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What is a Green Job?
Green jobs are growing faster than any other type of job in the US.
Their average wages are 13% higher than the average US wages.
Green jobs span a huge diversity of jobs in many categories, and many occupations. We've organized them in 10 high-level categories:
- Green jobs in the research, product development and production of Renewable energy or Clean Energy, or Alternative Energy (wind and solar are in this category!)
- Green energy jobs in new technologies for the transmission and distribution of energy (also called the "smart grid").
- Green jobs in the storage of green energy.
- Green jobs in energy efficiency and energy conservation.
- Green jobs in Green Building.
- Green jobs in Clean Transportation such as electric/hybrid cars and trucks, and associated infrastructure (e.g. charging stations).
- Green jobs in Clean technology and products other than energy production, transmission and transportation.
- Green jobs in Environmental Sciences, including air quality, water treatment, clean-up and remediation of pollution, nature preservation and climate change.
- Green jobs in Forestry, organic agriculture, food products.
- Green jobs in Corporate Sustainability.
Many green job definitions have been published, including by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statisctics (US BLS), and the United Nations; these definitions are great and useful to the green industry, businesses and politicians, but they don't really help job seekers.
Also, a lot of people think that Green Jobs are essentially in energy production (solar, wind, geothermal, hydro-electric), but there are a lot more categories of green jobs than just energy production (read related story: Green jobs not just limited to energy sector).
One of the main obstacles in landing a green job (that politicians are not considering enough) is training, education and certification. Many green jobs require the job applicant to obtain some kind of certification. Many training and education providers offer training classes to get these certifications. The most popular of these education programs and certifications include:
- LEED Certification
- Energy efficiency auditor
- Solar installation
- Wind Installation
- Higher education programs such as
As a former software engineer, I'm very happy to report that many software engineering and software development jobs are green jobs, especially in the smart grid and green building categories at companies such as Locus Technologies, (one of our sponsors, thank you!), Hara Software and OPower.
See also our article on green jobs at green start-up companies.