Stay Green with a Green-Collar Job

The world of work is poised for change as more companies become environmentally conscious. Going “green” is no longer an abstract concept for American businesses. More industries are now green in an effort to produce products and services that benefit the environment. And, as these green businesses grow, so does their need for qualified employees. Gone are the days of just white- and blue-collar jobs. Now, veterans can choose to work in the green-collar field.

Green-collar jobs are technically blue-collar jobs, or manual-labor occupations, in environmentally conscious businesses. Many of these green-collar jobs can be found in non-profit organizations, social enterprises, public sector institutions, and small businesses, according to a case study funded by the Berkeley, Calif. city council.

Many of the green-collar jobs are in the following fields: • Bicycle delivery and repair services • Automotive jobs related to bio-diesel, vegetable oil and other alternative fuels • Energy retrofits to increase energy efficiency and conservation • Food production using organic or sustainably grown agricultural products • Manufacturing jobs related to large scale production of a wide range of appropriate technologies — solar panels, bike cargo systems, green waste bins, etc. • Materials reuse/producing products made from recycled, non-toxic materials • Water retrofits to increase water efficiency and conservation • Furniture making from environmentally certified and recycled wood • Hauling and reuse of construction and demolition materials and debris

These high-quality jobs offer advancement opportunities, good pay and benefits, and the opportunity to do something good for the earth. What’s more, there is a glut of open green-collar positions in the job market. In fact, 73 percent of the business owners/managers surveyed said there was a dearth of qualified green-collar workers, with a shortage in bike repair, energy, green building and mechanics, reports the case study.

Most green jobs are targeted to young workers (ages 18-35), adults without a degree, or people who have been out of the workforce for a long period of time. Additionally, many of these jobs offer on-the-job training and classes. And, the qualifications for most of these jobs are skills that veterans already have, such as: • A sense of responsibility. • Positive attitude. • Consistent punctuality. • A strong work ethic. • The ability to work independently and as part of a team.

If you’re ready to work in a career that offers you the opportunity to positively impact the environment, visit’s Job Board to search for green and military-friendly companies.

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