There has been a lot of talk about green jobs, but if becoming the next in line for the desk of the Green Czar in the Whitehouse is a bit too constraining for you, then maybe a hands-on eco career is a better option. As a part of the recovery stimulus package, $60 billion dollars has been earmarked for creating green jobs. In addition, reports have also shown that future changes in federal regulations, such as the initiative to decrease our energy usage 25% by 2025, will create hundred of thousands of jobs. This all sounds great, but what if you are not the type who enjoys office work? If you dread the thought of jammed copiers, computer malfunctions, and wearing ironed slacks, you will want to take note of our Top 5 Coolest Green Jobs that are NOT Desk Jobs.
5. Green Globetrotter
For those that have a sense of adventure and want others to share in the appreciation, a career in eco-tourism may be calling your name. This very diverse field includes positions as tour guides, on-site educators, camp counselors, naturalists, travel agents, leaders in adventure travel, and planners for custom ecological vacations. A person suited for this line of work should have a high level of knowledge and respect for wildlife, plants, and resources. Being knowledgeable about conservation methods, such as Leave No Trace, and being able to advise travelers on ways to exhibit cultural sensitivity is a must. Salary range: 20,000k-40,000k, or approximately $10-$20 per hour for guided tours.
4. Organic Farming Specialist
If you have a green thumb and hate the idea of agrochemicals being sprayed over your fruits and vegetables, you may enjoy a career in organic farming. Completely unlike traditional crop farming, this new industry requires extensive knowledge of plants, but could also extend to the role of a community organizer. In heavy demand are urban farming experts, who play a role in local outreach programs and farming promotion. Some organic farmers are also taking on a dual role as chefs specializing in locally grown food. In addition to farm hands, this industry also requires people that know the intricacies of warehousing, transporting, post-harvest handling, distributing, and retailing organic foods. Salary range: $31,100 to $103,660.
3. Bike and Scooter Technician
More technically savvy that someone who merely patches tires or oils chains, bicycle and scooter technicians are professionals who are currently in demand. With the introduction of a large number of two wheeled vehicles on the streets, maintenance for all of the varieties is going to require a blend of mechanical and electrical knowledge. Expectations are that the industry could grow to include fabricators of after-market parts and even roadside assistance crews. Salary Range: $20,000 to $40,300, or $10-20per hour
2. Protection Technician:
If you love the science behind nature, but also want the opportunity to be observe the environment outside of the lab, you should read on. The tasks for a protection technician could include collecting water and soil samples, performing laboratory testing, and determining sources for pollutants. Beyond the core competencies, this person could also be charged with being the first responder at a site of a hazardous spill, or be sent to investigate an outbreak of plant disease. Some jobs might require studies abroad on rugged terrain in order to record field data. These types of people would be highly valued for their expertise in environmental science, and might have a specialty in hydrology, remediation, soil erosion, or climate change. Salary range: $25,000 to $67,000.
1. Alternative Energy Installer
For the person who really craves physical labor and enjoys the complexities of emerging technologies, the job of an installer could be right up your alley. This person could specialize in updating outdated heating and cooling systems in a residence, or knowing how to outfit a building with solar panels, or perhaps even working with builders to create storm water tank systems for a new condo complex. Tasks in this field, like linking a solar water heater to a home owners grey water system, could be tricky, and may require technical school training or apprenticeships. A plus for this career would be having a background in energy efficiency regulations, tax rebates, and other governmental programs available to help consumers select the right product for upgrades. Salary range: $24,000 to $61,000.