Tips for Finding Green Jobs

This article will provide basic information to help answer a fundamental question — how can a job seeker locate green jobs?

First, a definition:

In this article, “green jobs” will be defined as full-time, part-time, or internship opportunities that provide a social or environmental benefit.  These jobs can be in the public, private, or non-profit sector and include jobs in areas such as energy efficiency, green building, natural resource management, recycling, and renewable energy. This definition also reflects a broad view of sustainability and includes areas such as fair trade and corporate social responsibility.

Part 1: Job Boards

One method to identify green jobs is to review a popular source of job postings – online job boards.  In reviewing job boards, it may be helpful to think about them in two categories:

1.) General job boards

These are broad-based boards that cover many industries and sectors, and which will include green jobs. These include well-known sites including CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, Simply Hired, and Yahoo HotJobs.

2.) Green job boards

A variety of job boards focus on opportunities related to environmental or social responsibility.  These include job boards such as Idealist.org, TreeHugger’s Job Board, and greenjobsearch.org (from GJN).  In addition, there are job boards that focus on a specific area within the green industry such as Jobs in Wind from the American Wind Energy Association.

Green Jobs Network was one of the first organizations to publish a comprehensive list of green job boards to assist job seekers.  This list is in the process of being updated — look for a new version soon!

As job seekers know, job boards aren’t the only source for identifying jobs. Part 2 of this article series will examine the Hidden Green Job Market.

Part 2: The Hidden Green Job Market

Green jobs can be found in a number of areas in addition to online job boards.  In some instances employers may not publicize a job opportunity via a traditional online job board for reasons such as time (for example, the company may not be able to invest the internal human resources needed to review a large number of applicants that could arise with a broad-based posting) or capacity (for example, a young company may not have a complete human resources department). Some of the other sources and strategies to locate green jobs include:

1.) Go Direct

Some companies may publish job listings on their website, but not necessarily conduct additional external recruitment for candidates.  To access these opportunities job seekers should identify companies they would be interested in working for and review the Jobs or Careers section of their website for potential jobs. Strategies to identify companies include:

2.) Networking

Networking can enable job seekers to learn about job opportunities.  There are a vast number of approaches and strategies for networking, including attending events by organizations such as EcoTuesday and GreenDrinks, participating in the local chapter of a national organization such as the American Solar Energy Society, or attending programs or conferences such as the Green Festival.  There are also internet-based approaches to networking (see point #3). Due to the importance of networking to a successful job search it will be the focus of a future article on Green Collar Blog.

3.) Online Social Media

There are an increasing number of job opportunities posted via online social media channels.  For example, all groups on the professional networking site LinkedIn include a “Jobs” tab where job opportunities can be posted.  Company representatives (including hiring managers) may use social media to conduct their own outreach for potential candidates.  For example, the Green Jobs and Career Network group on LinkedIn currently contains more than 100 job postings in various locations.

4.) E-mail Lists

There are a number of specialized e-mail lists that distribute job postings.  A number of these list are free for job seekers to join, including EnviJobs, Green Job List, and YNPN.

5.) Recruiters

As with job boards, there are an increasing number of recruiters that focus on careers pertaining to sustainability.  A number of these organizations will post positions for which they are currently seeking candidates (two examples are Commongood Careers and Bright Green Talent).  A list of some green recruiters is available on Green Collar Blog.

6.) Membership Organizations

Industry associations and other membership-based organizations can offer job postings among their member services.  For example, Net Impact, a national organization that focuses on harnessing the power of business for social good, has an extensive set of career services (including a job board and resume tips) as well as an annual career expo.

7.) Academic Institutions

Academic institutions offer a range of job-related resources for their students and graduates.  These include access to job listings and job fairs.  For example, Stanford University will be holding an Energy & Environmental Career Fair in October and this page on Green Collar Blog lists recent green career fairs held by institutions including the University of Illinois and University of Minnesota.  Academic institutions can also be a source of networking opportunities.

Part 3: Future Green Jobs

1.) Follow the Money

One method to identify potential future green jobs is to identify where investments are being made today.  This can be a productive strategy as these investments may lead to the development of new enterprises that have jobs. Specific approaches include:

  • Identifying private sector investment.  Venture capital firms, private equity firms, and corporations are all making significant investments in existing or new enterprises in the green sector.  The recipients of these investment may be sources of future (or even current) job opportunities.  Sources to learn about these investments include The Cleantech Group, Earth2Tech, GreenBeat, Greentech Media, and Green VC.
  • Identify public sector investment.  As with the private sector, the public sector is investing in the green sector and the recipients of these investment may also be sources of current or future job opportunities.  Sources to learn about these investments include the ones mentioned above as well as directly reviewing government websites such as the U.S. Department of Energy.

2.) Follow the Law

A second method to identify potential future green jobs is to identify federal, state, or local legislative, judicial, or regulatory changes that impact the green economic sector.  Government action can include providing funds for new initiatives (such as the approximately $8 billion in expanded funding for weatherization in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that can lead to new employment opportunities or rules that may lead to new business opportunities.  Sources for identifying these legal developments include those mentioned above as well as organizations such as the Apollo Alliance and Green For All.

3.) Follow the Startups

New enterprises can be a source for potential future job opportunities.  Some strategies for identifying these are:

  • Green and Social Venture Business Plan Competitions.  These programs are organized by business schools and other organizations and are generally geared to ventures that are at an early stage in their development. These include programs such as the Clean Tech Open and the Global Social Venture Competition.  Job seekers can review the list of entrants and winners of these competitions as potential future sources of jobs.  In addition, job seekers may consider entering a competition or joining the team of an entrant (some of these competitions offer mixers to facilitate team recruitment).  A list of some of these competitions is available on Green VC.
  • Green and Social Entreprenuership Awards and Fellowships.  These program vary and include cash prizes for one-time contests, seed funding for new ventures, and later-stage funding for existing organizations.  These include programs such as Echoing Green and the Skoll Award for Social Entreprenuership.  As with business plan competitions, job seekers can review the list of winners of these programs as potential future sources of jobs.  A list of some of these programs is available on Green VC.

This concludes the Finding Green Jobs article series.  We hope this information is useful in your job search and we welcome your feedback on this series.

Green Jobs Network Participates in Green Jobs Series on Triple Pundit

Green Jobs Network (publishers of Green Collar Blog) was selected to participate in a special Green Jobs series of articles on Triple Pundit, a leading sustainability blog.  Green Jobs Network authored the article Five Tips for Green Job Seekers, which provides practical suggestion for job seekers interested in jobs pertaining to social or environmental responsibility.  You can read the complete article here.

Finding Green Jobs (Part 3): Future Green Jobs

Parts one and two of the Finding Green Jobs series focused on identifying current opportunities.  The last article in this series examines strategies for identifying green job opportunities that may become available in the future.

Part 3: Future Green Jobs

1.) Follow the Money

One method to identify potential future green jobs is to identify where investments are being made today.  This can be a productive strategy as these investments may lead to the development of new enterprises that have jobs. Specific approaches include:

  • Identifying private sector investment.  Venture capital firms, private equity firms, and corporations are all making significant investments in existing or new enterprises in the green sector.  The recipients of these investment may be sources of future (or even current) job opportunities.  Sources to learn about these investments include The Cleantech Group, Earth2Tech, GreenBeat, Greentech Media, and Green VC.
  • Identify public sector investment.  As with the private sector, the public sector is investing in the green sector and the recipients of these investment may also be sources of current or future job opportunities.  Sources to learn about these investments include the ones mentioned above as well as directly reviewing government websites such as the U.S. Department of Energy.

2.) Follow the Law

A second method to identify potential future green jobs is to identify federal, state, or local legislative, judicial, or regulatory changes that impact the green economic sector.  Government action can include providing funds for new initiatives (such as the approximately $8 billion in expanded funding for weatherization in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that can lead to new employment opportunities or rules that may lead to new business opportunities.  Sources for identifying these legal developments include those mentioned above as well as organizations such as the Apollo Alliance and Green For All.

3.) Follow the Startups

New enterprises can be a source for potential future job opportunities.  Some strategies for identifying these are:

  • Green and Social Venture Business Plan Competitions.  These programs are organized by business schools and other organizations and are generally geared to ventures that are at an early stage in their development. These include programs such as the Clean Tech Open and the Global Social Venture Competition.  Job seekers can review the list of entrants and winners of these competitions as potential future sources of jobs.  In addition, job seekers may consider entering a competition or joining the team of an entrant (some of these competitions offer mixers to facilitate team recruitment).  A list of some of these competitions is available on Green VC.
  • Green and Social Entreprenuership Awards and Fellowships.  These program vary and include cash prizes for one-time contests, seed funding for new ventures, and later-stage funding for existing organizations.  These include programs such as Echoing Green and the Skoll Award for Social Entreprenuership.  As with business plan competitions, job seekers can review the list of winners of these programs as potential future sources of jobs.  A list of some of these programs is available on Green VC.

This concludes the Finding Green Jobs article series.  We hope this information is useful in your job search and we welcome your feedback on this series.

Finding Green Jobs (Part 2): The Hidden Green Job Market

This is part 2 of an article series that aims to provide basic information to help answer a fundamental question — how can a job seeker locate green jobs?

Part 2: The Hidden Green Job Market

Green jobs can be found in a number of areas in addition to online job boards.  In some instances employers may not publicize a job opportunity via a traditional online job board for reasons such as time (for example, the company may not be able to invest the internal human resources needed to review a large number of applicants that could arise with a broad-based posting) or capacity (for example, a young company may not have a complete human resources department). Some of the other sources and strategies to locate green jobs include:

1.) Go Direct

Some companies may publish job listings on their website, but not necessarily conduct additional external recruitment for candidates.  To access these opportunities job seekers should identify companies they would be interested in working for and review the Jobs or Careers section of their website for potential jobs. Strategies to identify companies include:

2.) Networking

Networking can enable job seekers to learn about job opportunities.  There are a vast number of approaches and strategies for networking, including attending events by organizations such as EcoTuesday and GreenDrinks, participating in the local chapter of a national organization such as the American Solar Energy Society, or attending programs or conferences such as the Green Festival.  There are also internet-based approaches to networking (see point #3). Due to the importance of networking to a successful job search it will be the focus of a future article on Green Collar Blog.

3.) Online Social Media

There are an increasing number of job opportunities posted via online social media channels.  For example, all groups on the professional networking site LinkedIn include a "Jobs" tab where job opportunities can be posted.  Company representatives (including hiring managers) may use social media to conduct their own outreach for potential candidates.  For example, the Green Jobs and Career Network group on LinkedIn currently contains more than 100 job postings in various locations.

4.) E-mail Lists

There are a number of specialized e-mail lists that distribute job postings.  A number of these list are free for job seekers to join, including EnviJobs, Green Job List, and YNPN.

5.) Recruiters

As with job boards, there are an increasing number of recruiters that focus on careers pertaining to sustainability.  A number of these organizations will post positions for which they are currently seeking candidates (two examples are Commongood Careers and Bright Green Talent).  A list of some green recruiters is available on Green Collar Blog.

6.) Membership Organizations

Industry associations and other membership-based organizations can offer job postings among their member services.  For example, Net Impact, a national organization that focuses on harnessing the power of business for social good, has an extensive set of career services (including a job board and resume tips) as well as an annual career expo.

7.) Academic Institutions

Academic institutions offer a range of job-related resources for their students and graduates.  These include access to job listings and job fairs.  For example, Stanford University will be holding an Energy & Environmental Career Fair in October and this page on Green Collar Blog lists recent green career fairs held by institutions including the University of Illinois and University of Minnesota.  Academic institutions can also be a source of networking opportunities.

In addition to finding current job opportunities, there are some approaches for identifying future green jobs.  This will be the focus of part three of this series.

Finding Green Jobs (Part 1): Job Boards

This article series will provide basic information to help answer a fundamental question — how can a job seeker locate green jobs?

First, a definition:

In the "Finding Green Jobs" series, "green jobs" will be defined as full-time, part-time, or internship opportunities that provide a social or environmental benefit.  These jobs can be in the public, private, or non-profit sector and include jobs in areas such as energy efficiency, green building, natural resource management, recycling, and renewable energy. This definition also reflects a broad view of sustainability and includes areas such as fair trade and corporate social responsibility.

Part 1: Job Boards

One method to identify green jobs is to review a popular source of job postings – online job boards.  In reviewing job boards, it may be helpful to think about them in two categories:

1.) General job boards

These are broad-based boards that cover many industries and sectors, and which will include green jobs. These include well-known sites including CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, Simply Hired, and Yahoo HotJobs.

2.) Green job boards

A variety of job boards focus on opportunities related to environmental or social responsibility.  These include job boards such as Idealist.org, TreeHugger's Job Board, and greenjobsearch.org (from GJN).  In addition, there are job boards that focus on a specific area within the green industry such as Jobs in Wind from the American Wind Energy Association. 

Green Jobs Network was one of the first organizations to publish a comprehensive list of green job boards to assist job seekers.  This list is in the process of being updated — look for a new version soon!

As job seekers know, job boards aren't the only source for identifying jobs. Part 2 of this article series will examine the Hidden Green Job Market.

Finding Green Jobs: A Three-Part Series


Green Jobs Network has published a three-part article series on Finding Green Jobs.  The goal of this series is to provide basic information to help answer a fundamental question — how can a job seeker locate green jobs?  The three parts of this article are:

Part 1 – Job Boards

Part 2 – The Hidden Green Job Market

Part 3 – Future Green Jobs

Obama Economic Stimulus Plan to Include Focus on Green Jobs

President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus proposal will include provisions that support green jobs. While the complete plan hasn't been announced, recent reports have begun to provide insights into the plan's scope and contents. According to a December 3, 2008 article in The New York Times, Proposal Ties Economic Stimulus to Energy Plan:

President-elect Barack Obama and leaders in Congress are fashioning a plan to pour billions of dollars into a jobs program to jolt the economy and lay the groundwork for a more energy-efficient one.

The details and cost of the so-called green-jobs program are still unclear, but a senior Obama aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a work in progress, said it would probably include the weatherizing of hundreds of thousands of homes, the installation of “smart meters” to monitor and reduce home energy use, and billions of dollars in grants to state and local governments for mass transit and infrastructure projects.

The green component of the much larger stimulus plan would cost at least $15 billion a year, and perhaps considerably more, depending on how the projects were defined, aides working on the package said.

This was followed by a December 6th article in The New York Times, Obama Pledges Public Works on a Vast Scale:

With jobs evaporating and the recession deepening, Mr. Obama began highlighting elements of the economic recovery program he is trying to fashion with Congressional leaders in hopes of being able to enact it shortly after being sworn in on Jan. 20.

Although Mr. Obama put no price tag on his plan, he said he would invest record amounts of money in the vast infrastructure program, which also includes work on schools, sewer systems, mass transit, electrical grids, dams and other public utilities. The green jobs would include various categories, including jobs dedicated to creating alternative fuels, windmills and solar panels; building energy efficient appliances, or installing fuel-efficient heating or cooling systems.

The green jobs portion of the economic package could run as high as $100 billion over two years, according to an aide familiar with the discussions. more information:

President-elect Obama has also discussed including green jobs in his economic recovery proposal his weekly address of November 22nd and December 6th.  In his December 6th address, President-elect Obama indicated that part of his plan will include a "massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient":

Additional insights into the proposed plan can be obtained from the following web pages and documents:

Growing Interest in Solar Classes Highlighted by the San Jose Mercury News

Classes on Nuts, Volts of Solar Trade Filling Up is a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News that reports on the increasing interest in solar classes. The article includes a spotlight on a class "Solar 102: Intro to PV Installation" offered at San Jose City College. In addition, the article provides data on current and projected employment trends in the solar sector.

For more information:

Growth in Green Jobs Highlighted by Phoenix Business Journal

Sustainability Trend Creates Whole New Fields Within Existing Industry Sectors is a recent article in the Phoenix Business Journal that reports on the growth of jobs related to the green and sustainability sectors.

The article highlights factors that may be contributing to this growth, such as changes in consumer behavior and the fact that the Arizona Corporation Commission is requiring regulated utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

The article also includes comments from Dave Thompson, founder and CEO of Diversified Energy; Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council; Jonathan Fink, Arizona State University sustainability officer and the Julie Ann Wrigley director of the Global Institute of Sustainability; and Georgette Proestakis, vice president of human resources for Horizon.

For more information: