What Does the Future Look Like for Green Jobs?

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People with green jobs produce environmentally friendly goods and services or actively find ways to use fewer natural resources. Because many consumers now understand how their actions affect the environment, there is a greater demand for green materials and workers who know how to use those materials properly. This has resulted in an increased demand for people to fill green jobs all over the world.

Experts from the Building Design and Construction Network predict that approximately 60 percent of construction projects will be environmentally friendly by the year 2015. This will increase the number of green jobs available to workers in the construction industry. The demand for green construction is expected to triple in South Africa, more than double in Brazil and Germany, and grow anywhere from 33 to 68 percent in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. One of the major drivers of growth in this sector is the increased demand for buildings that conserve resources and lower energy costs.

A number of green jobs are already available in some areas of the United States. Approximately 34 percent of construction industry employees in New York State are considered green employees. New York City has the most green construction workers, but the Finger Lakes and Capital regions also have a number of green jobs available. A 2012 industry report released by McGraw-Hill Construction indicates green building construction and design account for nearly 650,000 jobs in the United States. This number is expected to increase to approximately half of the industry's workforce by 2014.

Jennifer Hicks of Forbes.com also reported an increased demand for green building materials, which should have a positive impact on the number of green jobs available to construction workers. The worldwide market for these materials is expected to total $116 billion in 2013, but this should more than double to $254 billion in 2020. Employers will need skilled and certified workers to complete construction projects with these materials. Some schools and professional organizations are responding to the increased demand for green employees by offering certifications and training programs for construction professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in this area. The National Association of Home Builders, for example, offers the Certified Green Professional credential to builders and other construction professionals who use the principles of green building in their projects.

The future is bright for construction professionals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to work on green construction projects. The increased emphasis on cutting costs and using natural resources will create new jobs and make it possible for current industry professionals to earn more money. If you are interested in working on green projects, consider enrolling in a certificate program or earning a professional certification. Additional credentials could help you qualify for one of the many green jobs available.

(Photo courtesy of idea go / freedigitalphotos.net) 

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