According to a study conducted by the American Solar Energy Society, there are currently 8.5 million renewable energy jobs in the U.S., and that number is growing by the year. The organization estimates that number to be close to 30 million by the year 2030. With the consistent expansion of the green job market, now is the perfect time to get involved with an environmentally conscious career. All you need is the tools and resources to find and land a green job.
BestOnlineCollege.org has compiled a list of resources from the internet you may use you secure a green job in the future. Read on to see how you can make some green by going green professionally.
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Common Green Jobs
Here is a list of green jobs you may want to pursue:
- Arborist: An arborist is a person who takes care of trees in public spaces, like parks and commercial buildings. Also known as a tree surgeon, this person may work for private clients to maintain the trees in their homes. Arborists transplant trees, trim excess limbs, eliminate termites, and do all other forms of tree maintenance.
- Bicycle Mechanic: A bicycle mechanic is obviously a person who repairs bicycles for a living. Bike riding reduces the amount of emissions in the air, thereby improving the environment as a whole.
- Electric Vehicle Mechanic: An electric vehicle mechanic strictly repairs electric and hybrid cars. This person typically has a background as an electrician and a traditional mechanic, since this job requires skills from both careers.
- Environmental Lawyer: An environmental lawyer is a traditional attorney that works on cases related to environmental regulations. This person will prosecute companies, corporations, and government entities who do not abide by green laws in the U.S. Common focuses for this career include natural resource, pollution, and wildlife protection.
- Environmental Lobbyist: An environmental lobbyist is a person who lobbies the government for laws and regulations related to the environment. The Sierra Club is one of the most popular green lobbying groups in the U.S., but there are many others. If you have a firm understanding of grassroots politics and the media, this could be a great job for you.
- Geoengineer: A geoengineer is a person who actually engineers devices to change the climate of the Earth. Geoengineers do this to ward off the effects of global warming.
- Organic Farmer: An organic farmer is a person who farms fruits and vegetables without the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Organic farming is a widely growing industry because of the increase in demand for natural food products. Some farmers work on their own, and others work for large companies as members of the production team.
- Plumbing Retrofitter: A plumbing retrofitter is a person who adjusts the piping in a home to conserve water. This person may also install environmentally friendly plumbing devices, like eco-showerheads and low-flush toilets.
- Solar Panel Installer: A solar panel installer is a person who puts solar panels on homes and office buildings. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular ways to save energy, and many home and business owners are beginning to use them to minimize their electricity bills. To work in this field, you should have a background in construction.
- Urban Planner: An urban planner is a person that devises eco-friendly systems in a city, like a transit or recycling program. According to FastCompany.com, this career is expected to grow 15% by 2016.
- Wind Energy Technician: A wind energy technician is a person who installs and maintains windmills. Wind energy is a popular alternative to electricity in areas with high winds, so the demand for this career is growing in many parts of the country.
Popular Green Companies
If you’re having trouble finding a green job, you may just need to know where to look. The companies listed below are some of the most popular employers for green jobs, and one of them may turn out to be a perfect fit for you.
- Hewlett-Packard: This is a well-known computer manufacturer that most people do not realize is eco-friendly. All HP computers are completely recyclable, and the company sponsors several recycling plants for older electronics.
- First Solar: This is one of the largest solar power companies in the world. The revenue for this company in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $641.3 million, and the company is continuing to expand every year.
- Hydrogenics: This is one of the leading companies in the development of hydrogen powered automobiles. GM owns part of this company, and it is hopeful about its ability to create a line of mainstream cars in the future.
- Kohl’s: This is a widespread clothing store that has the largest retail solar power program in the world, according to Newsweek. Kohl’s uses solar power in over 78 of its locations.
- Nike: This is arguably the best known sports apparel company in the world, and it has taken a surprising stand in support of environmental policies. Nike was once known for using child labor factories overseas, but now all Nike factories are required to uphold government regulations for the environment. In 2008, the company released the Nike Trash Talk, which is a show shoe made with recycled materials.
- Organic Valley: This is the largest organic farming cooperative. It gives farmers direct ownership of their goods, and it has won many awards for its cheese, butter and business practices.
- Pacific Gas and Electric: PG&E is one of the greenest utility companies in America. According to CNN Money, 56% of its electricity sales comes from non-greenhouse-gas emitting sources.
- Proporta: This company makes screen protectors for iPods, iPhones, and many other devices. It recently launched a line of cases made from bamboo and recycled leather, and it uses land and sea shipping options to reduce emissions from air transport.
- Seattle Biodiesel: This company is based in Washington state, and it is one of the largest producers of biodiesel in the country. It creates fuel from crops and distributes it on a large scale.
- Starbucks: This is the best-known coffee house in America, and it ensures that all of its locations meet green building standards. Starbucks also uses recycled paper for its cups.
If you are researching or trying to land a green job, one of these resources may be able to help you out:
- Green Jobs Quiz: This is a fun quiz that tests your knowledge about green jobs. Don’t be fooled by how easy the first question is. They get a lot harder as the test progresses.
- Top Green Job Search Tips: This resource provides solutions to make your current job a little greener. Suggestions include converting to paperless billing and buying work attire at thrift stores.
- How to Land a Green-Collar Job: This is a great resource for people looking for green jobs. It provides information to help you select a sector of the job market to work in, and it provides tips to get through the interviewing process.
- Switching to Green-Collar Jobs: This is a publication from BusinessWeek that explains how to transform traditional job skills into green job skills.
- Sustainability Recruiting: This is a large website developed by Ellen Weinreb. It is not a job board, but it does provide reviews on job boards that may provide you with work opportunities in the future.
- Six Ways to Beat the Green Job Board Paradox and Stop Wasting Time: This article goes over how to maximize your efficiency when looking through green job boards.
- Finding Green Jobs: A Three-Part Series: This is a series of articles that explain how to find and get a green job, from looking at job boards to setting up an interview.
- Green Jobs 101: This article goes over the basics about finding green jobs and jobs in general. It also provides some useful definitions and facts about the green economy.
- The 5 Best Cities for Green Jobs: This article assesses the best cities to find green jobs in the United States. You may be able to find better work in New York, San Francisco or another city on the list than you would find in your local area.
- How to Get Green Jobs: This is actually a blog post from a highly reputable blog about environmental issues. It describes how to go through a college degree that will land you into a green job, and it also explains how to format a resume and other work documents to ensure your hiring in the future.
Job Boards for Green Careers
There are more job boards for green careers than there are positions themselves. As you can imagine, some of these are better than others. We have compiled a list of some of the best ones so you can have a good foundation to build on.
- ECO Jobs: This job board allows visitors to search for work by category and by state. It features over 500 job postings in the U.S. alone, and It is constantly getting new ones throughout the year. If you don’t want to monitor this job board on a daily basis, you can sign up to have postings emailed directly to you.
- GreenBiz.com: This is a small list of jobs from a large website about environmental work in general. It features some of the best paying work on the market.
- Grist Jobs: This is the job board for Grist.com, a popular environmental publication online. It includes college internships, as well as paying-jobs.
- Treehugger Jobs Board: This is the job board from TreeHugger.com, and it features a huge assortment of positions from across the country. You can search this site by location, experience, or job function.
- Alternative Energy Job Board: This job board is a collaboration between Alternative Energy.com and CareerBuilder.com. It has information about local and international jobs, many of which aren’t necessarily related to the environment.
- American Solar Energy Society GreenStart Job Board: This is both a job board and a link list, full of human resource websites you can visit for green companies.
- Bright Green Talent: This is a San Francisco recruiting firm that specializes in environmental jobs. All of the people that find work through this company are encouraged to take public transportation or ride a bike to work.
- Earthworks Jobs: This job board features many esteemed positions throughout the country, and they are all organized into easy-to-use categories. The site has several important sponsors, including universities and large green companies.
- EcoEmploy: This site is not as extensive as some of the other job boards on our list, but it is easier to use than most of them. you may be able to use this as a starting point for your job search.
- EcoFirms: This site features a list of green companies in the world. It does not mention if the companies have work available, but it does give you an idea of where you might be able to work in your area.
- EnviroEducation: This is a job board that offers extensive information about the green economy. It has articles about everything from finding a green internship to writing a green cover letter.
- Environmental Career.com: This job board has an assortment of newly open positions across the nation.
- Great Green Careers: This job board allows applicants to post their resumes online so that green employers can find them. It also has a list of states that have the most available green jobs in the country.
- Green Careers Guide: This site features a job board and an assortment of articles to help people find green jobs. If you want to open your own green business, you can find entrepreneurship tips here as well.
- Green Energy Jobs: This site is specifically designed for people applying to the renewable energy industry. It shows jobs in Denmark and South Africa, on top of the postings in the United States.
- GreenJobs.com: This site has hundreds of jobs a month, all of which have an emphasis on clean energy jobs.
- Green Jobs Network: This green job board has postings sorted by state, city, and category. You can search through it to find work in your part of the country.
- StopDodo: This is an international website that features green jobs from 190 countries. If you want to work outside of the United States, this is a great resource to explore.
- Green Dream Jobs: This is a free site to use that you don’t have to register for. There are approximately 10 new jobs posted every day, so you should be able to find something if you watch the site closely.
- LowCarbonJobs.com: This job board has a vast assortment of work all around the world. Postings are updated on a daily basis to ensure you find work as quickly as possible.