Looking to change your career? Want to be part of a growth industry? Interested in green jobs? Now is the time.

As Dr. Kirwan Rockfeller, Director, Sustainability Leadership, UC Irvine Extension, puts it, “since gas prices went up to $5 a gallon there has been historic momentum for green jobs”.

But what are green jobs?

1. Green job definition
According to Phil Angelides, chairman of California based Apollo Alliance, which brings business, labor and environmental groups together, a green job "has to pay decent wages and benefits that can support a family. It has to be part of a real career path, with upward mobility. And it needs to reduce waste and pollution and benefit the environment."

OK so what kind of work can you expect?

2. What do you do in a green job?
Green jobs can include designing hybrid cars, developing recycling programs, and working on reducing energy consumption through alternative energies such as solar or wind.

Do I need a degree to work a green job?

3. Blue-collar green jobs
Some of these jobs will also be blue-collar jobs such as building hybrid cars, installing solar panels, and installing and maintaining wind farms. It’s likely that these jobs will require specific skills but will be open to high school graduates. They also could be better paid than some entry-level jobs currently open.

“Solar panel installer jobs are hot,” says Rockfeller excusing the pun.

4. Professional green jobs
And many green jobs will be for job hunters who have degrees or higher qualifications. Engineers will need to create the specifications for alternative energy projects. Marketing and sales professionals will need to build markets and get customers for these new businesses. And business leaders will need to develop strategic plans to ensure that green companies are successful.

For someone in career transition, a green job could be a great opportunity either in a new role or utilizing transferable skills in a new way to meet the demands of a green economy.

As Rockfeller puts it, “green jobs are not a fad – they’re not going away in a year or two”.


Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and the USA with thousands of individuals and groups. He has successfully coached men and women wanting to change career or develop new opportunities at all levels - including CEOs of major companies wanting a creative challenge, frustrated souls longing to make their dream come true and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job. He specializes in helping people find their unique potential. He loves to transform misfits at work into successful misfits with their dream careers. David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television. David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA. He has dual US/UK citizenship. www.davidcoupercoach.com

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