Green jobs have been touted as a pathway out of poverty for millions of under- and unemployed Americans. The Green Jobs Act of 2007, which was funded with the 2009 Recovery Act, focused on providing green jobs training for weatherization, energy efficiency and other entry-level positions. Despite this focus on entry-level jobs, data from Green Dream Jobs shows that since the recession began, mid- and high-level green jobs are more in demand.
Green Dream Jobs researched the green job openings that were posted most frequently by employers, as well as the cities from which these job openings originated. They then created a list of the top 20 green job titles, based on their data.
Top 20 Green Job Titles
- Executive director of a nonprofit
- Project leader/manager
- Sustainability program director/manager
- Sales/business development associate or manager
- Marketing manager/coordinator
- Community crew leaders/supervisors for conservation associations
- Business/data analyst
- Research analyst/manager
- Environmental educator/naturalist
- Account executive/manager, sales
- Sustainability analyst/consultant
- Operations manager
- Wind energy engineer
- Administrative assistant
- Trainer, training specialist or training coordinator
- Electrical/design engineer
- Green architect
- Green building project manager
- Solar process engineer/process integration engineer
In looking over this list, you will notice the words “manager” or “engineer” listed several times. Not a single one of these positions is entry level. If you may be thinking that an administrative assistant position is entry level, think again. Administrative assistants are highly skilled individuals and the position is definitely not an entry-level one.
Although it is interesting to see the types of position that have been most in demand over the past year, the list frustrates me. Knowing that millions of dollars have gone into entry-level green jobs training programs, recruitment, and other efforts for entry-level positions, I’m surprised that not a single junior-level position is on this list.
This is not to say that I don’t feel the nation should focus on providing good, green jobs for those dealing with poverty on a daily basis, quite the opposite, really. I think it is imperative that we, as a nation, continue to focus on providing adequate, eco-friendly employment training and opportunities to everyone.