Where is the Green Collar Jobs Movement?

I have the best job. I get to travel all around the world, talking to experts about the latest technologies and business trends and taking the pulse of the industry. That must be the reason why I’m so happy — this is not a job, but a passion. And most of the other professionals in this industry that I meet feel the exact same way.

Anecdotally, this is not a surprise: The renewable energy industry is generally one full of incredibly optimistic, idealistic and motivated people. But a new survey from the UK shows that this “happiness factor” is statistically true as well. ::continue::

According to the Carbon Salary Survey, which looked at salary levels, job satisfaction and job security throughout a variety of “green collar” jobs around the world, 77% of survey respondents are happy in their current positions. In addition, 93% said they would recommend a position in the area of climate change mitigation (i.e. renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon trading, etc.) There were more than 1,100 respondents.

Perhaps the most remarkable finding is that 68% of workers said they are more secure in their position than they were a year ago. In a time when other industries are tanking and mass layoffs are occurring, this is certainly proof that the clean energy industry is staying relatively strong.

It’s no wonder that I am constantly getting emails from readers and listeners about where they can find a job in the industry. It’s fast growing, cutting-edge and extremely satisfying. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, it is still difficult for many people to make their way into the industry right now. A lot of the people who contact me about jobs say that they are having a tough time getting noticed. There is so much demand from prospective employees and there just aren’t as many positions out there due to the slowdown in the market.

People like me might feel secure, but there are others on the outside scratching their heads and saying, “where the heck is the boom in green collar jobs I keep hearing about?”

I’ve met a bunch of people lately who seem, well, slightly bitter about the lack of jobs out there. These days, the jobs market doesn’t seem to be matching up with the talk about the green collar jobs movement.

If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, this advice might seem a bit stale — but I’m going to give it anyway: Keep looking. Every company that wants to maintain a competitive advantage is getting into the clean energy/environmental protection space, creating unprecedented demand for a variety of products and services. While demand has slowed a bit in the short-term because of the economic mess we’re in, by most accounts clean energy will be a very important driver of the global recovery.

Right now, companies are not hiring as quickly as was hoped. In fact, many companies have laid of staff. But when I speak to executives and HR people as I travel around the country, I hear the same thing over and over: They are gearing up for a major increase in jobs over the coming year.

If you’re thinking about how to get your foot in the door, check out our jobs section, which features a variety of positions throughout all the renewable energy industries. It’s a great place to start.

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I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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