On December 2, 2011, President Obama announced his commitment of $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings within the next two years. With this platform, he hopes to create thousands of green jobs. What exactly is a green job? Phil Angelides, the chair of Apollo Alliance, explains a green collar job can be anything that helps put America on the path to a cleaner, more efficient future. This means that green jobs are not solely limited to jobs directly dealing with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy projects. Therefore, green jobs include those in the public transit sector, blue-collar manufacturing so long as they are being made green. In addition to the growing demand for green jobs, top green careers pay an average of $66,000 annually. Although many blue-collared jobs technically can be converted to green collared, to better position yourself, you can easily enroll in a distance learning program so that you can schedule your education around your responsibilities.
The number one field for green jobs is in engineering. Structural engineering will have you working side by side with builders to create the next generation of homes and buildings. Civil engineers are involved in creating city plans that follow environmentally friendly regulations, while material engineers work to design low-polluting products.
A bachelor’s degree is generally required for all entry level engineering careers; however, an associate’s degree may only be needed for some of the technician jobs. Nonprofit business with green initiatives and landscape design require either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. With all these fields, there are many online degree programs that will allow you to obtain the necessary degree while keeping your current job. Other popular fields such as conservation and green vocation require two year degrees that can also be completed online.
By 2030, 75% of the buildings in the US will either be newly built green or substantially rehabilitated. This will cause the demand for green jobs in technological fields, but also in the industrial sector as well. The hope is to create 5 million green jobs within a decade. Some green jobs include: manufacturing hybrid cars, building consultants, environmental study professors, wind turbine engineers, and lawyers for biofuel companies. Many distance learning schools offer these programs of study so that you can begin a new career at your own pace.