What will be the top careers and top jobs of the future? You only need to look to the recent past for answers.
A study released this week by the Pew Charitable Trusts concludes that jobs in the clean, renewable energy and green-jobs category have grown at more than double the rate of other job categories. The study tracks the rise of this burgeoning industry from 1998 through 2007.
With the green wave garnering a lot of attention from everyone from President Obama and Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and other celebs, it can be easy to dismiss as the latest hyped movement of the rich and famous. With the Pew study, we gain real data showing actual growth in renewable energy companies, and more importantly, in jobs.
From the release of the Pew report:
- Between 1998 and 2007, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for more than 770,000 jobs, despite a lack of sustained government support in the past decade.The private sector views the clean energy economy as a significant and expanding market opportunity. Venture capital investment in clean technology reached a total of about $12.6 billion by the end of 2008. In 2008 alone, investors directed $5.9 billion into American businesses in this sector, a 48 percent increase over 2007 investment totals.
What kind of jobs are we talking about? From a Huffington Post blog on the Pew study:
- For its study, Pew used private jobs data that included information about employers, and Pew researchers spent nearly a year determining which ones could be considered part of the clean energy economy.”Our numbers are probably conservative,” said Kil Huh, who directed the study. “If we couldn’t identify as part of green energy, it wasn’t part of our count.”The Pew jobs data was dominated by environmental engineering firms and other pollution cleanup specialists that have been around for years. But the report showed that the fastest growing areas include companies that make hybrid diesel buses, traffic monitoring software, liquid biofuels, and jobs related to solar and wind energy.
One can imagine that if the study were to have run through 2008, there would have been more companies and jobs documented. Considering the year-long effort put in to the study (and the downturn in the economy that began in 2008), there is still much to be learned about where green jobs are now and where they’re going.
In that same Huffington Post blog, it details how one former auto-supply business-development worker from Michigan found work in clean energy:
- One cast off from the auto industry is Bob Mamo, 50, who was director of business development for a Dearborn, Mich., auto parts supplier until he was laid off in November. He was in the industry for 20 years. Last month, he landed a job as vice president of manufacturing for Free Flow Power, a hydropower company based in Gloucester, Mass. The auto industry “just looked like it was going in the wrong direction,” he said. Green is definitely on the upswing. Green energy was what I was really after.”
It’s safe to say that green and clean energy jobs are on the rise. But what does it mean to have a green job or be part of a green company?
Want more career advice in your job search? Look here:
(Image via Flickr by jurvetson CC 2.0)