Green is the hot color for this year’s job market. With the Department of Labor promising $100 million in Energy Training Partnership Grants in 2010, green jobs are growing faster than the dandelions on your front lawn.
But, you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a green job? Do I have to have a green thumb to get one? And how much green is it going to put in my pocket? The definition is constantly expanding, but in general, a green job is a job that helps protect and preserve the environment and our natural resources. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, traditional green jobs have included:
- Environmental Engineers are responsible for controlling pollution and cleaning up waste.
- Environmental Engineering Technicians conduct tests and operate the equipment that helps prevent, control and clean up environmental waste and pollution.
- Environmental Scientists & Specialists study our environment and indentify sources of pollution that damage our surroundings and our health.
- Environmental Science & Protective Technicians assist environmental scientists by taking samples and conducting lab work.
But don’t let those definitions limit you – you don’t have to be a scientist or researcher to get into a green trade. As concern about our natural resources and global warming grows, so does the number of industries the movement touches.
The result is that new career paths are springing up constantly to fit those demands. Here’s a little taste of what they include:
- Energy retrofitters, also known as building performance contractors, evaluate your home and install new energy technologies to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Organic famers and organic food distributors bring organic and/or sustainably grown agricultural products to businesses and consumers.
- Green carpenters use environmentally certified and recycled wood to create green furniture for homes and businesses.
- Wind turbine operators install, maintain, and service modern wind turbines.
- Sustainability consultants help organizations implement sustainable methods in their everyday business practices.
- Solar installers, also known as photovoltaic installers, install solar panels into homes and businesses.
These are just a few of the hundreds of industries who are “turning green.” And each one of industry doesn’t just need engineers to design their environmentally-friendly products or services, they need workers to build them, advertisers to market them, salespeople to sell them, human resources staff to manage the salespeople and the advertisers and the workers . . . get the picture? There’s a green job out there for everyone, no matter what you’re background is.
So if you’re looking to make a difference and become a part of the green movement, there are more opportunities than ever. And who knows, with some outside-of-the-box thinking, you could even find a way to transform your current job into the hot green career of the year.