8 Places to Find Green Jobs
By Lauren Bayne Anderson
APRIL 2011 — Earth Day is April 22 this year. And if you care about the environment, and are looking for a job, you’re in luck.
“Green jobs” has become a political phrase, tossed around by politicians. But there’s a practical side to it too—a growing job landscape, ripe for the plucking. With green jobs, you can help clean up the environment, fight global warming and make a living doing it—in a practical way.
Which Industries Have the Most Green Jobs?
Some sources forecast the green market will soon grow to be a $1.5 Trillion industry. And new green jobs are expected to grow 24% annually to 1,388,600 total jobs in 2015, up from 892,000 total green jobs in 2010, according to the Environmental Leader Insights publication, which focuses on green jobs.
Any job that focuses on renewable, sustainable or environmentally friendly energy or water reduction, can be classified as green. And while most sectors are projected to grow, green jobs in the U.S. will be found mainly in the Renewable Power Generation industry and the Transportation industry— both now and in 2015. These two industries alone will account for 45.0% of green jobs in 2010 and 52.0% of green jobs in 2015. See the graph below for more information on which sectors are growing.
Where Are the Green Jobs Located?
California! California is the national leader of clean tech job creation, with four of its cities in the top 15 metro areas. San Francisco and Silicon Valley were ranked first, Los Angeles second, San Diego seventh and Sacramento fifteenth. Clean-tech companies employ 20,000 manufacturing workers in Los Angeles and the Bay area combined.
California plans to reach its renewable energy goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. More than 40% of all clean-tech venture capital funding worldwide went to firms in California as investments in electric vehicles, eco-friendly buildings and solar energy projects, which have more than tripled in the first half of 2010 to $2.9M, according to EL Insights.
Outside of California, Boston, New York, and Denver are producing the most cleantech jobs and Houston jumped from 15th to eighth place in response to a local biofuels boom and the government’s commitment to purchasing wind power. A recent stimulus funded smart grid project in Maine is projected to create 2,000 green jobs over the next five years