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Green Collar

The creation of new ‘green jobs’ has been a frequent policy topic, yet it is not always made clear where to find these  jobs, or even what they entail.

For anyone who is curious about green jobs or thinks they may want to employ their skills in the green sector, the following may be of help.

What Constitutes a Green Job?

Essentially, a green job can be any conventional job, from marketing and sales to engineering. The difference is green sector employees work for companies that make efforts to improve the environment. This is further illustrated by the U.S. Department of Labor, who define green jobs as:

“jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or of fewer natural resources.”

Some do this through the creation of clean technology, others by implementing Eco-friendly policies, some simply collect recyclables. This offers a variety of positions, allowing job seekers to choose those best suited to their needs and experience level. Depending on where you live, different green sector industries will be stronger than others. In New York City, for example, there is a focus on improving the efficiency of buildings. While in Pennsylvania, powerful wind resources have lead to many wind turbine manufacturers.

Where to Find Green Jobs

Green jobs can be found in news ads and online job forums like any other job. However, you will get better results by visiting job forums that focus on green jobs exclusively. Some great places to start are greenjobs.net and sustainablebusiness.com. If you have a specific industry in mind, research companies in your area that work within that field. Most companies will have websites with open positions posted.  You can also contact companies to inquire about positions based on your skill-set.

Green Collar Outlook

Currently, there is a good outlook on green sector jobs. Although, this isn’t to gloss over the recent setbacks. As despite thousands of  new green jobs in the U.S., many green jobs were cut this last year as well. Wind energy jobs alone had an overall loss of 3,173 jobs in 16 states. This can be attributed to the political uncertainty leading up the election, as well as Congress’s failure to extend the Production Tax Credit. With the former over, let us hope next year is more optimistic. The long term outlook is promising, as according to the American Solar Energy Society, by 2030, renewable energy jobs alone are expected to reach 30 million in the United States.

Like any industry, the green sector has had fall-backs. But it is emerging as a strong and necessary means to run the nation efficiently. With such a diverse pool of career options, why not utilize the skill-set you already have to benefit your community and conserve the resources that keep it alive?



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