There are plenty of job opportunities in the green economy.
In Canada, provincial and federal governments have introduced new initiatives to boost renewable energy projects, also new policies to encourage green awareness education and campaigns. In the United States, each state has its own incentives and funding programs to fund new green projects. Outside North America, you can also see significant investments in Asia led by China, Japan and Taiwan; also in Europe led by UK, Germany, France. Spain and Italy also have very significant solar industries as well.
What if you are not a trained engineers, what should you do to step into this fast growing industry? Here are 5 jobs that are not technically related positions in the Green economy.
1. Green Marketer
Every industry needs sales & marketing activities; and green industry is no different to other industries. As a good green marketer, you need to establish a number of things differently ‘” for environmental friendly products, you need to establish “feel good factors” for the specific target consumer markets, so you need to have good market research and also social responsibility awareness to reach these target markets.
One fast growing segment in the Green Marketing is the Green Social Media ‘” which includes using social media channels to engage with customers and also promote company’s social image (corporate social responsibilities) to the public.
2. Green Educator
Green education is a fast growing industry in North America, and it is also expanding into Europe and Asia now. There are a number of opportunities in the Green Education industry.
First, some universities are now offering Green MBA or short-term intensive courses in environmental science or engineering for professionals seeking to enter into green economy related industries. This is essentially a retraining program for many professionals.
Other courses are also being offered in renewable energy areas; training professionals about using renewable energy ‘” this involves mainly engineers and those working in the oil & gas or utilities sectors.
The 3rd opportunity relates to public awareness and education campaigns ‘” in some countries, there were education institutes providing environmental awareness campaigns to children at elementary schools; some are dedicated to the corporate sectors as well. There are also Green Education specialists which help companies to identify business opportunities they can expand into green economy.
3. Green Lawyer
New legislations have been drafted and amended worldwide at moment. Lawyers are being retrained, universities are offering new courses regarding green / environmental related laws. This is indeed a significant business, and it covers several aspects.
On the compliance aspect, there are now specialized lawyers to assist companies to ensure they comply with environmental legislations, there are also trade practice lawyers which help companies to change their products to ensure they comply with exporting standards. Finally, there has been growing number of litigations against polluters worldwide which is another lucrative career for lawyers.
4. Green Financier
Cleantech now represents the single largest sector in terms of capital raising. Amongst the number of IPOs filed in 2010 & 2011; the green industry also dominated the IPO activities. It is a good time to be a “Green Financier”, which involves in capital raising. There has been a large number of fund managers and stockbroking firms setting up new cleantech corporate finance team; stock exchanges such as Toronto Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, NYSE, Deutsche Borse have also set up new cleantech IPO teams as well.
Another career has also emerged which involves in trading green related financial instruments including carbon credit trading, renewable energy certificates, energy swaps, water rights and growing number of new instruments relating to the green industry.
5. Green Auditor
This is an excellent opportunity for professionals who have worked in consulting fields. I met with one company in Australia recently, which was hiring 20 Green Auditor at moment, I also met an US consulting firms which was also setting up a whole new division hiring green auditors across the nation.
The job title can be misleading, but essentially, these professionals undertake various tasks including:
A) Auditing on company’s social responsibility, to ensure they are complying with the standards. This is a big consulting project for transportation companies, also for construction companies (eg. Are they using green building materials).
B) The 2nd part is to audit the economic impact in changing to more environmental friendly solutions for simple things like changing the room temperature of your cooling units, change to environmental friendly light-bulbs. Many of these projects are now required by regulators; so there will be no shortage of works for green auditing over the next few years.
Just like the Internet economy, the green economy will continue generating new career opportunities that were unheard before. We will cover more such positions and trends in our future articles.