Environmental issues are front and center of our lives in the 21st century. Once people realize the impact of global warming and climate change on the planet, it’s a short step to wanting to actively do something about it. But if you can’t afford to spend your life working for change without payment, the ideal way to combine your passion with a way to earn a living is to find “green” jobs.
As renewable energy takes off and becomes mainstream, more jobs are opening up, with great potential for a future career as a green entrepreneur. Here are some suggestions on how to find a green job.
Most green jobs need some form of technical expertise. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career as a provider of solar energy systems, or your ambition is to begin organic farming, it’s best to get some formal education before you start. If you have an aptitude for scientific study, environmental engineering is a field in which you can use the principles of science, biology and chemistry to find solutions for problems facing the environment. These range from earth-friendly jobs such as the disposal of waste, through public health issues, air purity and water pollution. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were more than 51,400 environmental engineers working in green jobs in the United States, earning median salaries of around $78,740 a year.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, however, to become a green entrepreneur. A variety of earth-friendly jobs exist, including basic administrative work for green companies such as reception, accounting and marketing. Research the requirements for these types of jobs, and establish what sort of education, skills and experience you need to qualify.
Revise your Resume
It’s often said that jobseekers need to customize their resume for the position they are interested in. This is particularly important if you apply for green jobs. Highlight previous experience that may be relevant to the position you want, such as your achievements in former earth-friendly jobs. List any additional skills and attributes you have that could help you, such as a hobby growing organic plants, or volunteer hours you put in during your school career with environmental organizations. Mention your support for organizations such as Greenpeace, or the knowledge of carbon dating you gained in a school project. All of these attributes can help to prove your passion for the subject.
Working with Nonprofits
Often, you can find green jobs with nonprofit organizations. Conduct research to find out which nonprofits to approach, and check their mission and vision to see if it aligns with your beliefs. Investigate their financial status before applying, because jobs in the nonprofit sector may pay lower rates than the private or public sectors. Many of these green jobs carry a lot of responsibility, and you need to be sure that you are comfortable with the pay rates offered.
Become a Green Entrepreneur
Solar energy is big in the U.S., and anyone with a passion for environmental issues and a little capital can become a retailer and installer of solar systems. Most solar energy dealers represent one or more solar manufacturers, and usually the suppliers provide training in the installation and servicing of their products. Instead of spending time on how to find a green job, start your own business and you can create green jobs for others.
If it isn’t possible to find green jobs right away, consider volunteering your time for a green organization. You will gain experience in the field as well as make new friends and build your network of contacts in readiness for a shot at earth-friendly jobs in the future. While you are learning how to find a green job, you will be able to make a difference in a small way and at the same time, check out whether this is the right long term career choice for you.