by Teri Fritsma
You might think that green jobs all have exotic titles, like Energy Auditor or Carbon Credit Trader. The fact is, though, most green jobs aren’t all that new or unusual. In fact, you’ll probably be more likely to find green-related employment in a traditional occupation.
Last week’s post, Get a Green Career: Part 1, was the first in a 3-part series on green jobs. As I mentioned, a newly-released O*NET report gives us some much-needed insight on how our economy is “greening,” and what this means for the current and future demand for green workers. O*NET’s report lists occupations that are affected by these trends, and divides them into three categories: Green Enhanced Skills, Green Increased Demand, and New & Emerging Green occupations. Part 1 of my series was on Green Enhanced Skills occupations; Part 3 will be on New & Emerging Green occupations — and today I’m focusing on Green Increased Demand.
Quick disclaimer: you won’t find links to green jobs in this post. There’s no official list of green job openings in Minnesota or elsewhere (yet). But here are some resources that might help if you’re really on the hunt for a green job.
O*NET’s research suggests that much the job growth that’s due to green trends will actually occur in traditional, “non-green” occupations. O*NET identifies 64 such Green Increased Demand occupations. What’s interesting about these jobs is that they will require very little, if any, specialized green training or skills. In other words, the only thing that’s changing about the occupations is the demand for workers, which will likely increase because of the demand for things like renewable energy, green construction, green consulting services, and the like.
Some examples of these Green Increased Demand occupations include:
- Bus drivers will be needed because of an increased demand for public transportation.
- Insulation installers will help to upgrade inefficient home and office insulation.
- Carpenter helpers and carpenters will be needed to work on green construction or retrofitting projects.
- Chemical engineers and chemists for energy research and consulting services.
- Forestry technicians and conservation scientists are needed because of stepped-up environmental regulations.
- Agricultural inspectors will help meet the increased demand for organic and sustainable farming techniques, and new government regulations.
- Millwrights and Precision assemblers will be needed to meet the demand for manufacturing green goods.
This is just a partial list; to see the full list of O*NET’s Green Increased Demand occupations, see Appendices A and D of their report.
It’s difficult to predict at this point how much these fields might grow and where exactly the jobs will be. So what to do if you’re interested in moving in to one of these fields? Well, since the skill requirements of these occupations won’t change much, you can find jobs the same way you’d look for openings in any field. Here are some places to get started: Use ISEEK’s Explore Careers section to learn more about these careers (or any others listed in the O*NET report); or see our Find a Job section to search for openings or tailor your resume. If you live outside of Minnesota, check CareerOneStop.org for similar resources. And don’t miss ISEEK’s Green Careers section, which we’ll continually update as green employment trends unfold.