Want to make more green? A "greener" job may be the answer. As concern for the environment increases, more consumers are turning to eco-friendly products and services. From organic clothing lines to natural vacation spots to socially responsible investments, there are "green" opportunities in industries across the workforce spectrum.
What they do: Install solar power systems for homes and businesses.
Salary range: $25,000 to $75,000
Education/experience: Certification with a minimum of 8,000 hours on-the-job training and 600 hours classroom instruction
Growth forecast: According to Green Careers Journal, solar-industry growth is expected to continue at more than 30 percent a year for the next five years. Solar power has a sunny future, especially in states like Massachusetts that provide rebates to consumers and low-interest loans and grants to solar energy providers.
What they do: Create furniture from recycled materials, naturally fallen trees, or through environmentally friendly methods.
Salary range: $27,000 - $45,000
Education/experience: Degree from vocational or trade school, or on-the-job training.
Growth forecast: At the High Point Furniture Market in High Point, N.C., last October, several large furniture manufacturers introduced eco-friendly lines. According to Furniture Today, this is a growing trend and employers in the green furniture industry will be hiring builders in the near future.
Green Investment Bankers
What they do: Invest in future green technologies
Salary range: $ 45,000 to $500,000
Education/experience: Business degree
Growth forecast: The growing demand for green technologies has led to an increase in green investment. (BLS).
What they do: Landscape with plants and soil native to an area without the use of dangerous pesticides and equipment that contribute to pollution. architectural design, site planning, environmental restoration, town planning, urban design, parks and recreation planning, regional planning, landscape urbanism, and historic preservation. They also help in the conservation of environments and deal with environmental and zoning laws (Christopher Cotter Registered Landscape Architect, NY.)
Salary range: $45, 000 to $100,000
Education/experience: Degree in Landscape Architecture.
What they do: Monitor the level of pollutants in the air, water, and land, and help clean up contaminated sites.
Salary range: $25,090 to $63,670
Education/experience: Associate's degree or certificate in environmental science or a science-related technology (minimum) in addition to hands-on training.
Growth forecast: The increased emphasis on environmental compliance may lead to employment growth for protection technicians of about 28 percent, according to the BLS.
What they do: Plan and coordinate construction projects.
Salary range: Up to $150,000
Education/experience: Bachelor s degree in construction science, management, building science, or civil engineering, with work experience on construction sites.
Growth forecast: As the construction industry becomes more green and construction laws regarding the environment become more complex, the need for construction managers will increase faster than the average job, according to the BLS.
Green fashion Designer
What they do: Use organic materials, eco-friendly methods, and fair labor practices to create clothing and accessories.
Salary range: $31,340 to $121,640
Education/experience: Associate's or bachelor s degree in fashion design.
Growth forecast: While the competition in the fashion industry is high, those looking to get a step ahead may want to look toward green design. In addition, from 2004 to 2008, the organic fiber market will grow 15.5 percent a year, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Green Farmer What they do: Run an organic farm or ranch. Salary range: $29,000 to $150,000 Education/experience: On-the-job training and some post-secondary education in agriculture and business. Growth forecast: No longer a niche industry, organic farming is one of the fastest-growing segments in agriculture, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Organic products are sold in 73 percent of conventional supermarkets.
What they do: Represent individuals, businesses, and interest groups in matters regarding the environment, including environmental laws.
Salary range: $75,000 and up
Education/experience: JD with a specialty in environmental law
Growth forecast: As concern about global warming and the use of fossil fuels grows, companies, governments, and nonprofits are all clamoring for guidance on topics such as land use, pollution control, protection of the natural environment, energy efficiency, and regulation.
Fuel Cell developer
What they do: Manufacture, assemble, install, test, maintain, research, and develop fuel cells, battery-like components.
Salary range: $70,000 and up
Education/experience: A master's or doctorate in science or engineering.
Growth forecast: US fuel-cell demand will grow tenfold, to $1.1 billion, in 2008, according to the US Fuel Cell Council in Washington, D.C.
What they do: Study and monitor the quality of soil, air, and ground water and make recommendations on cleanup.
Salary range: $55,000 to $88,000
Education/experience: Bachelor's or master's degree, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation.
Growth forecast: As a result of the growth of environmental awareness, The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2014, there will be 31.2 percent more jobs for environmental engineers than there were in 2004.
Conservation Biologist What they do: Minimalize the impact of industries on the enviroemtn . Salary range: $39,000 to $62,000 Education/experience: Bachelor's or master's degree.
Green architect What they do: Design and build structures that are environmentally friendly as whole and/or are built using green methods and materials. Salary range: $50,000 to $200,000 Education/experience: Bachelor's or master's degree, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. Growth forecast: In 2002, the US Green Building Council reports, 2,400 architects earned LEED accreditation; by this year, that number had jumped to 40,000 as LEED became an industry standard. In long Island alone six new green buildings are planned to be built by 2010.
Heating and air conditioning installer/mechanic What they do: Maintain, repair, and install heating systems or air-conditioning systems. Salary range: $29,530 to $64,120 Education/experience: On-the-job training, although the complexity of the new systems require technical school training or apprenticeships. Growth forecast: With the development of energy-saving air-conditioners and boilers, the need for mechanics and installers is expected to increase in the next 10 years by 9 percent, according to the BLS. In addition, laws passed in the near future may further encourage homeowners and businesses to purchase new, more energy-efficient products.
Arborist What they do: This work may include some or all of the following: planting; transplanting; pruning; structural support; preventing, or diagnosing and treating phytopathology or parasitism; preventing or interrupting grazing or predation; installing lightning protection; and removing vegetation deemed as hazardous, an invasive species, a disease vector, or a weed. Arborists may also plan, consult, write reports and give legal testimony.. Salary range: $39,230 to $59,190 Education/experience: Four year degree. Must pass rigorous federal certification. Growth forecast: With deforestation becoming an increasing threat to the global ecosystem, arborist are in high demand to counterbalance the effects of the international logging industry.
Green Interior designer What they do: Design the interiors of homes or businesses with products, furniture, and flooring made in energy-efficient ways, or from recycled or renewable resources. Most materials used are hypoallergenic and chemical free. Salary range: $25,920 to $81,800 Education/experience: Associate's or bachelor s degree in interior design, often followed by a one- to three-year apprenticeship; several states require interior designer licenses. Growth forecast: The demand for green design is increasing as people become more environmentally conscious. The employment of interior designers is expected to increase by 19 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Science teachers What they do: Develop the eco-interest and minds of future biologist, inventors, and any other eco-nerd. Salary range: $29,000 - $65,000 Education/experience: Master's or Doctorate degree. Growth forecast: With the Green movement crossing over into the mainstream, more young children will begin to take interest in green careers. (BLS).