Top 5 Green Jobs for 2011

solar panel installation

With the New Year here, it’s a good time to look towards the future. While nearly every sector of the economy is hurting, there are some areas that could be poised to have a big year in 2011.

Looking at government incentives, natural business growth, and technology advancements, we believe that these five sectors will show some significant gain in the upcoming year:

Solar Installation

Solar panel technology is advancing at a truly astonishing rate. Currently, the cost of solar panels is around $2.5 to $4 a watt. Even at this price, many businesses in 2010 made the investment to go solar in many of their manufacturing facilities. Looking at the near future, the cost of panels should drop around 30%. At this rate, you could see more individual homeowners looking to cut their electricity costs by spending $20,000 to $30,000 to be nearly off the grid.

(Also see Solsquare solar energy marketed by Yes Solar)

With any industry that is growing, it will create a lot of room for the unemployed. For example, installers, salespeople and entrepreneurs are looking at a career that could start them earning around $35,000 a year. As electricity costs continue to rise, and solar manufacturing costs fall, the solar business will mature. This will be a growth business, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and one to look out for.

Average starting salary for solar installers: $35,000

technician doing home energy audit

Building Retrofitting

This market will be growing in 2011 as the economy slowly recovers. Businesses and households will look to make capital improvements to buildings in order to save money in the long term. To help with this, there are many government incentives for businesses and homeowners. As more plumbers, electricians and other skilled laborers retire, there may be a shortage. Therefore, this is expected to be a very good year for those who are going into or are already in these fields.

Building retrofitting is a growing business because of rising interest in LEED-certified green buildings. Since governmental standards are increasing, the need for educated builders and contractors will also increase. With some training, one can enter the swelling ranks of energy auditors.

Average starting salary for energy auditors: $30,000 to $60,000

wind turbines

Wind Turbine Installation

Wind turbine installations are going to be increasing greatly over the next year. If one does a job search for “wind turbine,” you will find increasing opportunities for a career.

It’s important to note that wind turbine installation is a specialized career and has historically fallen under the realm of engineers, although more and more schools are offering technical degrees in the field. Turbines are huge and complex machines that harness the wind. With many engineers scrambling to find or maintain work, this sector could help many put their technical background toward an emerging technology.

Average starting salary for wind installers: $52,000 to $62,000

subway train racing by

Mass Transit

Mass transit could see a lot of money being thrown its way over the coming year. The U.S. federal government has been on record saying that it wants to see increased investment in transit infrastructure, up to $60 billion over the next few years.

Mass transit careers cover a wide array of educational backgrounds. While you may need a specialized license to operate a train, one may need a four-year engineering degree to help build and maintain the infrastructure.

Average starting salary: $32,000 for train operators and $50,000 for civil engineers

employees making vw sign in front of chattanooga factory, which is going zero waste

Electric Car Manufacturing

Electric cars are increasingly being seen as the future of automobiles. As technology advances, the range and popularity of these cars will increase. This year, the price of a new electric car should drop around 20%. While this may not be enough to make a huge difference in sales right away, it will have an impact and start to make them more cost competitive. The Volt and Leaf are only preludes to a booming and more affordable electric car.

The Big Three will need to invest in battery technology or risk losing out to smaller or foreign manufacturers. In hard hit manufacturing areas like Detroit, batteries could prove to be an economic goldmine. This equals an opportunity for growth in the engineering side of electric car manufacturing. Electrical, automotive, and energy engineers could see a lot of openings for specialized jobs in this field.

Average starting salary for automotive engineers: $50,000 to $60,000

2011 should hopefully lead to many more jobs and a lower jobless rate, in part spurred by a greening economy. Will you position yourself to take advantage of the green growth?

Source: thedailygreen

The above sectors are growing rapidly and will provide employment opportunities worldwide, including South Africa.  Also see 5 tips for finding eco-friendly employment.  Becoming your own boss of a green business is another option.  Water scarcity is a reality in many countries; water conservation businesses will boom in water scarce countries like South Africa (a Water Rhapsody franchise territory is for sale in Limpopo Province, click here to find out more).

Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems Mpumalanga offers water tank and rainwater tank installation, rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling and water-saving devices for swimming pools and toilet flush systems (see product demo ).  Our WWF Award-winning water systems can be retrofitted or built into new buildings and can be adapted to small households or large business blocks, hospitals, schools, lodges & hotels.

Water Rhapsody has incorporated Yes Solar– official distributor of German-made Solsquare solar water heating systems that are installed by Eskom-accredited solar installers (our solar geysers are eligible for Eskom solar energy rebates).  We are authorized JoJo Water Tank dealers and Atlas Plastics water tank suppliers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province (best water tank prices in the Lowveld!).  We are also able to supply sanitary hardware such as waterless toilets through our JoJo Tanks and Atlas Plastics dealerships.

Contact us for a free quote on a solar water geyser, water tank or rainwater/grey water system today!

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