Looking for work or a change of job? Green jobs are on the rise as well as opportunities for innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. There will also be re-training opportunities as a wider range of skills will be needed to keep products in the reuse loop. If you’re thinking of changing jobs and you want to do something that’s meaningful, now is the time to take the leap.
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The Great Resignation
Covid 19 was a disruptive force to global economies and revealed weaknesses in our linear economy. Covid as well as climate disasters have made us more aware than ever that we need to transition to a sustainable economy.
The successive lockdowns also made many of us realise that we had a dysfunctional relationship with work. Working from home made many of us focus on our well-being and reassess our jobs, how we spend our time and our way of life.
More and more of us are now seeking job opportunities with purpose – we want more than just a job that pays the bills, we want a job that helps make a difference. If you are one of those people then the great resignation is the perfect opportunity to find a green job that supports sustainable economic principles.
What is the Green Economy?
It is an economy that seeks to create economic growth while minimising the environmental impact of any economic activity. On the surface, it might sound like an oxymoron but according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), you cannot have sustainable development without economic growth.
A sustainable economy reduces the use of fossil fuels, carbon emissions and greenhouse gases and at the same time supports natural systems. These changes will need to be overseen by people who have the skills to help our economy transition to an environmentally conscious one.
Related: What is a circular economy?
What is a Green Job?
A green job is one in which the activity or activities contribute to looking after or restoring the environment. This can be anything from sustainable farming to environmental engineers who focus on solving environmental concerns. We already need environmental scientists, environmental lawyers, conservation scientists, as well as renewable energy jobs – and that list of jobs is growing!
Finding Green Jobs
Those already working in eco-friendly employment work in areas such as the energy industry focusing on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, others work in transportation or manufacturing industries.
A variety of roles are needed to help with the transition to a low carbon and low waste economy. As mentioned previously, the number of jobs is growing and as newer problems arise, it means some jobs don’t even exist yet. One way to find jobs working with the environment is to choose a sector. For example, there are lots of renewable energy jobs being advertised at the moment.
Renewable Energy Sector
The renewable energy sector is growing. As more households invest in clean technology like solar panels, the need for solar electricians grows. Electricians will be needed for installing and servicing panels so this is a job that has a real future.
If you want to specialise in an area such environmental science or environmental management then you’ll need a degree. Some of the most common jobs include:
- –Energy management specialist
- –Wind turbine technician
- · Solar panel installer
- · Geologist
- –Environmental scientist
- -Environmental Law specialist
So where do you find jobs that support the environment?
New jobs across a range of industries are being created all the time. You can find jobs on specialist sites like these:
You can register with these sites to get job alerts for the latest jobs as well as personalised job recommendations. New jobs are posted on these sites regularly.
Of course, other sites post vacancies too. For example, there are environmental charity jobs if you want to work in conservation. If you’re brave enough you can find wind farm jobs (usually no experience is required).
You could also look for trainee environmental jobs. Government departments and local authorities all need individuals that can help monitor pollution (e.g. monitoring air quality) and look after public health (e.g. monitoring water quality). But if you want jobs in a specific sector, then we would recommend registering with these websites.
Other ways to find environmental jobs is by carrying out a location search. You may be lucky enough to find a job that is local. Climate change is affecting all of us, regardless of where we live. Of course, the downside to doing this is that you will limit your job opportunities.
Green Jobs without a Degree
Some jobs are technical so require numerous qualifications to be eligible for the role. However, some jobs do not need an educational background in a particular industry – a passion for sustainability and a willingness to learn on the job could be all you need. Below is a list of the type of jobs that require minimal qualifications:
- -Electric vehicle sales
- -Farmer/ agriculture worker
- -Solar Electrician
What Green Jobs are in Demand?
Many of the jobs listed above are already in demand, even those with no qualifications. Of course, jobs that require specialist qualifications are likely to have a quite a lot of competition because they will be the most highly paid.
Private companies will need to change too
Even if you are not looking for a different career, many companies are acknowledging employee concerns about climate change. As a result, many employers are exploring sustainable ways of doing business. For example, the leisure sector, particularly hotels are changing their waste management processes so they are less wasteful.
Existing jobs will change too as companies adapt to more sustainable ways of working. So, it is likely that even if you stay with your current employer, you are likely to see changes that support the environment.
Become a Green Entrepreneur or an ‘Ecopreneur’
If employment is not your preferred way of earning money then there are plenty of sustainable business ideas for green entrepreneurs or ‘ecopreneurs’.
Green businesses are those that work to help the environment and can include everything from upcycling to arranging finance for sustainability projects.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business, there are now more options for accessing green finance. Assuming you have an idea for a sustainable business, you need to do your research and check if there’s a market for your product or service. Once you’ve done that, you can start your own green business by registering it with the government and choosing a form of ownership (partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship). Ideally, your business idea will follow circular economy principles in that there is minimal impact on the environment and zero waste.
There are many different types of green businesses. Some of the most common sustainable business ideas include:
- Organic farms
- Recycling centres
- Green construction companies
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can check out this list of 15 eco entrepreneurs . There are so many environmental problems to solve, from reducing CO2 in the atmosphere to finding ways to minimise waste, that there will be many opportunities for innovation. Maybe you will be the next ecopreneur that will revolutionise a system or product that needs to be more eco-friendly!
Technology will also play a significant part in the transformation of our economy. For example, blockchain technology could be used to monitor carbon emissions or award credits for rewilding an area of land. This will open up more job and business opportunities for tech-savvy individuals who also want to make a difference.
Jobs to help the planet
There are plenty of opportunities to help the planet and earn money while you are doing it and those opportunities will grow as the economy changes. The UK economy will need people with green skills. So it is a great time for job seekers to find meaningful, ethical work that provides a better work and homelife balance.
We value your comments on this topic. Are there any points we missed? Let us know in the comments below.