The job market has undergone some drastic changes over the past few decades. Manufacturing jobs have disappeared from many areas, and a large number of jobs have become obsolete due to technological advances. But there's one area where job growth is booming, and that's the green jobs sector.
One factor that has increased the number of green jobs available is an increased awareness of environmental issues. Consumers are spending more money on green products and services, and they expect the companies they patronize to make an effort to reduce their impact on the environment. Investments in clean energy have also created a greater demand for green collar workers. Here are the top 10 green jobs in the new economy, in no particular order.
1. Organic Farmer – Farming has a reputation for being a family business, but up until recently it had been largely taken over by big industries. Fortunately, consumers have begun to realize the pitfalls of factory farming. More and more shoppers are seeking out sustainable and organic meats and produce due to their health benefits and lower impact on the environment. Sustainable farming operations are small-scale by nature, and that means there's a need for lots of new farmers in today's job market.
2. Urban Planner – Cities have unique environmental problems such as lack of green spaces and heavy pollution. An urban planner's job involves mass transit optimization, infrastructure design, development planning and other activities that allow the city to run more efficiently and in better harmony with the environment. With urban sprawl on the rise, the demand for urban planners is sure to increase.
3. Hydrologist – Water pollution and climate change have created new challenges when it comes to the water supply. A hydrologist's job is to tackle these challenges. Duties vary, but may include water quality testing, location of new water supplies, environmental cleanup and hazardous waste disposal.
4. Solar Power Technician – Thanks to tax incentives, a growing number of homeowners are installing solar power systems. The most common of these are photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters. Jobs in the manufacture and installation of these are expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.
5. Recycling Jobs – People and businesses are recycling more these days to help the environment, raise money and avoid waste disposal fees. That means the demand for recycling workers, from waste collectors to recycling company CEOs, is greater than ever.
6. Green Construction Jobs – New building codes require builders to adhere to higher energy efficiency standards. But home buyers often seek out contractors who can provide higher efficiency than that required by law. There's also a demand for retrofitters to make improvements to existing buildings.
7. Environmental Attorney – With the many and varied environmental concerns we face today, environmental lawsuits are inevitable. Environmental attorneys handle litigation that results from bad environmental practices or challenges environmental regulations.
8. Eco-tourism Jobs – Tourism is good for the economy, but it's not always good for the environment. Eco-tourism workers facilitate travel and tourism that is energy efficient and environmentally conscious. Jobs include travel agents, tour guides and transportation operators.
9. Green Engineer – Green engineers are at the heart of the green economy. They create new technology and energy solutions that reduce our impact on the environment. Job titles include environmental engineer, electrical engineer, smart grid engineer and thermal engineer.
10. Green Entrepreneur – There's never been a better time to start a new business that benefits the environment. Green startups may revolve around recycling, green energy, eco-tourism or any number of other eco-friendly professions.
Green jobs are on the rise. If you are in the market for a new job or career, check out these choices that can be beneficial for you and the environment.