Green jobs are popular. Training programs are set up across the country to prepare today’s underserved populations for the green jobs of tomorrow. However, there is an entire population of workers with specialized training who will need to migrate to a more environmentally focused model in the coming years. Electricians are in this population.
As consumers and business owners are realizing the importance of energy efficiency, the demand for skilled energy contractors is only going to increase. This topic was recently covered in an article by Houston Neal in which he states that in the next decade or two, the electrical contractor who we know today will be an energy contractor in the future. The strong green building trend in this country will warrant this transition.
In his article, The Coming Renaissance of Electric Contracting, Neal reveals that “A study by the American Solar Energy Society projects renewable energy jobs for electricians to grow approximately 900% by 2030, just in the state of Colorado.“ In order for electricians to stay marketable, they will have to rebrand themselves with an environmental focus.
Gone will be the days of “electric or gas”, consumers will have a variety of options to choose from when it comes time to decide how to power their houses. Solar panels and small wind turbines are already cropping up on houses across the country. Geothermal installations are also becoming more popular. Granted many of these projects may be cost-prohibitive to the vast majority of Americans today, but a lot can change between now and 2030. Electrical contractors will truly need to be energy contractors.
This is just one way that the green building industry is affecting the green jobs market. As both movements build steam, it is likely that they will continue to help shape each other in many more ways.