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What are Green Jobs? Guide to Green Careers for 2022

Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Admin

Green jobs are jobs that help improve the environment. They often involve air quality, green building, recycling, and renewable energy. Green careers will be gaining importance in 2022 because of the rapid construction of new buildings and the increasing demand for environmentally friendly products.

What is a green job?

Green jobs contribute to the environment in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction or emerging green sectors like renewable energy.

Green jobs or green-collared jobs, also called sustainability jobs, eco jobs, or environmental jobs, are, according to the United Nations Environment Program, “work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute(s) substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high-efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid the generation of all forms of waste and pollution.

Green jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are classified as “jobs in business that produce goods or services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources” or “jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes Green Jobs into water conservation, Sustainable forestry, Biofuels, Geothermal energy, environmental remediation, Sustainability, Energy auditors, Recycling, Electric Vehicles, Solar power, and Wind energy.

These definitions include jobs that seek to use or develop renewable forms of energy (i.e., wind, hydropower, geothermal, wind, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste) and increase their efficiency.

Under the green jobs domain, education, training, and public awareness are also included. These jobs seek to enforce regulations, support education and increase general influence for the benefit of the environment.



Importance of Green jobs

Green jobs are respectable jobs that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Green jobs help:

  • Enhance energy and raw materials efficiency
  • Limit greenhouse gas emissions
  • Minimize waste and pollution
  • Protect and rejuvenate ecosystems
  • Support adaptation to the effects of climate change

At the enterprise level, green jobs can produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment, for example, green buildings or clean transportation.

However, these green outputs (products and services) are not always based on green production processes and technologies. Therefore green jobs can also be differentiated by contributing to more environmentally friendly operations.

For example, green jobs can reduce water consumption or improve recycling systems. Yet, green jobs defined through production processes do not necessarily produce environmental goods or services.

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What are Green Skills?

Green skills are the employment skills that relate to careers in sustainability. This includes engineering, architecture, construction, and renewable energy. These areas of study often focus on climate change, ecology, and low-carbon transportation.

Green skills are becoming increasingly important as the shift away from fossil fuels continues. More jobs are opening up in the green sector than in any other industry.

Employers need people with these skills to work in global warming research, analysis, and advocacy. Jobs like this help maintain healthy ecosystems on Earth while mitigating climate change’s effects.

There are many reasons to learn green skills. The first reason is that good jobs are available in the green economy. The second reason is that being green is good for the environment. A third reason is that it reduces your carbon footprint and can help save the earth.



Types of Green Jobs

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines green jobs as “positions in agriculture, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities to substantially preserve or restore environmental quality.”

In other words, environmental jobs aim to protect and promote the environment or those that consider their impact on the planet’s health and endeavor to minimize it. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), this type of job:

  • Improves efficient consumption of energy and raw materials.
  • Limits greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Minimizes waste and contamination.
  • Protects and restores ecosystems.
  • Contributes to adaptation to climate change.

Careers in the Sustainable Future

Green jobs are good for you, the environment, and the economy.

The transition to a decarbonized economy is essential to halting climate change and is also a driver of economic growth with the potential to create millions of green jobs. We are talking about jobs aimed directly at protecting the environment or which seek to minimize the impact on the planet’s health.

According to the 2019 Report on the Emissions Gap published by the United Nations Organisation (ONU), global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 7.6% per annum between 2020 and 2030 to reach the target of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 °C or 2.7% per annum to limit it to 2 °C.

Even if all the commitments of the Agreement are fulfilled, continues the report, temperatures will rise 3.2 °C by the end of the century, with the increasing frequency and intensity of the climate phenomena that have devastated the planet in recent years.

In light of the situation, humankind needs to speed up the transition toward a decarbonized economy that respects the environment.

Such a transition can halt climate change and become a fundamental driver of growth by creating numerous green jobs in many sectors, which has been happening in the last few years in prosperous and emerging economies alike.

The circular economy, which involves reusing, repairing, or recycling, increasing sustainable manufacturing and consumption, will also create green jobs.

As well as reducing waste, the circular economy will save energy and prevent irreversible damage in terms of the climate, biodiversity, and air, ground, and water pollution caused by our exploitation of resources at a rate faster than the planet can replace them.




Where to Find a Green Job

As a result of the decarbonization of the economy and the development of the circular economy, jobs of the future will be created, with existing jobs adapting to the new green reality. According to the experts, these are the sectors with the most potential to create green jobs:

Booming sectors with Green Jobs
Image Source: https://www.weforum.org/

Thriving Sectors with Green Jobs

Energy

According to the International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA), renewable energies created more than 500,000 new jobs in the world in 2017 — an increase of 5.3% from 2016 —and it is estimated that the sector now employs more than 10 million people.

Jobs that require advanced qualifications in the renewable energy sector, such as senior engineers in thermosolar plants, are the best paid green jobs in the world.

Agriculture

According to the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the organic agriculture market is still growing worldwide, in many cases in double-digit figures.

In the United States, the world’s largest market, organic food sales increased by 6.4% in 2017, reaching 43,700 million euros. In the meantime, Europe experienced growth of 10.5%, reaching 37,300 million euros.

Design

European policies require increasingly high recycling rates and establish ever-stricter ecodesign criteria. Adding too many consumers’ environmental awareness, this fact has made ecodesign — from packaging to building roofs and various products — a booming source of jobs.

Tourism

In a society increasingly concerned with the planet’s health, ecological tourism — or ecotourism — is a rising trend. This sector creates jobs related to activities such as the design of adventure experiences, the creation of high mountain trails, the discovery of protected areas, and the renewal of the rural regions, such as ecovillages, at risk of disappearance.

Transport

This sector is responsible for more than 30% of CO2 emissions in the European Union (EU), 72% of which come from road transport. Many countries have already adopted measures to reduce transport emissions drastically.

The EU will cut these by 60% compared to 1990 levels for 2050, creating job opportunities in the electric vehicles, public transport, and electrified railway goods haulage.


Type of training required?

Due to the wide range of green jobs available today, there is no single training profile for those known as green-collar workers. Besides degrees, courses, and postgraduate courses specializing in ecology, green training for a specific job consists of environmental engineering specialization within a sector.

An engineer wanting to work in the energy sector will have to specialize in everything to do with renewable energy, energy efficiency, and decarbonization of the economy. People who work designing packaging, for example, must have a command of environmentally friendly materials. Likewise, a lawyer interested in protecting nature must specialize in environmental law.

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Green Job Profiles

Many green skills have seen double-digit and triple-digit growth on LinkedIn over the last few years. Some of the fastest-growing green jobs are ecosystem management, environmental policy, and sustainable procurement.

While many of these skills are highly specialized and are focused on traditional green careers, such as environmental scientists, sustainability managers, or wildlife biologists, we also see a growing trend of green skills among professionals in roles that are not traditionally considered “green.”

Following are some of the most prominent job profiles in the Green Industry.

Image Source: https://www.iberdrola.com/
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Alternative energy experts and technicians
  • Arctic Issues & Northern jobs
  • Bicycling jobs
  • Climate change jobs
  • Climate Change Scientist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Conservation, nature, wilderness
  • Eco artists, performers, and writers
  • Ecologist
  • Ecotourism jobs
  • Electric Car Engineer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental education jobs
  • Environmental educators, trainers, and communicators
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Environmental Jobs
  • Environmental Manager
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental scientists and conservationists
  • Forestry Manager / Forester
  • Gardening & landscaping
  • Government & municipal jobs
  • Green & sustainable business
  • Green Building Designers
  • Green building jobs
  • Green consultants
  • Green engineers
  • Green entrepreneurs
  • Indigenous | BIPOC
  • International development jobs
  • Local food jobs
  • Marine Biologist
  • Nonprofits, environmental groups & organizations
  • Organic farming, urban ag.
  • Recycling & waste diversion
  • Recycling Worker
  • Renewable Energy Engineer
  • Solar energy & wind energy jobs
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installers
  • Summer camp jobs
  • Sustainable businesspeople
  • Urban Grower / Urban Farmer
  • Virtual/remote positions
  • Virtual volunteer positions
  • Volunteer positions
  • Water Quality Scientist
  • Wind Energy Technician
  • Work outdoors / in nature
  • Work with animals




Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many paths that people can take to find a green job. There are also many ways to make a career greener. We can create a more environmentally-friendly world with the right skills and determination. So, if you are a career entrant, kindly choose this green career option to make your future career journey more rewarding and satisfying.

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