How to Get a Green Collar Job

Re-tool your career with a Green Collar job and joining the Green Revolution. Green Collar jobs are ones that deal with the Renewable Energy Sector, Recycling Materials, Harvesting and Processing Renewable Materials. Providing renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency of our buildings and homes will be the next wave of the future, and has already started. With more and more funding being allocated to these technologies and energy prices climb higher it is a sure bet that Green Collar Workers will be in demand.

Energy prices have never gone down, we can not make more oil, coal, hydrogen, methane or other fossil fuels, so the choice is clear. These technologies have relative long pay back periods, but they do eventually pay for themselves and make money, over their life-cycle. Whether you work on large infrastructure projects, or small scale projects that create distributed energy generation these projects ensure America’s energy future free from foreign sources. Making these technologies truly American will take more ingenuity, faith, and training our workforce.  Listed in this article are the most common and in-demand jobs in this sector and what steps to take.

Step 1

Take a class in one of the fields: energy efficiency, solar, geothermal, or wind. The national trade organizations or certification boards are listed for each field. Find a green collar job that fits you.

Certified Energy Auditor

HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is an energy rating system that judges how much your house leaks, how well insulated it is, how energy efficient it is. Acquire one of two certifications:

BPI (Building Performance Institute, http://www.bpi.org/content/home/index.php) OR RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network, http://www.natresnet.org/)

Certified PV installer, Solar Panel Installer

Install solar panels, either hot water or electric.

NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, http://www.nabcep.org) Entry-Level Certificate of Knowledge can be obtained by taking a certified class and passing an exam.

Certified Geothermal Heating Technician

International Ground Source Heat Pump (IGSHP, Association, http://www.igshpa.okstate.edu/)

With many advances in efficiency with geo-exchange it is a great way to use the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool buildings and homes.

Wind Technician

NABCEP offers a small wind certificate that is the entry level standard for residential wind systems. (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, http://www.nabcep.org)

Step 2

Take a test in the field that you have studied. I recommend searching the Internet for any tips and tricks you can find, here is a good website that covers these basics in solar, http://www.greencredential.com.

It is important for job security to become certified, and don’t stop even if you fail the test once, keep taking it until you pass. Getting the correct certification can mean job security and promotion, soon you might be overseeing the position you started in.

Remember that you are spending money to take classes and pass test as to build your career and get into a new field, think about resume building.

Step 3

You can always start your own business  in the renewable energy sector, knowing about the correct energy rebates and incentives from http://www.dsireusa.org can make or break a business in this burgeoning market.

Customers can be convinced more easily if they get cash back or tax write-offs for purchasing renewable energy equipment, this rebate or incentive acts like an offset—making installation almost free or at a reduced cost. With the correct style of marketing and educating clients your business can succeed in this new market.

  • Good luck and talk with as many people as possible to get your foot in the renewable energy door.
  • Follow http://www.recovery.org and http://www.dsireusa.org to see where stimulus money, tax incentives and cash-in-hand rebates are offered.
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