Whatever plans we have when we're young, the world often has its own plans for us. In these ongoing tough economic times, the fight against air pollution and global warming has prompted many to engage in clean energy technologies and other green industries that are finally catching on.

The demand for green workers has been stoked by the federal government’s stimulus package, which places an emphasis on environmental concerns. Building the green job market is a key component to President Barack Obama’s plan for America. Obama intends to invest $150 billion over the course of 10 years into green manufacturing, infrastructure, renewable energy and other clean energy projects. Not only do these initiatives support the environment, but they will help lessen the country’s dependence on oil and reduce the outsourcing of jobs, creating opportunities in a new sector of the economy.

The jobs that need to be filled range from white-collar wind farm managers to blue-collar steelworkers. Solar panel and wind turbine manufacturers need engineers. Hybrid-car battery manufacturers need metal specialists. But beneath the variety of these jobs, all of them share an investment in clean energy and renewable resources.

For blue-collar workers, there is a chance to regain ground lost over the past three decades. Many already possess the skills required for these occupations. Truck drivers, maintenance technicians and welders are all vital to the growing green job market. Thousands of jobs being offered to workers with a high school degree or less will pay living wages with the potential for rising salaries over time. While there are a variety of jobs for those who wish to stay within the country, international opportunities have risen as well. Greenjobs.com lists North American and International positions straight from its home page, while Greenjobs.net provides state-by-state listings along with jobs in major cities. To learn more about green jobs, visit NRDC’s green jobs page.

 

Photo credit: City of Oakland

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