Recently, I’ve been researching and writing about clean energy and the green economy. I came across a publication, Job Opportunities for the Green Economy, from the Center for American Progress (CAP), which defines a green economy that’s based on using energy efficiently, reducing pollution emissions, and using renewable sources. Their report focuses on six strategies for advancing the green economy: building retrofitting; mass transit; energy efficient autos; wind power; solar power; and biomass fuels. Within these areas, they outline jobs that will continue to grow as investments in the green economy expand. Taken from CAP’s report, here’s a brief look at the opportunities they anticipate in each area:
Building retrofitting: workers who will advance the green economy by equipping buildings with new, energy efficient technologies
Electricians, Heating/Air Conditioning Installers, Carpenters, Construction Equipment Operators, Roofers, Insulation Workers, Carpenter Helpers, Industrial Truck Drivers, Construction Managers, Building Inspectors
Mass transit: workers who will advance the green economy by decreasing our dependency on pollution-emitting private transportation
Civil Engineers, Rail Track Layers, Electricians, Welders, Metal Fabricators, Engine Assemblers, Production Helpers, Bus Drivers, First-Line Transportation Supervisors, Dispatchers
Energy efficient autos: workers who will advance the green economy by creating vehicles that use energy more efficiently
Computer Software Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Engineering Technicians, Welders, Transportation Equipment Painters, Metal Fabricators, Computer-Controlled Machine Operators, Engine Assemblers, Production Helpers, Operations Managers
Wind power: workers who will advance the green economy by creating clean energy
Environmental Engineers, Iron and Steel Workers, Millwrights, Sheet Metal Workers, Machinists, Electrical Equipment Assemblers, Construction Equipment Operators, Industrial Truck Drivers, Industrial Production Managers, First-Line Production Supervisors
Solar power: workers who will advance the green economy by decreasing our dependence on pollution-emitting sources
Electrical Engineers, Electricians, Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Welders, Metal Fabricators, Electrical Equipment Assemblers, Construction Equipment Operators, Installation Helpers, Laborers, Construction Managers
Biomass fuels: workers who will advance the green economy by using renewable sources of energy
Chemical Engineers, Chemists, Chemical Equipment Operators, Chemical Technicians, Mixing and Blending Machine Operators, Agricultural Workers, Industrial Truck Drivers, Farm Product Purchasers, Agricultural and Forestry Supervisors, Agricultural Inspectors
As we can see, there is some overlap among the areas, but opportunity exists in many fields of work in which people are already employed. For example, a manufacturer of auto parts may be able to retool to manufacture wind turbine components for future alternative energy demand. Not only does this mean new job openings, but greater job security for workers already employed in these occupations. The jobs of today are the jobs of tomorrow. It is now a matter of enhancing those skill sets as we transition into the new, green economy.
To read this report and view more reports on other prominent issues, visit the Center for American Progress at www.americanprogress.org.
Source: Center for American Progress (2008). Job Opportunities for the Green Economy.