You might be considering where the opportunity will be for you in the new green economy. There will be growth in wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, new building methods, retrofitting existing buildings, and in retooling in every category for sustainability. We know that there are shortages of skilled technical workers and knowledgeable professionals in almost every sector. The UN has just released a new comprehensive report that shows a changing pattern of employment in which green jobs are being generated in many sectors and economies around the world as a result of measures to tackle climate change and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
But what does this mean for you? How do you stake a claim for you and your family? What skills do you need to have? How do you get from here to there? Whether you’re just getting a college or vocational education, changing careers, or invigorating your current specialty with new thinking, here are some resources to get you started.
Where would I learn to….
Install solar panels?
in 2006 there were 170,000 Solar PV (photovoltaic) jobs worldwide, 15,700 in the U.S, and by 2030 there are expected to be 6.3 million such jobs. The emerging standards board in this area is NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), and they run varying levels of certification courses year round. Some trainers offer NABCEP certified courses online, such as Solar Energy International, a 60 hour certification for PV design.
For broader training in renewable energy, check out the resources from the US Department of Energy.
Learn the ropes of Wind Energy?
22 states have at least one higher or continuing ed program in wind energy. An examplary program is one in Iowa, The Wind Energy and Turbine Technology Program at Iowa Lakes Community College, which is working to help meet the growing demand for skilled technicians who can install, maintain, and service modern wind turbines.
Teach people about green living?
You could train to be a local green consultant, a home based business offered by Green Irene, or contact us at
to be notified when our Green Ambassadors program goes live.
Retrofit existing buildings or build green?
If you have any tie to construction- builders, contractors, tradesman, even a little bit, or if you're in any facet of the law or housing, code, real estate, you may consider uping your greed cred by taking a certified Green Building course, such as those offered by Build It Green. For a new business opportunity, consider training to be a Green Point Rater. Train at Built it Green to be a Green Point Rater or Certified Green Building Course.
Change the way we do business?
Presidio School of Management believes that business holds the power to address the world's most critical environmental, economic and social problems, and has a developed the premier program on sustainable business. They offer MBA and Executive Certificate programs, and offer active placement thereafter. There are similar programs offered by major business schools across the country.
Design zero waste packaging?
How about a certificate in sustainable design , with classes such as Packaging Design and Market Greening, Packaging Quick Fix, Paper, Inks and Printing
and Emerging Trends in Green Product Design and Policy?
Learn organic farming?
The highly respected Rodale Institute runs an online course for transitioning an existing farming operation to organic. But, if you're a beginning farmer, or looking to be closer to the land, you may need a deeper experience. How about spending a year at the Farm School? According to the school, "Hands-on skills are learned within the context of a working farm, building confidence, expertise and a deeper understanding of farming practices. Your classroom is our 160-acre farm with organic market gardens, farm animals, forest, pasture, barns and field equipment. Learning is grounded in the practical realities of meticulous planning, rigorous work and direct marketing to restaurants, through a vibrant Boston farmer's market and managing our CSA program."
More to come!
consult with businesses to reduce their footprint?
develop new materials that are 100% reusable?
develop sustainable products?
manage water supplies?
understand and market carbon offsets?
install and operate biogas facilities?
work in geothermal energy?