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Climate Change

Green Jobs & Training


Green Careers

Green sector businesses like Clean Energy have many good-paying jobs with benefits (health insurance, paid vacation, etc.). There are many entry level jobs with career ladders that can move workers into better jobs over time.

>> Learn more about Green Careers. (The website of Workforce Development Council of Seattle – King County but extends statewide.)

Green Building

The Green Building sector has a large percentage of the green jobs in Washington State. Residential, commercial/public and industrial building construction companies usually are the general contractors, and they hire other specialty contractors (masonry, electrical, and painting contractors) to work on construction projects.

"Green building" means to make houses, apartments, stores and factories using construction processes and materials that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life.

>> Learn more about Green Building.

Green Energy

The green (or "clean") energy sector is divided into two areas ("subsectors"): the Efficient Distribution of green energy, and the Production of Renewable and Alternative energy sources.

The efficient distribution of green energy, also called the "smart energy grid", is an improved electricity system still under development throughout the United States. The goals are to find a way to combine renewable resources into the system, track usage to reduce power outages, and distribute the power to homes and businesses for the lowest price possible.

>> Learn more about Green Energy.

Green Environment

Products, processes, activities and maintenance that ensure water conservation and treatment, waste management and pollution prevention through Protection, Remediation and Restoration.

>> Learn more about Green Environment.

Green Manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing production uses 'documented' processes like ISO 14001 (environmental management systems), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and Green Supply Chain Management. It also includes simple things like a recycling program for employees, using energy efficient appliances, supplies and machinery, and training employees to turn off the lights when not in use or reusing supplies to eliminate waste.

Sustainable manufactured products improve energy efficiency, produce renewable energy and reduce pollution. Examples of sustainable products are photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, wind turbines, electric or hybrid vehicles, and all of the parts used to build these products. Sustainable manufactured products also include every-day products like toilet paper made from recycled paper, dish detergent made with non-toxic ingredients and printer-ink made from soy.

>> Learn more about Green Manufacturing.

Green Transportation

The Public Transportation subsector develops products and systems with a low impact on the environment and are fuel efficient like: car sharing, vanpooling, buses, trains, streetcars, ferries and transit-oriented development.

The Fuel Efficient Vehicles subsector develops products that use renewable or alternative energy like: battery electricity, biofuel, hydrogen, compressed air, or hybrids that combine a renewable/alternative source (usually electricity) with gasoline.

>> Learn more about Green Transportation.

Other Green Industries

INDIRECT businesses make green generic materials and parts used to make solar panels, smart electrical grids and energy efficient buildings. These indirect green companies provide services like carbon accounting, chemical engineering, or market research to the "direct" green businesses.

There are also businesses and jobs "INDUCED" by direct green businesses. These are created when people employed by green sector businesses spend their wages to purchase products and consumer services. Induced jobs include retail, wholesale, clerical, administrative and government jobs.

For a retail business to contribute to the green economy they can provide environmentally friendly products like cleaning products made with non-toxic chemicals, soy-based printer ink, and plastic bags made at a factory that uses solar energy.

>> Learn more about Other Green Industries.

Training / Green Jobs

Job retraining, or adding skills is one opportunity to move into a green sector, a green job or up the career ladder. Retraining is the process of learning ("adding) a new skill or trade. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to earn a certificate.

Most jobs — MIDDLE-SKILL JOBS — are three to five steps up the career ladder. For these jobs you will need more education than high school, but less than a four-year degree. These jobs are well within reach for lower-skilled and entry-level workers as long as they are job ready and can attend training programs — two-year colleges and trade union — sponsored apprenticeships are good places to find the training needed for these jobs.

HIGHER-SKILL LEVEL JOBS require at least a four-year degree (sometimes more) and several years of work-related experience and on-the-job training.

>> Learn more about Training & Green Jobs.

Find a Green Job

Although the Green Careers website is focused on Puget Sound region, it also includes green jobs statewide across Washington.

>> Learn more about Finding a Green Job