An increasing focus on mitigating climate change and constructing sustainable, resilient buildings has created a green buildings industry exploding with job opportunities. However, many job seekers simply don’t know those occupations exist.
The Green Buildings Career Map, a new online resource developed by the U.S. Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and a group of subject matter experts with funding from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), can bridge that knowledge gap. The map is a valuable tool for educating people about career options within the green buildings field.
Four Key Sectors
The Green Buildings Career map is an interactive online resource that explores job opportunities across four major sectors of green buildings and energy efficiency:
- Architecture, Engineering, and Other Professional Services
- Building Operations/Facility Management
- Commercial & Industrial Construction Retrofitting
- Residential & Multifamily Construction Retrofitting
The tool is targeted to a broad audience, including educators, career advisors, jobseekers, policymakers, and workforce professionals. It maps the possible progression through occupations, detailing credentials or training needed to do each job. In all, 55 jobs within the green buildings industry are covered by the map, which includes skills and credentials required to advance between those jobs. The map also contains multi-sector advancement routes and a section on “New-Collar Jobs” – those jobs for which professional training or certification is required, but a traditional four-year degree isn’t. One such job: Residential Energy Auditor. Last year alone saw demand for HERS-rated homes grow 24 percent over 2019. The industry needs many auditors to keep pace with the increased demand for these energy efficiency ratings.
Combining Passion and Profession
According to survey data, nearly 90 percent of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a company whose mission and values aligned with their own. Moreover, 75 percent of millennials strive to be environmentally conscious in their daily lives. Young people will comprise the bulk of new employees in the energy efficiency and green building arena. Developing a resource targeted at career educators, career advisors, and students can help inform these potential employees as they look to identify career options that fit their core values and provide multiple routes and opportunities for professional growth.