(4blackyouth.com) Want to help reduce society's carbon footprint and make a living doing it? Better yet, do you want to look out on the horizon and see where the next wave of jobs will be so you can be where the action is first. If so, consider becoming a "green-collar" professional. In order to bridge the gap between the environmentally un-friendly, fuel-based economy of the past and the energy-efficient, conservation-focused economy of today, an increasing number of companies are adding green-collar professionals to their payrolls. Although some green jobs require specific skill sets and training, others are appropriate for anyone who's passionate about the environment and has a great work ethic. Here are 5 new green jobs and how you can prepare for them.
Eco-tourism is growing three times faster than the tourism sector itself, and there is an abundance of entry-level opportunities available in the field. Eco-tourism professionals work as travel agents, tour guides, managers, sales staff, or marketers. Eco-tourism is a rewarding field because it teaches tourists about the importance of protecting the environment while discovering exotic new places.
A travel and hospitality degree with a focus on green tourism can help to prepare you for a job in eco-tourism. If you have a sincere interest in helping the planet, you may also be qualified to work in some sectors of the eco-tourism industry by getting a degree or work experience in marketing, sales, or advertising.
2. Energy-Efficiency Builder
Buildings account for almost half of the US's energy usage and greenhouse emissions. By becoming an energy-efficiency builder, you can help to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of homes and buildings. Energy-efficiency building projects require the expertise of engineers, architects, and retrofitters. To become a qualified energy-efficiency builder, you can get a Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) accreditation, a major green building certification in the US.
3. Green Entrepreneur
Got an idea for a green start up? With constant media coverage about global warming and the popularity of all things green, there's no better time than now to become a green entrepreneur. Among the venture capitalist community, green start ups are at the center of attention because of their significant growth potential. New technologies which propel the adoption of renewable energy like wind, solar, and bio fuels will gain interest. However, before you hit the pavement seeking funding for your green business idea, consider honing your green business administration skills by getting an MBA in sustainable management. Schools that offer MBAs in sustainable management include the University of Colorado at Denver and San Francisco State University.
4. Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning
Sustainable urban and regional planners help to lower the carbon footprint of America's towns and cities. The aim of sustainable urban and regional planning is to organize the structure and function of cities so that they integrate harmoniously with their natural surroundings and their ecological impact is reduced. Jobs in urban and regional planning are expected to grow approximately 15% by 2016. Since urban and regional planners work for local governments, their jobs tend to be recession-proof. Schools that offer degrees in urban and regional planning with a focus on sustainability include the Nohan A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University and the University of Virginia, School of Architecture.
As an increasing number of educational institutions strive to "go green," t