The eco-friendly movement is growing bigger every day as more people realize the importance of renewable resources, recycling and minimizing waste. It’s helping us fight climate change, but it also has a huge impact on the economy.

As demand grows for green products and cleaner technology so does the need for skilled green collar workers. These are the workers that fill jobs within the environmental sector, but their presence is growing in other industries. It’s one of the biggest emerging markets in recent history and offers a lot of opportunity – if you have the right knowledge, skills and mindset for the job.

Gaining Education for Green Jobs

Creating a workforce that can get green jobs done is the first step in creating a more sustainable world. The educational centers themselves are creating jobs by offering programs and TAFE courses that teach people the vital skills needed to get green jobs. There are many specialties to choose from, each with their own specialized training.

Conservation and Land Management is just one example of a traditional Technical And Furthering Education (TAFE) course that can be used in the environmental sector. Building & Construction is another industry that is dramatically changing due to new green techniques and requirements. Understanding these latest eco-friendly techniques and best practices will help you set yourself apart from other applicants because you’ll bring additional value to the business.

If you’re looking for job security and interested in working within the environmental sector you’ll need to find the proper training program. Some green jobs will require certain degrees and certifications before you can even apply.

Types of Jobs Needed in Eco-Friendly Industries

In the U.S., where the government has led a green jobs initiative since 2010, green collar workers have had an easier time finding work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that in 2011 green jobs grew four times faster than all other industries.

Green workers are needed at all phases of production from analysis to planning to implementation. Below is just a small sampling of in-demand green jobs.

Green IT

This is one of the fastest-growing green sectors today. Many people don’t realize the impact that IT systems have on the environment. Servers, equipment, and devices eat up a lot of energy – much of which is generated using oil and coal. Green IT workers are needed to design more energy efficient solutions and to incorporate them into businesses and buildings.

Green Building

As noted above, the construction industry offers tremendous opportunity for green workers. From developing green building products to using them on a construction site, there is a long supply chain to work within in the construction industry. The demand here is particularly high, because homes use a substantial amount of energy every year and the construction industry generates a massive amount of waste.

Solar Panel Construction and Installation

Solar panels are one of the most in-demand green products on the market. Solar cells are getting more powerful and cheaper to produce, which means more people are beginning to invest in solar systems.

Horticulturists and Eco-Friendly Landscapers

Home gardens, lawns, and landscaping add value to a property, but they can also significantly increase your eco-footprint. Drought conditions have also made water conservation a serious issue in many parts of the world. Landscapers and horticulturists are playing an important role in creating more sustainable outdoor spaces.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Factor

If you’re wondering why so many businesses are looking for green workers these days the answer may be corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. More and more businesses are implementing CSR initiatives in an effort to become more eco-friendly and to show customers that they are playing a part in protecting the environment.

Here again is another job opportunity for workers with the right training. CSR consultants are needed to help businesses create a cohesive plan that will effectively reduce their carbon footprint. 

With the world now united in the effort to clean up the environment, reduce carbon emissions and use more efficient resources, green jobs are expected to increase in coming years. Even jobs that aren’t in a “green” industry can easily fall under the eco-friendly umbrella. Workers that prepare now will be in the best position to secure top green jobs well into the future.