Green living and sustainability are gaining global interest. Not only are many nations committing to reducing carbon emissions, consumers are demanding more green products and services and businesses are recognizing the value of more sustainable practices. This added emphasis on the environment is causing an influx of job opportunities. Approximately 80,000 green jobs were added to the economy in the U.S. in 2013 alone, according to a study by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). So how do you capitalize on the increased opportunity?
Look for a green career that matches your interests
You don’t necessarily have to be an eco-enthusiast to land a green job. You can find a green job in almost every industry. If you’re passionate about technology, there are plenty of opportunities for you to design the next generation renewable tech. If you’re searching for an engineering job, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in solar and wind energy as the industry strives to create more efficient models. Or maybe you’re looking for an office job. You should have no problem finding a job selling green products and services or even a career in public relations for a green company. The point is, no matter what you’re interested in, it can be incorporated into the green scene.
Join the club
When it comes to getting a job, your resume is often your first impression. If you want to be a standout candidate, it’s important to have experience listed on your resume that shows your commitment to the environment. There are plenty of environmental groups, such as the National Association of Environmental Professionals, the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice or Net Impact, that you could join that could help bolster your job application. If you’re still in college, try to join an environmental club. And if you don’t want to join an organization, think of ways you can volunteer in your community to help give back to the environment. The extra initiative could go a long way in landing your next job.
Know where to look
There are green job opportunities in every state, but there are particular areas that have more opportunities than others. One of the best places to find a green job is Texas. The state leads the nation in wind energy production with 12,000 MW of wind power capacity and utilizes more than 10,000 workers to keep the industry going, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The state is also expected to grow its solar energy sector which already employs more than 4,000 solar workers. In the next couple of years, a number of private companies plan to build large solar systems to sell the renewable commodity in the Texas’ competitive energy market.
California is also an ideal place to find a green job. The state offers a number of opportunities not only in renewable energy generation but in the technology side of things. After all, Silicon Valley is essentially the center of all things tech and innovation. Although California already has more clean energy jobs than any other state – 360,245 jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ last report in 2011 – it’s expected to keep growing. Most recently, a National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report shows that California’s plan to reach a 75 percent recycling rate will create 110,000 jobs.