One of the characteristics of the millennial workforce is a desire to find vocations that give them a sense of purpose, and preserving the environment is one of them. The hard part for many is finding a green job that allows them to earn a living and make a difference at the same time. Let’s take a look at some of the faster growing green jobs. We’ll share green jobs that are available to both skilled labor and college graduates, so there is something for everyone.
“Green” Collar Jobs in Infrastructure and Manufacturing
Green collar jobs are on the rise, and venture capital is listening. People like Michael A Peck, MAPA Group, are focused on launching profitable worker-owned businesses that are green. This includes, but isn’t limited to, manufacturing a renewable energy infrastructure in the US, developing new technologies that reduce energy use, and bringing new, more environmentally friendly products to market.
MAPA is notable for its effort to combine renewable energy with community redevelopment to open facilities that make offshore wind turbines in the United States – one of which is in a brownfield site. They also create a large number of shovel-ready jobs by raising funds for better infrastructure like mass transit and water treatment facilities. The sheer need for development like this explains why the number of jobs in this area is skyrocketing.
Clean Car Engineers
Engineers should know that they don’t have to design the next generation of gas guzzlers. They can find work designing “clean cars” instead. This work includes, but is not limited to, designing electric cars, vehicles powered by natural gas, or vehicles relying on alternative fuels. These jobs pay well, and they replace traditional vehicles with ones that are more environmentally friendly. The people working in the factories building these vehicles would count as having “green collar” jobs.
Water Quality Technicians
Water quality is a concern worldwide, and water quality technicians are in very high demand right now. These jobs require at least an Associate’s degree, but a Bachelor’s degree is necessary for many positions. The median pay for these jobs is $60,000 a year.
A side benefit of these jobs is that they’re widely available. You might work for the EPA, an environmental watchdog group, or the local water authority. The most common task for water quality technicians is testing for chemicals and microbes in the water to make sure it meets EPA standards, though monitoring wastewater as it is processed and the health of bodies of water may be part of your job too.
Renewable Energy Technicians
Renewable energy technicians install, maintain and upgrade renewable energy systems. These are the people who install new solar panels on your roof, repair wind turbines and upgrade systems as better technologies come out. A few install wave energy systems, a technology that was almost unheard of ten years ago. These jobs pay well, and a bachelor’s degree isn’t required. These jobs are in demand as utilities and private businesses ramp up installation of renewable energy sources.
Green Design and Construction
Green designers are the architects and engineers designing new, sustainable buildings. Some of them focus on renovating existing structures to use less energy and water while being healthier for those who live and work in them. Green builders are the construction firms that renovate and build these new designs. Due to shifts in customer demand and regulations, this is one of the fastest growing green collar jobs. Green construction workers earn around $30,000 a year, while construction managers earn up to $85,000 a year.
You don’t have to work for an environmental nonprofit to make a difference in the world. The fastest growing green jobs range from engineers developing the next generation of green technology, to people renovating our decaying infrastructure to something more sustainable.