What Opportunities Will Green Jobs Bring?

We have been told that green jobs are the jobs of the future, and that in the next few years, many opportunities will emerge in the environmental sector.

However, most people don’t even know what green jobs are, let alone how to get them.  Here is some basic information about green jobs that will help you get started:

What are green jobs?  Green jobs is a loose term that means any job that promotes or contributes to environmental sustainability.  This would include, but is not limited to, “jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.”  (Source: http://www.unep.org/labour_environment/PDFs/Greenjobs/UNEP-Green-Jobs-Report.pdf) Green jobs can exist within a traditional sector (such as construction), or they can be in a new green sector (such as solar energy).  Green jobs can be in business, nonprofit organizations, government, education, and even self-employment. (Source: www.goodworkcanada.ca)

What types of jobs will be available?  There is a wide scope on these jobs as the need for environmental sustainability impacts a variety of sectors, including: energy, food, transportation, education, and many more. (Source:  www.goodworkcanada.ca) Some green areas employers will be hiring for include: “hybrid car manufacturing; energy retrofitting; food production using organic and/or sustainably grown agricultural products; furniture making from environmentally certified and recycled wood; green building; waste composting; hauling and reuse of construction and demolition materials and debris; hazardous materials cleanup; green landscaping; manufacturing of green products (such as wind turbine blades and solar panels); reuse and production of products made from recycled, nontoxic materials; solar installation and maintenance; retrofitting to increase water efficiency and conservation; and whole home performance (i.e.: heating, ventilating and air conditioning).  (Source: www.careerbuilder.com)

A current search for green jobs resulted in positions including: operations manager, website developer, ecosystems biologist, inventory/packing of organic produce, vegetarian cook, and executive administrative assistant.  As you can see, there is a vast variety of jobs that can be classified as green. 

What will be the requirements for these jobs?  Like any other position, employers will be looking for candidates with skills and experience that match the particular job requirements.  The only difference is that employers may also be seeking candidates with an interest in environmental sustainability.  

When will these jobs be available?  Green jobs are available now, and opportunities are projected to increase into the future.  

How can I get these jobs?  You can look for a green job in the same way that you would look for any other job, as they will be advertised in the same places.  In addition, there are web sites that focus on green jobs.  Here are two of these such web sites:  http://www.goodworkcanada.ca/ and www.eco.ca

The labour market conditions change so quickly that it can be a challenge for a job seeker to keep up.  The trick is to (as much as possible) stay one step ahead.  By finding out about emerging trends (such as green jobs), you can position yourself to be a strong competitor for these positions once they materialize.

(Written By:  Karen Bivand, Photo From: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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