What exactly does it mean to have a green career? That’s one of the first questions tacked in Green Careers for Dummies, a newish book for would-be participants in the new green economy. Instead of simply jumping into how much money you could make in this growing job market, Green Careers for Dummies begins by explaining the nebulous definition of green jobs and careers — since after all, almost any career can be made greener than it is now.

Written by Carol McClelland, Green Careers for Dummies takes a careful eco-minded thinker’s approach, encouraging readers to take a more whole-person approach to the job search. In contrast to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Careers — which mostly focuses on providing a big list of jobs, their descriptions, and expected salaries — Green Careers for Dummies is low on salary figures but heavy on reflection, encouraging readers to reason out why and what exactly they’re seeking in a green job.

Its sections, in fact, are organized by motivating desires, like “managing natural resources” (careers range from wildlife biologist to irrigation engineer to recycling programs specialist) or “rebuilding the infrastructure” (from architects to smart grid standards leader to freight broker) or “shaping the green economy” (from lawyer to urban housing planner to grassroots organizer). Each of those sections include a general description, an overview of the industry’s current status, anticipated future trends and sample jobs — as well as lists of relevant industry associations and web links for further exploration.

With an introductory section explaining global warming, an overview of green job trends based on current policies and emerging fields, and informative sidebars explaining hot green topics like cap and trade, Green Careers for Dummies also gives newly-green job seekers some helpful beginners’ ed on green issues. And for those new to the job market as a whole, the book explains how to organize and conduct a job search, covering everything from prepping your resume to using social media networks.

I did find the extended section on how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook too laboriously detailed — but if you’re really clueless about how to use these sites, Green Careers can help. Green Careers for Dummies is available in bookstores now for $19.99.

Green Careers for Dummies
A new how-to book helps you follow your eco-passions and get a green paycheck too.