Whether younger individuals are looking for a major in college that will provide them with growth opportunities or older workers are searching for a way to adapt their existing skills to make themselves more marketable to potential employers, Americans from all walks of life have green careers on their minds.
One of the main reasons Americans find the topic so fascinating is that many environmental experts expect new industries and investment opportunities to flourish as the nation looks for exciting, forward-thinking ways to invest its energy spending and alter its energy consumption. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is an example of this growing interest, as the popular support for green jobs helped garner roughly $50 billion in incentives for U.S. businesses looking to adopt green principles.
However, since green jobs encompass a variety of occupations and industries, it can be difficult for those just starting to get a grasp on its intricacies to decide which part of the burgeoning field best suits them.
What makes a job green?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), most green jobs have been around for quite some time. Conservation and environmental scientists, hydrologists and environmental engineers are just a few of the careers that have long sought to bring skilled individuals together to address the problems associated with sustainability.
Even though the ever-widening field is still being defined, occupations that produce environmentally friendly products or services that benefit the environment – such as green housing or renewable energy – are generally considered green jobs. In addition, many experts consider the category of green jobs to also encompass professionals who work full-time helping their companies to use fewer natural resources or recycle more of the materials they use during the manufacturing process.
How to get a green education?
Since many green jobs lie in the field of science, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that studying math, biology, geography, statistics and chemistry can have benefits for those looking to have their pick of the best new green jobs. Similarly, those looking to enter other fields can look for special certifications that could help them enhance their prospects. For instance, those aspiring to enter the real estate or construction fields can seek certifications from nonprofit entities such as the U.S. Green Building Council and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programs.
In addition, the DOL suggests that while the exact growth pattern of many green industries isn't easy to predict, some specific fields are likely to flourish in the coming years. Energy companies looking to harness wind, geothermal, hydro or solar power are expected to grow as their market share increases. While renewable energy jobs might be the best bet for those still seeking an education, research indicates that there were only around 250,000 of these positions in 2007. By comparison, there were almost 4 million jobs in fields related to energy efficiency.
How LifeIsGreen.com can help environmentally-conscious indivdiuals
Since the green jobs market is growing rapidly, even seemingly small developments could alter the course of the overall market. As a result, it's important for individuals who want to succeed in the field to stay abreast of the latest green developments, whether they're occurring in the field of science, politics, business, food or fashion. By keeping up to date with a trusted news source like LifeIsGreen.com, these individuals will find that they are better able to keep up with any changes that may affect their long-term goals.
As a result, even as America's energy consumption evolves, individuals who follow this news source regularly can ensure they are able to make the best decisions for their careers and gain the knowledge that could help them thrive in an industry with worldwide ramifications.