What is a green job, anyhow? It turns out that, in most cases, a green job is not an entirely new job, but a traditional job that contributes to reducing carbon emissions or pollution or otherwise benefiting the environment. The better question to ask, though, is which jobs with a "green purpose" are likely to grow. One large area of job growth is in the area of reducing energy consumption. With billions of state and federal dollars going to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects more people will be needed to assess energy use, retrofit old buildings, build new green buildings and homes, do the research and development of new energy-related products, and manufacture them.
GREEN ECONOMY UPDATE*
- Green describes many of the innovations, industry changes and investments designed to develop an economy and infrastructure that employs more efficient, cleaner, sustainable, environmentally friendly and homegrown energy sources.In New Jersey in 2009, the Green economy employed 200,521 workers in three major areas: green energy production/renewable energy (24.5% of employment), energy efficiency—green building/construction/design (68.0%), and environmental remediation/waste management reduction (7.5%).
- In 2009, nearly $15.5 billion in total wages were paid by employers in New Jersey's Green economy cluster.
- New Jersey has been called the number-one state for renewable energy incentives.
- The Garden State's highly regarded Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program lets home and business owners sell clean energy credits to utility companies.
- The federal government recently announced four priority areas for wind projects off the Eastern Seaboard that are being fast-tracked for environmental reviews, one of which is a 550-square mile section off the coast of New Jersey, from Avalon to Barnegat Bay.
*Source: NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Labor Planning & Analysis, New Jersey Key Industry Clusters (7/20/11).
Green Jobs experts and employers expect growth over the next several years in New Jersey to include:
- commercial and residential energy auditors
- carpenters, electricians, roofers and others needed to make buildings and homes greener and install renewable energy and energy efficient technologies
- engineers and construction managers who plan large energy-saving or renewable energy projects
Sometimes, but not always, these green jobs require a “green layer” of skills or credentials.