Where are the green jobs going?
April 5, 2007 3:37 PM   Subscribe

From what industries are the green/sustainable jobs emerging? Are there educational programs in place to meet the potential demand?

I'm interested in a more meaningful angle to my line of work by pursuing something in the field of green/sustainable design. Given the relatively recent spike in environmental awareness, is it possible to predict now what industries will be looking for folks with an emphasis in this knowledge/experience? Furthermore, are specific universities ramping up programs to address the potential demand?

I might be casting too wide a net with this question so if it needs to be boiled down to something specific: where are the green jobs going?
posted by quadog to Education (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
where are the green jobs going?

Hybrid vehicle sales, engineering and mechanics.

And seriously ... oil companies. All those oil companies will simply not just up and die tomorrow. They'll change their tunes, likely representing massive expenditures in order to make the transitions.
posted by frogan at 3:47 PM on April 5, 2007

Architecture and related sub-fields. Within these fields not only the use of sustainable materials to create the building but creating the building in such a way that it uses less energy overall.

I know that the Architecture program at the University of Oregon places an emphasis on sustainable design. I imagine this focus extends to other areas of study within UofO as well.
posted by click at 4:16 PM on April 5, 2007

One answer for the second question (which you may be familiar with as someone in SF) - the Presidio School, offering an MBA in Sustainable Management. I heard of it through TreeHugger (some of the contributors are graduates).
posted by PY at 5:09 PM on April 5, 2007

Sustainability is everywhere. With that in mind, jobs in sustainability are everywhere.

Seriously. There are the obvious ones - solar panels and wind turbine makers, green building materials and architects (as well as facilitiies management) as click mentioned, biodiesel or alternative energy producers. Every utility company in the country probably has some sort of interest being generated. Public transit agencies, city planning, hybriud car design and sales. A lot of hospitals are involved in trying to reduce their impact. Tech companies like AMD and Sun (who just turned me down for an internship in their CSR department) have an interest. Supply chain management is another area - when WalMart makes it a criteria, everyone has to respond.

And then there's the possibility and opportunity to consult to regular businesses or governments that don't know they're interested. Firms can save a lot of money by learning new energy-efficient technologies and you can make the case without mentioning the environment once - which is good, because to some environmentalism is still a bad word.

I think it's the wrong idea to ask where the green jobs are going. I think the way to go is figure out what interests you, and see how greening might apply. But, for another take on it, you can also check out green-specific job boards such as Treehugger Jobs, GreenBiz, and SustainableBusiness.

Just please don't take any of those jobs away from me.
posted by andifsohow at 6:03 PM on April 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

chicago has an org that runs regular meetings on sustainability/business (green drinks by foresight design intiative). You might want to look for something similar in your area.
posted by ejaned8 at 7:49 PM on April 5, 2007

Check out my previous question, which is related. I'm going back to school for an MSc in Environmental Management and I'll learn to do Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Auditing, etc. Then I'll look for a job on this site, among other places. That site lists graduate degrees you can do as well. It's UK based.
posted by hazyjane at 12:04 AM on April 6, 2007

Public relations.
posted by enrevanche at 5:42 AM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Um... everything? From Walmart execs (check out their new initiatives) to any sort of manufacturing to "how to detoxify your house!" personal services, there are green jobs emerging across the board. What are you interested in? One specific idea -- I've heard home solar system design & installation is pretty booming right now.
posted by salvia at 12:07 AM on April 7, 2007

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