Wind generator and solar panel

Green is In: Job Growth Increases in the Environmental Sector

United Airlines flew from Chicago to Los Angeles on a 30/70 mix of low-carbon sustainable aviation biofuel. Plans are underway for an electric car corridor from Vermont to Quebec, where travelers can power up their eco-friendly vehicles. And Germany plans to enhance its use of hydro and solar energy to power its trains to meet its 2050 goal of becoming carbon-free.

There is a global effort to reduce the world’s impact on the environment. And this effort is creating multiple job opportunities. A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states there are 10.3 million jobs in the renewable sector alone.

Careers in the Environmental Sector

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), meanwhile, projects growth for solar photovoltaic installers through 2026, with a 105 percent increase. The IRENA report, in fact, deems the PV industry as the largest employer, employing 3.4 million people. This figure is up by 9 percent since 2016.

In the US alone, the BLS projects the solar industry to create 11,800 new jobs for PV installers from 2016-2026. This particular job requires moderate-term, on-the-job training to ensure your competency. A typical entry-level job would call for a high school diploma.

But the solar energy sector isn’t the only one in the renewable industry that’s looking to hire more people.

Wind turbine technicians will also see fast employment growth with a 96 percent increase. The bureau projects 5,600 new jobs will be created through 2026. But unlike PV installers, wind turbine technicians will need long-term on-the-job training to obtain competency.

The BLS also sees an increase in employment for environmental scientists and specialists, environmental engineers, and conservation scientists.

From the Earth, for the Earth

farmer harvesting potatoesBut if you’re looking for environmental work that allows you to get your hands dirty, literally, you can look into the following:

  • Waste treatment and disposal sector

Recruitment for the recycling industry reveals multiple opportunities. You can find positions in solid and biological waste management, in both the private and government sectors.

One possible career option, which involves indoor factory work, is solid waste management. Qualified individuals handle thermal treatment options to incinerate and turn garbage into non-harmful gas. You can also help in landfills, sorting out the trash and collecting them directly from the city.

You can also look into environmental law, which will allow you to work as an advocate, advising clients about issues concerning air and water quality, sustainability, and hazardous waste.

  • Food sustainability

Urban farming is a growing industry. You’ll find more people are learning to grow their own food, using spaces in the city to plant. Urban farming is one small way to manage the expected food crisis in light of an increasing global population.  By 2050, there will be 9.8 billion people in the world, and the food supplies aren’t enough.

Careers in any environmental sector seek to reduce the negative environmental impacts of humanity’s actions, restore damaged ecosystems, and find sustainable ways of living in the future that won’t deplete the planet’s remaining resources.

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