You know about white- and blue-collar workers, but now there is a new color to add to the spectrum – green collar workers. Green collar jobs are a bit like blue collar jobs, except there is the intent to improve the environment. Van Jones, award winning human rights advocate, saw the opportunity that a clean energy economy would create for the blue collar workforce, and campaigned for the creation of a green collar jobs corps that working class and minority Americans could benefit from. However, over time, the definition of the green collar work force will likely expand to include anyone that works in a job that involves environmental sustainability as the green collar economy continues to expand.
Where Do They Work?
Green collar workers don’t have to look far to find jobs in the growing green economy. In fact, Obama has promised to spend $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million new green collar jobs, which helps us combat climate change while creating a whole new sector of the economy. Here are just a few of the top fastest growing jobs in the green industry:
- Environmental Education.
- Mechanical Engineering. Opportunities abound in the mechanical engineering sector, a discipline of engineering that involves the design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. These jobs are in demand throughout the energy sector, and with the clean energy sector growing, jobs in solar, wind, biofuels, etc will increase as well.
- Organic Agriculture. Just about anything to do with organic agriculture, including raising crops and animals is growing. If you currently own or work on a large farm, you may already be using organic farming methods. These techniques can include growing crops without using pesticides or interspersing plants in your field that act as natural pesticides. You may switch to organic or natural fertilizer or use organic methods of crop farming that benefit both humans and animals. No matter who consumes the harvest, organic farming reduces the risk of exposure to pesticides or chemicals.
Even the educational sector is getting in on the green job market. More and more schools and universities are placing an emphasis on teaching science and science-related subjects from a standpoint of environment protection and sustainability. Some of the environmental courses that are being offered include solar panel installation, green building, energy efficiency, corporate sustainability, and green MBAs. Educational institutions are seeking people can teach these topics.
What about Other Professional Occupations?
Other established occupations, such as residential and commercial climate control, manufacturing and maintenance, have opportunities for green collar workers as well. For example, builders and manufacturers of machines and appliances are learning how to incorporate new green materials and parts into their products. Repair and maintenance workers are discovering how to use replacement parts that allow products to operate in energy efficient ways never before possible.
In the financial sector, people with experience in cost analysis, as it pertains to current operations and the ways in which a company can become greener, are seeing more job opportunities.
Brand Yourself as a Green Collar Professional
If you are already part of the green collar industry or are introducing changes to make your company greener, make sure you tell people about it. Right now, consumers are as excited by the green movement as businesses and they want to purchase goods and services from companies that are also committed to making the world a better place. Make your commitment to working greener clear in all your promotional materials and in your online presence.
One of the best places to start highlighting your green industry expertise is on your personal blog. Blogs are the perfect platform for you to showcase the your role in making your company more sustainable, or your passion for a particular green niche. Don’t have a website or blog? Not to worry! There are plenty of platforms upon which you can build your personal website, even for free. WordPress is free, open source blogging platform that has made web publishing fantastically easy for even the most non-technical people. With WordPress you can choose from thousands of beautiful WordPress themes that will give your personal blog a professional look.
How Do I Find a Professional Green WordPress Theme that Reflects Who I Am?
A simple Google search will turn up numerous curated lists of beautiful WordPress themes, such as this awesome list of the best green WordPress themes for green business, nonprofits and green bloggers. For example, the free Business Turnkey WordPress theme is versatile enough to be used as a website theme or a blog theme – making it a great choice for small businesses, independent consultants, and career professionals. If you still feel intimidated by the idea of creating a website, take a few minutes to watch the Business Turnkey demo video on how a Marin landscape design company started a its site quickly and took it to the next level.
With so many industries climbing aboard the green bandwagon, opportunities to get a green collar job are increasing. Now is a great time to research the kind of green collar job you want, and leverage a personal website or blog to brand yourself as a green expert so that you are miles ahead of your competition.