The time for urgent change is needed in order to reverse the damage that's been inflicted on the environment. Leading climate scientists have warned that we're just decades away from extreme droughts, floods, heat, and rises in sea levels. Currently, we're at a turning point, and people can either choose to be part of the wider problem, or part of the solution.
If you're looking for a role that works towards improving the dire state of the environment, below is a detailed definition of a "green job," followed by some of the fastest growing green jobs to consider.
What is a green job?
A "green job" is quite a broad term, which encompasses any kind of role that works towards preserving, restoring, or improving the current environmental state. Many traditional industries are now taking on a more sustainable approach, whereas others have created entirely new roles to combat the current environmental climate.
Green jobs are becoming increasingly sought after as more people choose to do their bit for the environment. Similar to the rise in technological job sector, environmental roles are set to become more prevalent in the future, as new roles are invented to tackle specific issues.
1. Green construction engineers
In the U.S. and U.K., construction companies typically use cheap, crude oil, as well as non-renewable resources to assist with building houses and apartments. In the U.K. alone, 50 percent of the carbon emissions are due to the construction industry. The number of housing projects that are in existence continues to grow by the month, at a rate that cannot possibly keep up with the depleting levels of energy resources.
Over the next two decades, scientists have predicted that the planet will reach its global consumption for crude oil, so it’s becoming more important than every to tweak construction strategy to become more eco-friendly. Construction companies have started to tackle these issues by searching for greener alternatives. Recyclable building materials are slowly being replaced by non-recyclables, and companies are much more conscious of the environmental implications that the construction work has.
The non-environmentally conscious construction practices are becoming archaic and damaging. In the wake of this, more green roles and opportunities are coming to the forefront. The fields are split into design, engineering, and construction, so whether you want to be involved in the overall planning, or the actual construction, new roles are becoming available every year.
2. Green energy engineers
Generating green energy has been pivotal in the efforts to reverse some of the existing environmental damage. Clean energy sources are slowly overtaking non-renewable energy, as these reserves continue to decline. This will become much more of a necessity in the next few decades, as governments attempt to meet international targets to reduce carbon emissions. Wind energy currently makes up 19 percent of the global energy consumption, but by 2025, this is predicted to increase to 26 percent.
There are fantastic opportunities for new graduates and those looking to switch professions to build a career in the clean energy industry, especially since the growth potential is so high. It’s believed that in the next decade the renewable energy industry will be worth $100 billion. Large energy companies are urging science and mathematics graduates to choose a path within this industry in order to ensure a secure future for this industry.
3. Water quality scientist
Water is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, as it’s something that no human, animal, or plant can live without. One of the biggest environmental issues that we are currently facing is the alarming levels of water pollution. It’s more important than ever to ensure that sea-life is protected and that water is safe for human consumption.
The most common pollutants are human and animal waste, chemical waste, and litter. Because of this, the role of a water quality technician has become one of the fastest growing green roles.
Water quality technicians work to keep vast bodies of water free from contamination. They work to find new solutions and to create new technology that will keep water clean and free from pollutants. This could save the lives of both humans and animals and can reverse the damage that big companies have done. This job requires a degree in either environmental science, chemistry, or math, as the role involves a split between lab, office, and field work.
Other green jobs
Green roles are not only for mathematicians and scientists. There are also lots of commercially focused roles within the green sector. In order for carbon emissions to be reduced, there is a need for marketers, writers, salespeople, negotiators, translators, and so much more.
As a recent graduate or someone switching careers, the power to initiate a more ethical and sustainable career path is well within the realms of possibility. Be sure to do lots of research into the industry and find a role that best suits your skill set and preferences.
Alice Porter is the recruitment coordinator for Eversmart Energy. She aims to spread awareness for green career paths and create a wider dialogue for environmentally conscious living.
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