Remember the old TV sit-com Green Acres, where Ava Gabor and Eddie Albert abandoned their comfy affluent urban lifestyle for a bucolic farm-life way of life. This raucous romp of wholesome living juxtaposed to a backdrop of cows’ utters, pigs ‘a squealing and enough manure to accent the occasional pratfall was pure slapstick comedy that poked fun at a return to a simpler way of life!
Today, however, “going green” is more often associated with environmental sustainability, hybrid cars, alternative fuels and ice caps ‘a melting. Today, our ‘green acres’ are a necessity, and no longer a joking matter. With unemployment at an all time high, green jobs may the option many of us need to examine to keep ahead of the bread lines. Perhaps it’s time for you to ‘green’ your career.
Here is my pick for the top ten green collar jobs for 2009!
Top Green Job # 10 - Eco-Tourism Jobs
Tourism is considered the largest employment sector in the world economy, so it’s no wonder that workers at all levels will become involved in greening the industry. Ecotourism is growing at three times the rate of the overall tourism sector itself, and demanding more knowledgeable workers committed to sustainability. “There is great diversity within the field,” says Ayako Ezaki of the International Ecotourism Society (TIES). Green travel employees generally work for private companies, government, public institutions and nonprofits. But, as ecology becomes more of a mindset in today's culture, hoteliers, restaurateurs and area attraction operators will all be going green to attract green-thinking travelers. For those looking to explore opportunities in this field, TIES provides up-to-date listings of ecotourism and sustainable tourism jobs.
The International Ecotourism Society
Top Green Job #9 - Bicycle Technicians
Bicycles are an efficient means of travel, and electric bikes such as the Urban Mover’s Range are going to bridge the gap between gas-powered and human-powered cycling. Fixing them is going to require a new type of technician, a cross between a mechanic and an electrician. Like automobile mechanics, their fees might become pricey, but from the consumers’ standpoint what they will saving on gas, they’ll be able to afford the upkeep and repair bills. The United Bicycle Institute is a respected institute that boasts more graduates working in the bicycle technician field than any other mechanics school.
Top Green Job #8 - Organic Farming Specialist
With cutting-edge organic agriculture gaining popularity in this country, a new type of farmer is emerging. This innovative specialist is one who is vehemently opposed to synthetic agrochemicals. Today, students of organic farming are going to be in heavy demand by urban farm markets, community-supported agriculture and their local neighbors. They'll understand the dangers of taking shortcuts, and they'll know how to keep production and food quality at high levels. For those that are interested, check out the Pay Dirt Farm School in Moscow, Idaho, a non-profit educational program offering organic farm apprenticeships.
Top Green Jobs #7 - Wind Energy Developers.
Ever since T.Boone Pickens introduced us to wind power, the idea of harnessing the wind to produce energy has slowly gaining traction. According to the American Wind Energy Association, there is currently a high demand for Wind Energy Developers. These are planners who search out land for wind farms, collaborate with meteorologists on wind assessments and coordinate projects with land owners, local regulatory agencies and power companies. According to Chris Beck, president of Global Recruiters of Boulder in Boulder, Colorado, this specialty is very lucrative and garners salaries between $110- 180,000. Who knew that experts full of hot air would be worth so much in today’s workforce.
Wind Energy Developers
Top Green Jobs #6 - Environmental Engineers
Using the scientific principles of biology and chemistry to solve environmental issues is the work of environmental engineers. Working behind the scenes, these individuals are instrumental in limiting the effects of acid rain, global warming, car emissions and ozone depletion, in an effort to keep our planet from deteriorating more than it already has. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of environmental engineering will grow 25 percent over course of the next 7 years, with current median salaries of $61,000.
Top Green Job #5 - Corporate Social Responsibility Professionals
As an emerging profession, there is no guidelines for a career path in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), nor are there any specific qualifications required for this field. Because it is so new, transferable skills and knowledge from other related fields such as environmental management are valued highly.To find a job in this field, many larger companies publish CSR jobs on their websites. There are also a number of indices such as FTSE4Good, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index that list job openings in CSR.Corporate Social Responsibility
Top Green Job #4 - iPod/ iPhone Doctors
To counter the 20th Century belief in a disposable society, there is a growing need, particularly in a down economy to repair versus replace. To that end, smart entrepreneurs might be interested in becoming an iPod/iPhone Doctor. With as many MP3s and smart phones hitting the market in just last few years, there is a great need for experts who know how to fix our new ‘lifelines’ when they go on the fritz. There is nothing more frustrating than going back to an Apple Store only to have them pitch you on a new replacement or charge you for a hefty repair bill. A smart electronics engineer can make a good living by opening up a small repair shop and servicing their local community. According to a recent CNN report, at least a dozen iPod repair shops have sprung up in New York City, and one self taught electronic doctor even makes house calls!
iPod / iPhone Doctor
Top Green Job #3 - Hydrologists
A hydrologist is a water expert who manages wastewater treatment, watersheds and sewers. As fresh clean water becomes scarcer, these technicians specialize in underground and surface water supplies that may have become contaminated. To qualify for this type of position, a four-year or higher degree is required in earth science, geology, geophysics, engineering or chemistry. Employment opportunities for hydrologists are bright, as demand is expected to continue for the next decade. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, hydrologists working for the federal government earned an average of $77, 182 per year.
Top Green Job #2 - Environment Refuse Processors
Restoring the sustainable potential of our planet is going to involve the largest clean-up job in history. Refuse processors are going to have to scour the sea beds and land fills for plastic waste that can be reprocessed and rendered less toxic. The good news is that our mountains of trash which at first blush is extremely hazardous can actually become an energy goldmine, and environment refuse processors are going to be the miners leading the charge!Environment Refuse Processors
Top Green Job #1 - Jobs in Green Car Manufacturing.
As my number one green collar job pick, I have selected jobs in green car manufacturing.Since the major US car manufacturers have had not responded to changes in market conditions, millions of auto workers may soon find themselves out of jobs. For them, I suggest searching out the new ‘green car’ automakers who have had the foresight to be proactive versus reactive.Whether you are an assembly line worker or an executive, car manufactures who are breaking new ground in fuel efficiency, alternate fuel selection and green designs are the ones who will succeed in this industry in the next decade. The Smart fortwo represents an all new type of vehicle for American drivers. This tiny two-seater that’s been a popular choice in Europe for years has come to the US, bringing with it a small eco footprint, higher fuel efficiency, and a trendy 'green' ride for new car buyers. Other manufactures that have focused on hybrids, electrical and solar energy vehicles will have more job openings as demand shifts from fossil fuels to these new alternatives. Savvy workers who can transfer their skills to this new manufacturing would be wise to search out these companies now while they begin their growth spurt.
Smart fortwo auto
The US Conference of Mayors issued a report recently that stated that our economy will see a major shift of our workforce where 4.2 million green jobs will be created by 2038.
The Apollo Alliance coalition of environmentalists says a $500 billion investment over the next 10 years will create 5 million green collar jobs. If this be the case, it wise to start making career choices now, and help to save our planet at the same time! To learn more about green jobs, there are job sites, like MonsterTraks’s GreenJobs and Greenjobs.com that list renewable energy jobs and positions with green-thinking companies.