From oil & gas worker to renewable energy instructor

“I need to figure out what I need and how much money I need, not to come back.” Another career transition story in Episode 3 of our podcast.

Devin Keats was an oil and gas worker and earning a good salary. However he was working in a camp away from home and always wondering when the next layoff was coming. Like the majority of fossil fuel workers Iron & Earth and Abacus polled in 2021, he knew he was ready for a change.

As a Red Seal electrician he had some options and headed back to Newfoundland and Labrador and learned how to install solar panels. The rest as the old expression goes, is history, because now Devin is working full time in renewable energy where salaries are comparable to or higher than average salaries in Canada.  Devin was also an instructor on our solar power installation last year in Hopedale and Rigolet in Nunatsiavut on the North Coast of Labrador.

It was a tiny solar charger he had several years ago that led to the realization that there was a future for him in the renewable energy sector close to home and not part of the boom-and-bust cycle. He talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill about his transition and his thoughts about the future of renewable power in episode 3 of our Renewable Conversations with Iron & Earth.



This blog is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

Iron & Earth was founded and operates on Indigenous land within Treaty Six Territory and Métis Region 4 in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (in Nehiyawewin/Cree), so-called Edmonton. The home of many Indigenous Peoples including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Tsuut’ina, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Dene Suliné, Anishinaabe/Ojibway/Saulteaux, and the Inuk/Inuit.

We pay our respects to all Indigenous Peoples of this land. Through their spiritual and practical relationships with the land, a rich heritage for our learning and our life as a community has been created and maintained. We recognize that the transition to a low-carbon future must be led by Indigenous Peoples and that there will be no justice unless we acknowledge and repair our relationship with the land.

We are committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and acknowledge that we are always learning and unlearning practices that minimize harm and lead to the development of trust between us and Indigenous Peoples across Nations and urban centers.