The economy has been on a downward spiral since 2008. Many white collar professionals and blue collar laborers are both finding themselves out of work or in jobs that are quickly becoming obsolete. Jobs and careers related to the environment are growing. President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included $60 billion in clean energy investments, including $600 million in green job training programs – $100 million to expand blue collar labor training programs and $500 million for green workforce training. This will ensure a dramatic growth in “green” jobs over the next three to five years. Some of the best and fastest growing green jobs are listed below.
Farming: What could be greener than being a farmer? Right now in America there are only two million farmers. Most of the current farmers are around fifty-five years old. Most farming done in America today is done on a large scale with petroleum based machines and fuel hogging long distance shipping. Large scale farmers use synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The market for organic, local produce and food products grows larger each year. Modern organic farmers are small business owners with great marketing skills. Some other great jobs in this field are urban gardeners, artisanal cheese or bread making, or a farmer’s sales rep.
Forestry: Siviculture is the cultivation of forest trees or forestry. Many countries use the slash and burn method to create farmland or grazing pastures for livestock. Coming up with more lucrative high yield forest cultivation and teaching it to farmers will help drastically slow down deforestation through-out the world. Forestry is likely to be one of the leading sources of carbon credits worth tens of billions of dollars. A master’s degree in Forestry and Environmental Studies will look valuable to a corporation looking trade in carbon credits.
Installing Solar Panels and Systems: Installation of solar powers systems and the manufacture of those systems already make up roughly 700,000 jobs around the world. With the anticipation of green energy tax credit increases The Solar Energy Industries Association a 100,000 job increase by 2016. There are about 3,400 solar energy companies in the United States. These companies employ about 35,000 workers. Most of these solar power installer jobs require contraction skills and pay about $15 to $35 per hour. Some solar power companies are, Akeena Solar and Sungevity.
Careers in Wind Energy: Wind energy is one of the fastest growing energy industries. There are currently 300,000 wind energy jobs worldwide, 50,000 of those jobs are in the United States. Wind energy is a great place for autoworkers and other manufactures to repurpose the skills they had years to build. Wind energy also offers great careers in sales, marketing, engineering, management, and maintenance. Many wind energy jobs are entry level and pay $10 to $40 per hour. Wind energy jobs aren’t only out west in the desert. Many wind energy jobs are available in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Southern regions of the country. A great place to look for wind energy jobs is the American Wind Energy Association.
There are many green jobs currently available and many more expected to be created in the next three to five years. Many white collar professionals and blue collar laborers who are finding their jobs becoming obsolete can repurpose their cultivated skills into these new green careers.