Up and coming opportunities in the green technology sector may be just what you’re looking for.
The green technology career field encompasses a wide range of positions, from wind turbine technicians to software engineers, and construction managers to public relations specialists. Several careers in this arena are projected to experience rapid growth by the end of the decade. For those just starting their career journey, green tech offers a variety of opportunities, as well substantial earnings potential. For those looking to take their career in a new direction, green tech provides the ability to mix your passion with sustainability.
We’re getting into just what makes up green technology, why it’s a great time for a career in the field, and some of the fastest growing positions in the coming years.
What is green technology?
Green technology can be defined using a few key components. It involves the use of technology, environmental science, chemistry, and electronic devices to help lessen or reverse the impact of humans on the planet. It can boost the economy, reduce poverty, and impact public health in a positive way.
Green technology includes the fields of energy, agriculture, atmospheric science, hydrology, construction, data modeling, software engineering, and more:
• Sewage treatment
• Solid waste management
• Wind power and turbines
• Solar power and photovoltaics
• Electric vehicles
As you can see, the list of opportunities for a green tech job are plentiful and encompass a wide range of skills. And you may be surprised to learn this isn’t the full list of career paths that fall under green technology. It’s easy to see that with such a wide variety of fields of study there is sure to be a career that aligns with your passion and interests.
Colleges and universities across the country are reporting large increases in students pursuing degrees related to sustainability. Survey after survey has shown environmental issues are increasingly important to members of Gen Z, people under the age of 25. For college graduates in this group, nearly half are choosing their employer based on personal ethics. Businesses that show a commitment to sustainability are attracting more applicants and higher quality people.
Now is a great time to pursue a career in Green Tech!
Drought has hit parts of the western U.S. so severely that there are concerns hydroelectric facilities won’t be able to have enough water to generate electricity. In the Midwest, historic flooding has left entire towns submerged because there’s just nowhere for the water to go. On the east coast, rising ocean levels and historically powerful storms have battered many areas.
Going green is also an issue that has proven to be important to those leading the U.S. Earlier this month, Vice President Kamala Harris announced more than $1 billion was being made available to states to combat flooding and extreme heat made worse by climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed both chambers of Congress, would extend tax credits for renewable energy, give bonuses to clean energy developers, and would aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. There’s clearly a renewed interest in reducing the country’s environmental impact. Green technology stands to benefit immensely from these actions.
We’re at a crossroads in the U.S. Coal plants are being decommissioned and shut down. The price of natural gas has skyrocketed for a number of reasons, including the conflict in Ukraine. Hotter and drier summers have people cranking the air conditioning like never before. These challenges are leading to a major push for renewable energy, including wind and solar.
Jobs installing solar panels are projected to grow by 52% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind Turbine Service Technician positions are predicted to increase by more than 60% by the end of the decade. All the other surrounding industries also stand to increase as well: design, manufacturing, transportation, sales, monitoring, maintenance, and recycling. All that new power being generated needs to be able to get to homes and businesses. New transmission lines are already being planned for huge swaths of the country, creating even more jobs.
Another example is the auto industry. As many as 150,000 jobs could be needed by 2030 as electric vehicles start to take over our highways.
Even recycling and managing waste has seen an increase in recent years as companies work to find better ways to dispose of unwanted materials. Getting in on the ground floor in one of these industries has a huge upside potential for new college graduates, those students going into their senior year, or someone looking to make a career change.
Growing green technology careers
According to both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and LinkedIn, green tech careers are set for some major growth.
Here are the top 6 fastest growing green jobs for the next decade from BLS:
1. Wind turbine service technicians: 68% projected growth
2. Solar photovoltaic installers: 52% projected growth
3. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists: nearly 24% estimated growth
4. Environmental science and protection technicians: 10+% projected growth
5. Soil and plant scientists: 10% estimated growth
6. Foresters: 10% projected growth
Here is LinkedIn’s top 8 fastest growing green positions in the U.S. and the rate at which these jobs are expected to grow in the next five years:
1. Environment, health, and safety specialist: 22%
2. Environmental health safety engineer: 21%
3. Sustainability manager: 21%
4. Forester: 20%
5. Solar consultant: 19%
6. Agronomist: 16%
7. Wind turbine technician: 13%
8. Arborist: 8%
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of crossover between both of those lists. Outside of this list, there are also huge opportunities for jobs in recycling and waste management, business and sales, and even software engineering in the green technology sector.
Green technology is out to change the world. It’s also on the rise. Millions of young people feel very strongly about reversing the impact of humans and righting environmental wrongs. Industries are stepping up too, taking notice that what’s good for sustainability is also good for the bottom line.
Green tech is one area where students entering their final year of study and those who recently graduated can merge their passion for sustainability with a company looking to make changes in our environment. Check out green tech jobs as you look to get your career off the ground or if you’re wanting to make a change. You may be very surprised by what you find. Many businesses, RoadRunner included, are hiring to match the speed at which the industry is growing. A simple click of a button can make all the difference. Green tech careers start here!