Green Collar Jobs: The Red Hot New Career Field in the US

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You’ve heard of white collar careers and blue collar jobs, but there’s a new set of jobs in the marketplace: green collar jobs. A relatively recent addition to the job market, this industry spans a wide variety of industries and simply put, focuses on eco-friendly careers. What exactly is a green collar job? In general, the definition for a career in this field is that the pay can support a family, offers chances for upward mobility and these jobs decrease waste, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, or improves the environment in some other way. Careers in fields such as alternative energy industries are part of the green collar job movement.

It’s thought that the job market in the environmentally friendly fields is the next frontier to mine for a wealth of new jobs in the US. It’s believed that the current number of 8.5 million jobs in renewable-energy and energy efficient fields will expand to about 40 million jobs by 2030. There are even job boards focused entirely on helping job searchers find a green job in an area they love.

One of the hot job fields in the eco-friendly job market is Environmental Engineering. This vein of study encompasses just about any type of scientific engineering field that helps reduce pollution and find abundant sources of renewable energy. Careers within this field include:

●      Environmental impact assessment

●      Air quality management

●      Water supply and treatment

●      Waste water treatment

One of the appealing aspects of these careers is that these types of jobs already exist outside the green spectrum and engineers already in these industries simply need to take some supplemental courses in order to change a degree in Mechanical Engineering into something marketable in the more earth-conscious side of Mechanical Engineering. In fact, there are a wealth of online graduate courses available in Environmental Engineering, as well as some really unique internship opportunities for college students.

If you think you have to be an engineer to have a positive impact on the environment through your job, think again. There are a wide variety of jobs that fall into green collar careers. Careers in landscaping, green building and even bike delivery businesses fall into the category of eco-friendly jobs. Computer programmer? While these may not seem immediately green, computer and technology companies frequently have some of the greenest practices and facilities of many industries. In fact, in a Newsweek 2010 report, four of the five greenest companies in the US were technology companies.

Finding a green collar job in the United States is projected to become easier with each passing year. It pays to augment degrees with supplemental eco-friendly courses to ensure your viability in future job markets. Plus, having a job that gives back to the earth, rather than taking away is a rewarding career path.

Author Bio:
Kelly T. writes about eco-business for a variety of publications. You can find more of her content on, including this article on saving money on Gaiam eco goods.

Syndication Information:
This post has been syndicated by Nathan Brown.  He helps provide green consumers with valuable information on how to make your own home solar energy system and he provides businesses with some of the top eco ads that can be found online.

Time: What is a Green Collar Job?
Business Week: Switching to Green Collar Jobs

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