Green Career 101

What exactly a green career, or job, is has been the subject of heated discussion for quite some time. The general determination for whether or not a job is green is based on if it is beneficial to the environment.

Industries that may readily come to mind include renewable energy, green space construction and conservation, energy efficient appliance manufacturing, and sustainably built housing.


Industries that may readily come to mind include renewable energy, green space construction and conservation, energy efficient appliance manufacturing, and sustainably built housing.


Overview

The debate continues on what jobs, specifically, can be called green jobs. On one side, if the company in question manufactures energy efficient appliances, and these are more environmentally friendly, then every job title in said company is considered to be a green career. In this case, it is a catch all for the company.


However, is an accountant, performing the same job at an arguably green company doing anything more “green” there than if they were employed at a traditional company? In both cases they are keeping track of the finances of the company and unless the job was tailored to consider more sustainable approaches to finances, then there is no difference. This job could be considered traditional whether it is at a green company or a more traditional one.


While there is some gray area as to whether some jobs are green or not, there are some that are fairly obvious. An energy auditor is a green profession because those in it help to reduce the wasted energy use for home owners and businesses. In doing so, less energy is required to perform the same tasks and less fuel for power generation is needed. The net result is that fewer emissions are put out into the environment, minimizing any damage they may cause.


Solar panel manufacturers and installers help the environment in a similar way by using the often wasted energy of the sun’s rays to generate electricity in a clean, environmentally beneficial manner.


Environmental engineers and managers, depending on the field, aid in keeping environmental quality high by minimizing pollutants from entering the air, water, and ground through best management practices, monitoring, and various engineering designs.


There are a number of jobs similar to the above and they include:

  • Water and Waste Water Works Operators
  • Environmental Engineers and Managers
  • Water Quality Monitors
  • Environmental Project Managers
  • Environmental Advocates
  • Weatherization Specialists
  • Wind and Water Turbine Manufacturers and Installers
  • Sustainability Coordinators
  • Environmental and Health Regulators
  • Biodiesel, ethanol, and biomass manufacturers
  • Hybrid, Flex Fuel, Electric, and High Efficiency Automobile Manufacturers


Conclusion

While the debate for defining what a green job is, a good assessment tool is to see what the function of the job in question is and weigh that against how it directly helps the environment or not. That is not to say that traditional jobs can’t become green jobs.


A bus driver who helps steer his or her company toward using biodiesel or finding more optimized routes can be, at least in part, green. If the job reduces waste, conserves plants and animal life, or does more with less, there is a good chance it is a green job. Green careers are out there.

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