Not surprisingly, new jobs are being created every day to meet the growing green demands. The American Solar Energy Society is forecasting that 40 million “green collar jobs” will exist in 20 years. If you are one of the thousands of people thinking about a career change, maybe one of these ideas will appeal to you.
Urban planner – as more and more cities look for ways to Greenify, the eco-friendly urban planner will be needed more than ever. Urban planners work toward maximizing quality of life for residents by developing short and long term plans for the growth, development and revitalization of communities.
Eco-tourism is helping the travel industry rise again. The International EcoTourism Society offers a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management. Jobs in the eco-tourism field include being an eco-lodge manager, sustainable tourism manager, wildlife naturalist, development consultant, or tour operator environmental manager.
Alternative energy- jobs in this field are growing like crazy as the need for clean energy soars. Solar installer, wind generator installer, alternative energy products retailer/wholesaler, alternative energy engineers, managers, analysts, and financing- the possibilities are endless.
Corporate Sustainability Manager- several colleges have jumped on the bandwagon and are offering “Green MBA’s.” If you were thinking of upgrading to an MBA anyway, check out programs at Stanford University, Presidio School of Management, Dominican University of California, Bainbridge Graduate Institute and George Washington University. In addition, this fall UC Irvine Extension will be offering one of the first online Certificate Programs in Sustainability Studies.
Organic farming – more and more people are eating locally and organically. If you are interested in organic farming, start small and build your way up. Maybe you have a small plot of land you can raise garlic or other small crop on to sell to local restaurants or at a farmer’s market. As mentioned in this blog previously, the word “organic” is regulated, so don’t use it unless you are certified.
Environmental non-profit – check out organizations such as Greenpeace, The Sierra Club or the World Wildlife Fun. Idealist.org has a data base of almost 12,000 jobs in the non-profit sector and thousands of those jobs center on the environment.
Environmental Educator – green jobs could range from being an educator at an environmental or outdoor center to teaching science to being a Park Ranger.
Green construction is becoming more and more popular, courses and certifications are available. You could also consider getting into something such as green rehabbing. Green architects are needed as are engineers, landscapers, consultants, project coordinators and more.
Good resources for the eco-savvy career changer include Environmental career.com and the American Solar Energy Society’s report on “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century.”