Green jobs are growing in popularity as more workers look for careers with a positive impact on the world.1 Skilled trades careers like HVAC/R technician and electrician can offer opportunities to work in the sustainable and renewable energy fields, making them options to consider in 2021.
Keep reading to see what kind of green jobs you could find in the trades and why people are heading in this career direction.
Strong Interest in Sustainable Careers
A StrataTech survey was recently conducted to see how Americans felt about the skilled trades. When narrowing the focus to sustainable careers, there was a clear interest among respondents. In fact, 92% of people said they’re interested in a career path involving renewable fuel sources and energy efficiency, and 54% reported being very or extremely interested.1 These findings highlight the growing interest Americans have in sustainable careers.
What Are Green Jobs?
In general, a green job is any position that benefits the environment through the reduction of pollution and the conservation of natural resources. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics indicates green jobs fall into two main categories:
- Jobs having a positive impact on the environment through goods or services.
- Roles where an individual is tasked with making a business’ operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly.2
What Is a Green Collar Job?
Green jobs, also known as green collar jobs, can encompass both blue- and white-collar roles, as long as the focus remains on improving the environment.
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What Are Examples of Green Jobs in the Trades?
Green HVAC Careers
The U.S. Department of Energy reports roughly 50% of the average home’s energy consumption comes from running an HVAC system.3 This highlights the need for improving the energy efficiency of these systems to reduce pollution. And that’s what green HVAC technicians help accomplish, especially those with the skills to work in smart homes!
These tradespeople are tasked with ensuring HVAC systems run optimally by consuming as little energy as needed to get the job done. Overall, the job outlook for HVAC technicians is looking positive, with a 4% projected growth rate over the next decade—right on par with other industries.4
But it’s the focus on pollution reduction and energy efficiency that’s projected to see the greatest demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects there to be a growing need for advanced climate-control systems in residential and commercial buildings, which could mean a need for workers with HVAC training.4
Green Electrician Careers
There’s been a push by both the private and public sectors to shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy. This is great news for electricians, and this trade is expected to see growth within the next decade.
In fact, the demand for electricians is expected to increase by 9%, which is significantly higher than other positions.5 One of the main drivers behind this increase in electrician career opportunities is the hike in spending on renewable energy sources.5
Wind and solar power are growing fields that will likely need skilled electricians to make installations and repairs.5 Electricians with in-demand and unique green skills, such as solar photovoltaic installation, will likely see job opportunities in the coming years.5
3 Reasons Why People Choose Sustainable Careers
1. Green Jobs Can Offer Competitive Wages
Many people are attracted to sustainable careers because of their competitive salaries. A Brookings study found green collar jobs offer higher wages than other roles while simultaneously having lower educational requirements. It’s a win-win for people looking to earn healthy incomes while doing their part for the environment.6
2. Green Jobs Can Have a Positive Impact
Another major factor driving people towards sustainable careers is the opportunity to make a difference. A StrataTech survey revealed more than 51% of American high school students interested in sustainable careers are primarily motivated by the chance to have a positive impact on the world.1 With a clear connection between energy efficiency and reduced pollution, it’s evident that green jobs have a tremendous and measurable impact on the world overall.7
3. Green Jobs Are Growing
As scientists around the globe point towards the negative environmental effects of fossil fuels and other polluting energy sources, there’s a growing drive towards sustainability. Naturally, this push is resulting in renewable energy jobs throughout the country.8
Many states have even pledged to reach 100% renewable energy within just a few decades. Countless utilities providers have followed suit, potentially resulting in more sustainability-focused blue-collar jobs.8 In the StrataTech survey, nearly half of respondents interested in green jobs pointed towards the growth and abundant opportunities within the space as their main driver.
Train for a Green Career in the Trades
Think a green career in the trades could be for you? Want to know how trade school training could help you prepare? Reach out to The Refrigeration School today to speak with a rep.