Green Jobs are Growing Like Weeds
By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
Everywhere you turn today there’s talk about the environment. Global warming, climate change, oil spills...no matter where you turn, Mother Earth is in the news.
An upside of this is the huge opportunity that’s sprouting in Green Collar jobs. All across Canada both governments and employers are talking ecology like never before. How do you as a job seeker take advantage of this growing trend, no matter what your occupation, education or level is?
Choose Your Route Into Green Employment
There are three main ways to go after jobs in Green Collar field. The great news is you don’t necessarily need an advanced degree or a technology/science background to qualify.
One popular route is to look for a job in your existing field but with an employer that’s directly involved in helping the environment. Another way is to choose an occupation that itself is hands on ecologically. Thirdly you could take your current occupation, whatever it might be, and try to put a Green twist on it. Each of these paths is discussed below.
Work For An Employer That’s Directly Into Green
You’re not in a Green occupation but want to benefit from this job boom anyway. So if you happen to be in customer service, sales, repairs, finance or other field, you can look for employers whose main focus is “sustainability” in one form or another.
This includes private and public sector employers who deal with such things as waste reduction, recycling, conservation, organics, renewable energy, restoring our natural habitat, or sustainability policy.
In terms of government jobs you might look for postings at your provincial Ministry of the Environment or Ministry of Natural Resources. Or if you want to work in the not-for-profit field there are many organizations dedicated to ecology. Greenpeace, World Wildlife Federation and the David Suzuki Foundation are just a few that spring to mind.
Private sector employers who do Green include the likes of Waste Management, Inc. and Safety-Kleen. Both are leaders in comprehensive waste and environmental services.
Get Into A Green Occupation
Itching to be hands on in a Green profession? Your choices range from a being a Park Ranger or Organic Farmhand all the way to solar panel designer or Vegetation Ecologist.
Where you end up will depend, in part, on how technical the role is.
On the less-technical side, you’ve got such jobs as Park Supervisor, bicycle repairperson, Game Warden, Air Quality Sampler and more.
A degree or diploma in technology, science or environmentalism can open many other Green doors. Oil companies and Green technology start-ups are clamouring for environmental engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists and related applicants.
Do What You Already Do, But In A Green Way
A third way to get in on the Green jobs rush is to take your current occupation and shift it to environmental applications.
Right now there are plumbers earning great livings by having updated their skills to install solar water heaters. Electricians are doing the same for solar panels. Technicians who keep wind-powered generators going, and architects who learn how to design energy efficient buildings, are riding a similar wave of demand for their services.
Are there ways for you to do the same?
Select A Greener Path For Your Career
You needn’t be a “tree hugger” or have a Ph.D. in Ecology to be part of the Green Collar expansion. What’s required is some exploration on your part as to where Green employment is blossoming where you live.
Use Monster.ca as a starting point for your job search. Keywords such as green, ecology, environment, waste, LEED (for energy efficient building), outdoor, parks, energy, etc. will get you going.
Consult government websites that deal with Green initiatives to find out which employers are getting involved, then target these organizations with customized cover letters and resumes.
Other people are out there doing this successfully. Don’t get left feeling green with envy.