Green Collar Jobs
Everywhere you look, “going green” is having a moment. From getting ten cents back for bringing reusable grocery bags to the store to getting tax breaks for driving a hybrid, the public is becoming more environmentally conscious about what products they buy and where they make their purchases.
To that end, we’re soon going to need a skilled labor force in several aspects of the environmental industry. In fact, according to SimplyHired.com, the rate of growth for jobs with “environmental compliance” as a keyword has increased by 24% since 2010, while jobs focusing on “energy efficiency” have grown by 500% since 2009.
While green jobs are becoming more in-demand across the country, there are certain areas where there are a higher proportion of green jobs. For example, California is one of the top states for green jobs, especially the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, which each have 2,215 green jobs listed at SimplyHired.com. Western states in general (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas) have a higher number of green job listings than any other region of the United States. City-wise, Houston and Boston also list over a thousand jobs in the green industry.
Planning your future career? Consider learning the skills necessary for one of the high-demand green jobs. For example, the occupation of wind turbine installer is expected to grow by 24% by 2022- a rate much faster than the average job. These technicians install, maintain, and repair power-producing wind turbines.
A green construction engineer, meanwhile, uses environmentally-friendly materials to build structures certified by one of the organizations that regulates green building construction; notably, the value of green non-residential building construction has jumped to over $120 billion in 2015 from $43 billion in 2010. Universities are among some of the biggest proponents of sustainability, and many are creating positions specifically for campus sustainability. From recycling to overseeing green building amenities in campus buildings, sustainability offices and positions on campus have grown tremendously since 2010.
Aside from getting an education in the green trade you wish to enter, make sure you’ve developed the skills necessary for a green job. Green employers look for workers who have a strong network of potential business partners, plus the technical skills necessary to succeed in the environmental industry. Financial management, product development and marketing, and relevant certifications are crucial as well.
More and more, people are realizing that in order to live on this planet, we have to take care of it in a sustainable manner. By learning the skills and knowledge necessary to fuel this effort, you’ll be furthering your own professional development as well as the sustainable development of the planet.