The push for green jobs has begun. General Wesley Clark, co-chairman of Growth Energy, recently announced a road map for renewable ethanol energy that will reduce emissions in American cars as it creates jobs. The plan will create an expected 1.3 million jobs by 2022.
How can you train your way into a lucrative green job? With an online degree program, your journey to a sustainable income might be shorter than you think. Check out some of the top green jobs, and learn how a college degree can get you there.
Engineers: Designing a Brighter Future
Innovation and new technology will be the pillars of the new green jobs. Chemical engineers, who earned mean annual wages of $88,760 in 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), will be needed to create tomorrow's green technology. Look for bachelor's degrees in environmental and chemical engineering. A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level engineering positions.
Engineering Technicians: Online Degree Programs with a Hands-on Difference
Though it seems similar to our top pick, technician work is a world away from engineering. While engineers design and test the green technology, it's the technicians that go out into the field and install it. Electrical engineering technicians, including those who might install solar panels on homes, earned mean annual wages of $53,990 in 2008, the BLS reports. An online associate degree in engineering can give you the training you need.
Manufacturing: Producing the Environmentally Friendly Future
From sustainable textiles to wind power generators, the manufacturing industry should be greatly affected by new green jobs. While entry level factory jobs generally don't require prior training, management and supervisory careers in manufacturing could benefit from an online certificate program in business management. Combine your manufacturing experience with a college degree and you could earn a healthy wage; industrial production managers earned mean annual salaries of $91,200 in 2008, according to the BLS.
Conservation Scientist: Online Degree Programs Save Paper
Why stop at recycling? Design and develop the regulations that could become law as a conservation scientist. A bachelor's degree in biology, forestry, natural resource management, or environmental sciences is generally required, though entry-level technician positions may only call for an associate degree. Conservation scientists earned mean annual wages of $60,170 in 2008, the BLS notes.
Green Entrepreneur: Make Greenbacks with Eco-Friendly Online Training
In a country where everyone's using reusable shopping bags and compact fluorescent bulbs, sustainable business is rapidly becoming king. Do you have the next great green idea? An online certificate program in business can give you a basic level of business training to give yourself a boost. Upgrade to a bachelor's degree or MBA in business, and your expertise will come in handy as a business owner.
Online Degrees Can Get You There
While no online training program can guarantee a particular green job or salary, hiring managers in the careers above often prefer or require education among applicants. With the right training, you could find yourself on the front lines of the environmental revolution.