington state, including the Dept. of Commerce which houses the Washington State Energy Office. There are a wide variety of positions posted, including internships, throughout the state.
National Hydropower Association
he National Hydropower Association is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and expanding clean, renewable, and affordable hydropower and marine energy. NHA represents more than 300 companies in North America and includes both public and investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, developers, and more. Visit NHA’s job board to search for internship opportunities with their members.
Northwest Public Power Association
The Northwest Public Power Association is a not-for-profit association of over 150 public/people’s utility districts, electric cooperatives, and municipalities. NWPPA was founded in 1940 and serves throughout the Northwest, including Alaska, California, and British Columbia. See their job board to search for internship opportunities with their members.
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provide many opportunities for students, recent graduates, and others looking for internships, fellowships, and similar programs. Available internship programs include: DOE Scholars Program, Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program, Pathways Internship Program, Pathways Recent Graduate Program, Student Volunteer Internship Program, and the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program. There are links to other agencies/administrations that also host internships in STEM fields.