On August 24, 2015, President Obama announced a new initiative in support of renewable energy. The president applauded the advancements in solar energy installations and noted the solar industry added jobs ten times faster than the regular economy. The Department of Energy will make billions of dollars in loan guarantees to support the renewable energy industry.
Renewable Energy World reports that renewable energy jobs increased about 20% per year since 2012. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that globally there were 6.5 million jobs in the renewable energy sector in 2013.
What Kind of Renewable Energy Jobs Are Available?
Renewable energy is energy that is not depleted when used. Examples of renewable energy include solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal or biomass energy. Extracting energy from these and other renewable sources is considered safer and more sustainable than burning fossil fuels or waste products.
Renewable energy or green collar jobs are those kinds of professions that either produce goods and services that are focused on conserving energy or where workers help produce and establish more renewable resources. Green collar jobs can also cover energy efficiency, the reduction of environmental pollution, natural resource conservation, as well as environmental compliance.
Here are some jobs that can be considered “green.”
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- Facilities Maintenance Technician – While not traditionally considered a “green” job, some facilities maintenance technicians work in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, which may include energy efficiency and sustainable materials. A mechanical maintenance degree from RSI teaches principles of electricity, solar, and refrigeration, as well as electrical wiring and HVAC systems.
- HVAC/R Technician/Installer – Again, this is not a traditional “green” job. As government regulation is requiring new HVAC units to be more energy efficient, HVAC/R installers and technicians ensure that units are the right size and work properly and comply with environmental standards. HVACR traininginstructs students the basics of air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and refrigeration for commercial and residential systems, including those that operate on renewable energy.
- Solar Panel Technician – Solar panel technicians may install, repair or service solar panels used for the supply of electricity. Electro mechanical courses provide an overview of photovoltaic (PV) science, introducing students to the basics of solar energy, while also conveying the fundamentals of HVAC for commercial and residential applications.
- Wind Power Service Technicians – Wind power service technicians have the responsibility to make sure that the wind turbines operate smoothly, performing repairs as needed. As this profession is relatively new, there is no clear-cut formal training path. However, those interested in this career will need solid mechanical skills, some electrical training, and a good grasp on the physics of wind turbines.
Explore the Exciting New Field of Renewable Energy
The field of renewable energy is rapidly developing, and those with the proper skills and good training are in high demand. Vocational training programs such as those offered at RSI are a terrific way to get the training necessary to enter this promising sector and enjoy a satisfying career with plenty of room for advancement.