Green Careers

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The Green industry is a new, innovative, and growing field.  This field can be broadly defined as jobs that involve protecting wildlife or ecosystems, reducing pollution or waste, reducing energy usage and lowering carbon emissions, etc.  Also known as “green-collar” jobs, they have been created by a shift to a more energy-conscious, energy-sufficient society. 

Interests & Skills…

  • Critical thinking
  • Understanding of, and interest in, green initiatives
  • Knowledge of energy conservation/sustainability
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interdisciplinary skills
  • Research skills

Work Environment:

The biggest misconception about green jobs is that they are primarily for researchers, scientists, and PhDs. Many jobs in the green economy are similar to those in other industries. For example, manufacturers, businesses, etc. focused in the green industry need project managers, accountants, assemblers, IT professionals, customer service reps, marketing professionals and account executives, just like other companies.  These workers can have traditional occupations for those particular companies, while some may require additional “green skills and knowledge,” such as an apprenticeship, professional certificate, or further education.

Possible Job Titles:

Electrical/Environmental Engineer

Financial/Business/Research Analyst

Solar Lab Technician

Geologist

Wind Analyst

Natural Home Builder

Non-Profit

Construction Worker

Green Interior Designer

Climatologist

Ecologist

Horticulturist

Green Architect

Project Manager

Researcher/Developer

Environmental Educator

Sustainability Program Director

Executive Director, Nonprofit

Operations Manager

Cost Estimator

Green Building Inspector/Auditor

Energy Management Analyst

Enhance Your Qualifications:

Students interested in green careers can think about the skills, education, or training needed in one of the green job industries or focus on a particular passion for a job in the green collar industry. Since this field is so broad, a focus on some of the basic skills such as math, science, design, engineering, environmental economics, etc. that pertain to your area of interest would be helpful.  Volunteering for a green nonprofit, event, or initiative in your community can provide great learning experience.  Internships in related fields are also helpful, depending on your major and the field you are interested in pursuing.  Research, networking, and staying up-to-date on green initiatives are important in any area of the industry you decide to enter.

Related Web Sites:

Occupational Outlook: Green Jobs    http://www.bls.gov/green/

Green Careers Guide  http://www.greencareersguide.com/index.html

American Solar Energy Society    http://ases.org/

Green Jobs Ready           http://greenjobsready.com/

Other sources:

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in the green industry.  Visiting departments on campus, such as the Science department, can also prove to be valuable in addressing some of your questions.