Report: Green Jobs Come In Every Shape and Size

Dec 16, 2010

A report on green jobs says that the American clean tech sector is not only growing, but is also starting to transform long-established industries and professions.

The report also states that this emerging sector generated more than $1 trillion in sales and created more than nine million jobs in 2007. These revenues represent substantially more than the combined 2007 sales of the three largest U.S. corporations--Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, and General Motors ($905 billion).

The report, Green Collar Jobs in the U.S. and Colorado: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century, was published by Management Information Services, Inc. for the American Solar Energy Society.

Noting that creating a definitive scope of jobs included in the green/clean tech sector is an evolving process, the study uses the umbrella term Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) to describe a wide range of jobs that relate to renewable energy and energy efficiency. This includes direct green collar career positions (wind turbine technician, for example), and the indirect jobs that support, or are created by, the RE&EE sector. Examples include accountants, engineers, computer analysts, clerks, factory workers, truck drivers, mechanics, and other workers. The report says that it anticipates that these definitions will become the standard for future researchers examining the clean tech/green industries.

The bottom line, according to the study, is that workplaces are shifting to more sustainable models. "Many career paths are taking a turn, requiring new thinking and skill sets to keep up with the changing environmental landscape."

"Architects, engineers, electricians and machinists will continue to be in demand, yet their job descriptions may be continuously altered. Electricians will need to understand the new utility landscape; machinists will be required to install and maintain new technologies; engineers across all industries will be asked to channel their knowledge towards designing sustainable systems." Other professions and industries that will continue to evolve due to the impact of RE&EE include real estate, law, and agriculture.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn't yet defined "green jobs," there are a growing number of businesses, HR directors, career services departments and educational institutions invested in fostering sustainable careers across all industries.

Whether or not a career is given the term "green job"--or fits within the confines of the green landscape--changes are inevitable and proper education and job training will continue to grow. Ecotech Institute, based in Denver, Colorado, is the first and only institution solely focused on renewable energy and sustainable design. Launched in April 2010, future graduates are already in demand.

For more information on green jobs and education, visit