Green Jobs: A Buzz Word or an Emerging Trend?

While our planet faces great environmental challenges such as pollution and waste, global warming, water, food and land shortages as well as overpopulation, the need to develop people who are trained to think about how to protect and repair our ecosystem is imperative.

Luckily, governments around the world are recognising the adverse impact of global warming and as such, are investing time and money into taking steps to foster green investment. These environmentally friendly policies include investing in clean technology and green jobs. My argument then is that ‘green jobs’ in our times is not a mere catchy phrase but an important, promising trend.  

The green sector has greatly evolved today and the future is predicted even brighter.  The U.S.A. reported 3.4 million green energy jobs in 2011 according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Also, roughly $100 billion from the U.S. government stimulus package will be spent on actions related to preventing and counteracting global warming including the opening of green jobs, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2010 report.  Moreover, an American Solar Energy Society Report in 2009 predicted that one in five US workers could be employed in the renewable and energy-efficiency industries by 2030.

Green professions and their prospects

These trends show that as the green economy develops more and more, so does the need for green professions.  

Environmental scientists for instance are in the forefront of researching and challenging global warming and may work in areas such as marine biology, ecology, chemistry, etc. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. says that the employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to expand by 19% from 2010 to 2020.

Furthermore, there are many jobs in the developing area of wind energy. Many new job roles emerged as wind has become more essential than ever.  According to the American Wind Energy Association, an estimated 85,000 Americans are currently employed in the wind power industry and related fields. Occupations include wind turbine machinists, wind energy technicians, wind analysts or wind farm construction managers.

Also, as solar energy panels are increasing in popularity, so do the numbers of jobs for solar energy panel engineers, technicians, and installers. The list goes and on and on. But on top of these there are more emerging career options in the fields of forestry, recycling and waste management, ecotourism, energy and product development, climatology and organic farming.

Finally, in spite of the gloomy economic situation, it seems that environmental jobs have a lot of potential given that states and businesses increasingly acknowledge the benefits in following the green agenda.