Green Jobs are Red Hot
Green jobs are hot, even during the current economic crisis caused by the pandemic. The government is spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to give the economy a boost and some of that spending is in alternative energy and energy efficiency. In the coming years, some of the best jobs will be in solar, wind and other alternative energy technologies. These jobs will be located throughout the United States, with some, such as wind and geothermal being concentrated in certain geographic areas.
Some of these good paying green jobs will be found in home energy efficiency, for which the federal government has also allocated billions of dollars in the form of rebates to homeowners for adding energy saving measures such as extra insulation.
How To Get A Green Job
There are many types of jobs that could be considered "green jobs". These include solar electric roof panel (PV) installers, solar hot water heater installers, wind turbine technicians, insulation contractors, geothermal heating and cooling contractors, geothermal energy plant technicians, jobs in biofuel manufacturing and more.
What Green Job Fits You Best?
The first step in determining what kind of green job you may be best suited for is to take inventory of both your work experience and what kind of career might suit you best for the long haul after training. If you have prior construction skills, such as roofing, you might consider applying to a local installer of rooftop solar electric panels. They will hire qualified roofers to work alongside journeyman electricians to install the systems.
Solar hot water heater installation companies hire journeyman plumbers and unskilled laborers to assist them.
In the field of wind energy there are training programs at a growing number of colleges that prepare individuals for a career in the industry. One of the best is at Mesalands Community College in New Mexico. Those seeking a career working on wind turbines should probably not have a fear of heights and of course be in good physical shape, as climbing tall wind turbines may be a part of the job.
For those with computer and technical skills, the renewable energy industry is highly data driven. There are jobs which involve modeling how the flow of wind currents will affect future wind farms for example, as well as field technician jobs such as installing and maintaining sensors on energy production equipment.
Other Green Jobs
Starting Your Own Green Business
If you would rather be your own boss there are some great small business opportunities in the green economy. One that you can start for under $2000 is become a certified home energy rater, which is a kind of home inspector. By attending classes that last just a few weeks, you can become RESNET or Residential Energy Services Network rater.
RESNET home inspections are officially recognized by the mortgage industry for determining a building’s energy performance as part of the valuation for a mortgage loan. They are also used by the federal government for verification of building energy performance for such programs as tax incentives, the ENERGY STAR program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program. Companies employing RESNET energy raters can be found in every major city and many are hiring.
Green Jobs For Veterans
For veterans there is an organization called Green Veterans which helps veterans find jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency marketplace, as well as offering healthy living advice for vets. Veterans are often given hiring preference for many green jobs and skills acquired through some military duties may often be considered as relevant work experience.
Other Green Businesses
Another green business that you can start is in the area of home attic insulation and installing radiant barrier insulation. Machines that blow in cellulose insulation can be purchased for under $5000 and only basic tools are needed to install radiant barrier material in attics.
Check with you local and state government for information on what you need to qualify as a licensed insulation contractor. You might also consider solar window film installation and solar window screen insulation as a potential small business opportunity, as these may not require any certification or licensing in many areas.
As more innovations come to the marketplace there will definitely be more opportunities to get a green job in the next few years. Some hot new sectors to keep an eye on in the coming years include low temperature geothermal, electric vehicle infrastructure and hydrogen fuel technology.
© 2021 Nolen Hart
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2021:
This information is good to know and may give some people looking for jobs to consider.