Home New mexico economy What are green jobs and how can I get one? 5 Clean Energy Career Questions Answered

What are green jobs and how can I get one? 5 Clean Energy Career Questions Answered

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(The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of news, analysis, and commentary from academic experts.)

Shaun M. Dougherty, Boston College

(THE CONVERSATION) When President Joe Biden signed the Cut Inflation Act into law in August 2022, he called it “the biggest investment ever” to fight climate change. He also said it would lead to the creation of well-paying unionized jobs to help “reduce emissions in all sectors of our economy.” These jobs are also known as “clean energy jobs, and their number is expected to increase in the coming years due to the US$369 billion investment in energy security and climate change.

Here, Shaun Dougherty, an expert in career and technical education, answers five questions about clean energy jobs, their projected growth, and the type of education a person needs to get one.

1. What is a “clean energy” job?

In general, the term applies to any work related to the production of goods and the provision of services aimed at the conservation or protection of natural resources, or the reduction of their use.

So there are jobs in manufacturing equipment for solar panel and wind turbine components. There are also jobs in solar energy sales – that is, the sale of solar panels to homeowners and owners – as well as installation, maintenance and repair in the solar and wind industries. . There is also a growing demand for engineers and environmental scientists, whose work includes helping to design solar panels and wind turbines and determining their location.

2. How many green jobs will be created in the next few years?

About 9 million clean energy jobs will be created over the next decade, according to an analysis by UMass Amherst’s Institute for Political Economy Research.

The federal government has also projected strong job growth in the clean energy sector over the next decade. Many of these jobs are expected to be solar and wind energy installers and technicians. For example, there is a projected 68% increase in jobs for wind turbine service technicians and a projected 52% increase in jobs for solar panel installers over the next decade. However, the growth in the actual number of these jobs will be relatively small: 4,700 and 6,100, respectively.

There is also a growing need for scientists and environmental specialists, who use their scientific knowledge to protect the environment and human health. The federal government projects that there will be 7,300 new jobs in these fields over the next decade.

3. How much do these jobs pay?

Clean energy jobs pay at least $2 more per hour — almost 10% more — than the national average of $23.86 per hour.

Estimates from the Department of Labor show that across all occupations, clean energy jobs are well paid. For example, solar installers might earn around $47,000 per year, wind turbine technicians around $52,000 per year, and engineers around $100,000.

4. What kind of education do you need to get a green job?

Not much beyond high school. Solar installation jobs usually only require a high school diploma. Turbine technicians need more advanced training, but this is usually a certificate that can be obtained at a technical or community college. However, the highest paying jobs as environmental scientists or engineers require a two- or four-year college degree.

Plus, college isn’t the only way to get a clean energy job. You can get a clean energy job through Job Corps, a federal program that works with young people who have had difficulty obtaining an education or employment. Research shows that Job Corps, at least historically, increases the incomes of the young people it serves.

However, it can be difficult to get the kind of technical education you need at your local high school. It also depends on where you live.

5. Where is the best place to live to get a green job?

Currently, there are more green jobs in places that are set up to provide renewable energy and have created incentives to build the infrastructure for clean energy. For solar, that means places that are known to be sunny like California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Florida, and Colorado. It also includes states that have created incentives to increase the potential for clean energy use, such as North Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts. Texas leads in wind power employment, but other Plains states, like the Dakotas, also do well.

A recent report from the Brookings Institution – a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC – highlighted where it is cheapest to generate wind and solar power. This includes areas where there are a lot of jobs in non-renewable energy, as opposed to clean energy.

It is a sign of hope. This suggests that clean energy jobs could be created in areas that might otherwise lose out as the country moves toward greater reliance on renewable energy.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/what-are-green-jobs-and-how-can-i-get-one-5-questions-answered-about-clean-energy-careers-188669 .