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Mar 01

Tips for Getting a Green Collar Job

Even with the global recession, a growing interest in alternative energy has created good job opportunities for job hunters and career changers looking to go green. Many companies involved with wind power, solar power, energy efficiency, biofuels, and other sustainable efforts are hiring workers.

A major misconception about green jobs is that they’re mainly for scientists and researchers. Most jobs in the green economy are actually similar to those found in other industries. Most environmental companies need accountants, project managers, customer service representatives, information technology whizzes, and marketing professionals.

According to a new report by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the hottest green sectors, in terms of revenue growth, are solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, ethanol, and biofuels.

The energy efficiency industry is currently significantly larger than the renewable energy industry; however, the renewable energy industry is growing more rapidly.


Hot Green Job

The hottest, most in-demand jobs currently being sought after in green companies are as follows:

  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electricians
  • Metal workers
  • Welders
  • Environmental scientists
  • Construction managers
  • Chemists


Green Job Boards

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) GreenStart Job Board is a major source of green job postings. Browse the current job openings at companies across the nation. The website also includes an introduction to some of the companies in the green economy. is a service of the Green Jobs Network. Check out job listings in its large collection of green job categories. You can also search by city or state.

The Green Jobs Network offers a great deal of information and numerous categories of job listings. Review job resources by city or state and check out the list of green job fairs.


Top Cities for Green Jobs

Clean Edge, a green-industry research firm, compiled a list of the top metropolitan areas for clean-tech job activity. The rankings are based on the number of current green jobs, clean-tech employer projections, and the amount of green investing. Here are the top 10 metropolitan areas:

  1. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, CA
  2. Los Angeles – Riverside – Orange County, CA
  3. New York – Northern New Jersey – Long Island, NY, NJ, CT, PA
  4. Boston – Worcester – Lawrence – Lowell – Brockton, MA, NH
  5. Washington – Baltimore, DC, MD, VA, WV
  6. Denver – Boulder- Greeley, CO
  7. Seattle – Tacoma – Bremerton, WA
  8. Portland – Salem, OR
  9. Chicago – Gary – Kenosha, IL, IN, WI
  10. Sacramento – Yolo County, CA

Your local community college or labor council may provide information on acquiring skills or certificates needed to weatherize buildings, work in the trades, conduct energy audits, etc.


Speak the Language

Learn to speak green. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is a component of the U.S. Department of Energy, is an excellent resource for accurate, credible information.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency (DSIRE)

This database tracks the latest green policies of state governments. Use the website to learn how incentives in your state compare to others. The information will help you understand which green sectors are likely to grow in your state.


Learn from Nonprofits

There are numerous nonprofits involved in helping the green economy grow. Some of these nonprofits have job boards, membership lists, newsletters, local chapters, and contact names of industry leaders. Here are some organizations that may enhance your green job hunt:

  • Alliance to Save Energy (
  • American Solar Energy Society (
  • Bikes Belong (
  • Geothermal Energy Association (
  • US Green Building Council (
  • American Wind Energy Association (
  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council (


Online Resources

Green for All lists places where you can find green job postings. The site also provides information on green collar job training resources such as:

  • One-Stop Career Centers
  • Certified Job Training Programs
  • Community Colleges
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
  • Apprenticeships
  • Sector Specific Training and Certifications
  • Labor Union Apprenticeships
  • Training for Youth

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council offers training resources, listed by state. Search the green job sectors that interest you.

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) provides an excellent list of websites with renewable energy job boards.

If you’re seeking a green collar job, check out these helpful online resources.


Author bio:

Brian Jenkins writes about careers in environmental science, among other job and career topics, for

1 comment

  1. panel

    Awesome stuff. You seem to make good recommendations so I’ll have to check out the ones on this list that I don’t know.

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