The New Year is just around the corner and the United States is facing astronomical unemployment rates. There is a lot of focus on green collar jobs and two eco-friendly jobs are spotlighted in the US News & World Report special Ahead-of-the Curve Careers list for 2009.

"Cutting-edge careers are often exciting, and they offer a strong job market. Alas, the cutting edge too often turns out to be the bleeding edge, so here are some careers that, while relatively new, are already viable and promise further growth." Source:

There were 13 jobs that made this innovative careers list and two have an eco-friendly focus: Green-Collar Specialist and Solar Installer. The green-collar specialist job is a bit of a catch all but includes contractors experienced with the LEED certification process, experts in eco tourism and renewable energy aficionados.

Solar installers are experiencing a bit of a lull due to the cuts in spending by businesses and households but with the new Presidential administration focusing on renewable energy, it is likely that the solar industry will see a boom in business in the coming years.

The Kaplan College Guide, which discusses the nation's colleges and career paths, has a section dedicated to environmental responsibility in the 2009 issue. This section includes the nation's top 25 green schools as well as the top 10 hot green careers.

The following eco-friendly career paths made the Kaplan top 10 list: environmental conservation, environmental design, environmental engineering, environmental science, geothermal development, green interior design, hydrology, organic agriculture, solar energy engineering and transportation systems planning.

You can't step into some of these jobs without training or education but if you are preparing to enter college or ready to go back for a career change, consider looking into one of these hot green careers.

Hottest green jobs for 2009
Solar installation and green interior design expected to be popular jobs in 2009.