Energy Management Technician: Building Controls Technician Option

Energy Management - Building Controls

Building Controls technicians work in the fast-growing field of Energy Management. Our online, two-year Energy Management and Building Controls degree program will prepare you for a rewarding career managing highly technical buildings so they operate efficiently. Commercial buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of our national energy consumption and the jobs managing and optimizing building energy and water performance will help shape our environmental future. As the first program of its kind in the United States, Lane's Energy Management Program has a rich, proven history of successfully educating future professional energy efficiency and controls technicians to immediately contribute to energy, water, and related cost savings in their communities!

This program now also has a Registered Apprenticeship Program in the state of Oregon, which includes paid 2000 hours of on-the-job training OJT, in a local building in the student’s area. For more information contact Roger Ebbage at 541-463-3670.

Is the Energy Management - Building Controls program for you?

Today’s controls workforce is responsible for delivering much more than reliable operations and/or expected temperature comfort to a particular building area.

Charles Cohen, Sustainability Education Director - SIEMENS, Infrastructure & Cities

Modern buildings are run by highly automated controls systems and maintained by building operators and systems engineers. Building Controls must be constantly monitored and adjusted for continuing efficiency and occupant comfort. The new generation of Building Controls technicians must understand energy procurement and consumption, building interaction with both external (weather) and internal (end user) events, alternative energy sources and their integration into existing systems, as well as providing interactive controls that deliver value to customers. As a Building Controls technician you’ll evaluate energy use while providing controls solutions to identified operational problems. In large commercial facilities, that means looking at the energy consumed by motors, HVAC systems, lighting, and how building occupants engage with their environment. A talented controls tech will balance the efficient operation of the building with the needs of the occupant for maximum benefit.

If you’re a problem solver who enjoys digging through details , investigating how mechanical systems work, and measuring energy and water use, you’ll enjoy this career! You’ll help decide what runs when, and for how long, and will be able to point to data that shows increased occupant comfort and decreased energy usage. This is an ongoing task of fine tuning and measurement. Our Building Controls program gives you the skills needed to maintain energy efficiency and occupant comfort and to oversee the complex operation of all building control systems.

When you are ready to get started, just apply! Our Admissions office will guide you through the steps to enroll and get you started. To learn more or if you have additional questions please contact Roger Ebbage at 541-463-3670 or

What will you learn in the Energy Management - Building Controls program?

Through our online classes, you’ll learn to:

  • Use typical control system management software to evaluate energy use patterns for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Analyze a variety of commercial HVAC and lighting systems from a controls perspective.
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot existing control systems.
  • Learn modules and electronics commonly used to implement building automation.
  • Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on collected data.
  • Recommend energy efficiency and alternative control solutions for high energy consuming buildings.
  • Understand the interactions between energy consuming building systems and implement control changes based on that understanding.

You’ll be prepared to write control schemes and evaluate control systems, identify controls based energy-efficiency projects, and implement solutions for energy-related controls issues in a variety of buildings and facilities. Our rigorous online courses are designed to fit into your current schedule. You’ll also experience hands-on training at one of our partnering organizations that will show you how to apply your newfound knowledge in the real world.

Applying to the Energy Management - Building Controls program

In order to ensure every student in the program is able to receive the individual attention and meaningful critiques that they deserve, the Energy Management Building Controls Option program has an additional admissions application. Learn more about the application.

Building Energy & Controls Apprenticeship (BECA)

Once you're enrolled in the Building Controls program, you can also add the Building Energy & Controls Apprenticeship! In addition to the Building Controls degree program, you'll receive 2000 hours of paid on the job training, beginning the summer after the first year of classroom instruction. Regionally average hourly wages will be paid by the training agent (employer) and incrementally scale upwards based on program completion, going from 60% to 100% of journey-level wages. Throughout your apprenticeship, you'll work in the fast-growing field of high performance buildings and use your skills to improve the health of building occupants and the environment. Upon completion, we recommend you also complete the Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Managers exam.

If you're enrolled in the Building Controls Program, and are ready to apply to the apprenticeship program, please see the Associated Builders and Contractors PNW website to find details on the application process. 

The Energy Management-Building Controls program is proud to be partnering with both University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

UO Energy Studies - visit the UO siteThe Building Energy Controls Apprenticeship (BECA) has partnered with University of Oregon, Institute for Health in the Built Environment on this project. The U of O will be working with students that are part of the apprenticeship program to find training partners. The University has a vast network of operators and managers of buildings across the nation. These contacts will provide students with opportunities in a variety of buildings. To learn more about University of Oregon Buildings Laboratory please visit the UO webpage.

Energy Management Program staff are working on another project with Oregon State University.

OSU logo-visit the OSU siteLane Community College will collaborate with Oregon State University and the OSU Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) on a recently awarded US Department of Energy grant to train LCC and OSU students to perform commercial building energy audits for small/mid-sized buildings with less than 100,000 square feet. The team will be developing joint curricula on building energy auditing and provide hands-on experience with students from both institutes working together. The team will prioritize assessing and making recommendations for energy improvements for buildings in underserved areas. Find out more on the OSU website.

Learn more about apprenticeship from students, instructors, employers, community and government partners.

Watch the video recording from last week's celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.

What can you do next?

Through local, regional, and national networking opportunities, our graduates meet business leaders directly. Our graduates work in a wide variety of disciplines and may apply to work for a variety of different employers such as engineering firms, lighting companies, public and private utilities, energy equipment companies, and departments of energy. Our alumni are well prepared for careers in positions like building operators, control system specialists/technicians, weatherization installers, energy auditors, and energy resource analysts, and more! 

With this two-year degree, you can earn $45,000 - $65,000 annually while helping to create a positive change within the built environment. The Energy Management program is actively working with the Association of Controls Professionals (ACP) to create an ANSI accredited practitioner certification that will become part of the Energy Management Building Controls option and help to increase employability and therefore, earning potential.

Curious about Building Automations Ecosystems Jobs in the area? Check out this report on current job openings in the area.

If you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in energy management, Lane has articulation agreements with Bismarck State College (fully online), South Seattle College (fully online), and Cascadia College. Want to learn more about your options? Contact Roger Ebbage at or 541-463-3670!

Personal attention from engaging faculty

Lane offers students the best of both worlds: a wide variety of courses from which to choose and small class sizes. You’ll never take a class with more than 40 students, and most of your Energy Management courses will have just 15-20 students. Your classes will always be taught by an instructor with professional experience, and not a grad student. Program instructors and staff use their extensive experience and industry and alumni relationships to ensure your classes connect you to the real world. Program staff are always there to assist with whatever your needs may be.

Get to know the Energy Management - Building Controls faculty and advisors

Our instructors are leaders in their fields, and will prepare you to evaluate energy using system controls, identify energy-efficiency control strategies, and implement solutions for controls-related issues in a variety of buildings and facilities. If you're planning on transferring to a four-year school they’ll help you take the classes you need to count towards your bachelor's degree. They can answer any program specific questions you might have and help you find opportunities outside of the classroom. Advisors will help you create a term by term planner that meets your needs and goals to ensure you complete your degree. You’ll work with them to schedule your classes and to plan for the future.

Get real world work experience

Employers are interested in more than just your degree. It’s important that you’re able to show that you have relevant, real world work experience, which is why many of your courses will include fieldwork mentorships. You’ll use the knowledge you’ve gained in the classroom to help you succeed in hands-on training opportunities at one of our partner organizations throughout the Western United States. Partners have included energy service departments at public utilities like Ashland Electric, Central Oregon Co-op, Clallam County PUD, EPUD, EWEB, Lane Electric, Sacramento Utility District, Salem Electric, Silicon Valley Power, and many others. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete internships through our Cooperative Education department, which partners with local and regional businesses and organizations to provide internships. Lane will work with utilities in your geographic area to provide you with opportunities no matter where you live.

Scholarship Opportunities

Wondering how you’re going to pay for your degree? In addition to traditional financial aid options, there are scholarships available just for students in the energy management program!

DEED Funding for Students 

American Public Power Association Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) offers several opportunities, including scholarships for education, internships, and conference travel. A DEED member utility must sponsor your scholarship. Learn more about scholarship optons.

Attending classes at Lane

Lane’s main campus is tucked into the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, providing a stunning landscape for your education. With incredible resources on campus like advising, tutoring services, the library, and so many more, you have the opportunity to make the most out of your degree. Lane also offers student housing at Titan Court in downtown Eugene, next to our Mary Spilde Center. Ready to learn more? Schedule a campus tour to explore our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

Green Buildings Career Map

The Green Buildings Career Map is a highly interactive tool that explores an industry exploding with job opportunities across four major sectors of the green buildings and energy efficiency industry, charting possible progression between those occupations, and identifying the sorts of credentials necessary to do them well.

This engaging map is designed for a broad audience including educators, career-advisors, jobseekers, employers, policymakers, and workforce professionals. It demonstrates the breadth of the green buildings and energy efficiency industry, some of its critical occupations, and the multitude of advancement routes (over 300!) between jobs and sectors. The map also includes a section on “New-Collar” jobs within the industry—jobs that don’t require a traditional four-year degree, but rather rely on gaining skills through on-the-job training, high school technical education, on-the-job apprenticeships, vocational schools, technical certification programs, community colleges, the military, and internships. These 55 jobs have a mission to design, build, and operate high-quality, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes and commercial and industrial buildings. We call them Green Buildings!