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What are green-collar jobs?

Posted by Ada McMahon at May 22, 2009 06:30 PM |

So you've heard President Obama talk about green-collar jobs, and you're ready to get one for yourself. If only you knew what a green-collar job actually is.

Crossposted from Yahoo! HotJobs

So you've heard President Obama talk about green-collar jobs, and you're ready to get one for yourself. If only you knew what a green-collar job actually is.

The simplest definition of green-collar jobs comes from Green for All founder Van Jones:

"A green-collar job is a blue-collar job, upgraded to better respect the environment."

Jones knows what he is talking about. After all, he now serves as Special Advisor on Green Jobs to the White House.

Transforming Blue-Collar Work

Everyone knows what a blue-collar job is, right? Many green-collar jobs are in familiar fields like manufacturing, construction, and maintenance and repair.

And like blue-collar jobs, many green-collar positions do not require a college or graduate degree. Rather, some additional technical skills and job training are often enough to ramp up workers for green-collar jobs.

For a job seeker, this can be good news. You may not need to learn entirely new skills in an entirely new field. Instead, a few months of training may be enough to "green" your trade.

A steel worker is working a green-collar job if he or she is building a wind turbine.

Another simple, yet essential, tenet of a green-collar job is that it is good for people and planet. The "people" part means workers in green-collar jobs must be paid a family-supporting wage, have safe working conditions, and have opportunities for career advancement. Pushing a broom for $7 an hour doesn't count as a green-collar job, even if it's a solar-panel factory you're cleaning.

Over the next 18 months, green-collar jobs are expected to grow significantly in the United States, mainly due to government investment through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the stimulus package). This means more training programs that will give you a leg up in entering green-collar fields.

Opportunities to Watch For

Look for growth in these fields below. This list illustrates the range of green jobs available, from "green-collar" to white-collar work in green fields:

Green Building Retrofitting -- Fixing up buildings so that they leak less energy helps homeowners save on energy bills, lowers the use of dirty energy, and creates jobs like:

- Energy auditor
- Green carpenter
- Insulation installer
- Environmental compliance specialist

Mass Transit and Transportation -- Clean mass transit options (trains and zero-emissions buses) that cut down on carbon pollution.

- Civil engineers
- Rail track layers
- Bus/train systems operator
- Urban planner

Renewable Energy -- Wind and solar energy are clean and safe energy sources, and rapidly expanding fields. It takes 250 tons of steel to make one wind turbine -- that's a lot of work for steel workers, many of whom are currently unemployed.

- Wind turbine machinist
- Solar and PV (photovoltaics) installer
- Iron and steel workers
- Solar operations engineer

Public Utilities (recycling, water treatment)

- Recycling center operator
- Waste water engineer
- Water quality consultant

Learn more from the "Green Jobs Guidebook."

Green Collar

Posted by Coolyfett at May 27, 2009 11:22 AM
Interesting to learn more about what Green Collar Job actually is. Glad they have named actual jobs, and stated how they were not blue collar, but Green Collar gigs that are coming to the market place.