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Move into a Green Career

green manufacturing

Moving into a green career may be easier than you think.

You might think that transitioning into a green career will mean a complete career change, or that green jobs are not for you because there are none in your area or you don't have the right skills. But many green careers are not as exotic as you might think. Depending on your current job or skill set, you could already be qualified for one — or you might be able to get qualified with just a few steps and some creative thinking. Consider three ways to move into a green career:

  • Do the same job in a green setting.
  • Gain skills and credentials common to green careers.
  • Use free online tools to transition into a green career that's a good match for you.

Do the Same Job in a Green Setting

Many green careers are just traditional careers in a green setting, with few or no added tasks or skills. In these cases, moving into a green career might be just a matter of doing the job you're already doing, but for a green business. Consider these examples.

I currently work as a...I could be a...Take the first step
Building maintenance worker Building maintenance worker that helps maintain a LEED-certified building.
Production (factory) worker Production worker for a business that manufactures green products, such as energy efficient windows, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbine parts, or biobased chemicals.
Bus driver Your job is already considered green because you are helping people use public transportation.
Insulation installer Your job is already considered green because you are helping homes and businesses to be more energy efficient. See where insulation installers fit on a career path (291KB, .pdf).

 

Gain Skills and Credentials Common in Green Careers

Some green careers are just traditional careers that involve a few extra tasks or specialized skills. The careers below might require some enhanced green skills, which you can get through a little extra training, a certification, or work experience.

I currently work as a...I could be a...Take the first step
Stock or check-out clerk in a grocery store Stock or check-out clerk in a co-op that specializes in selling sustainably grown, local, or reused products.
Marketer or marketing manager Green marketing manager who specializes in selling or marketing green products or services.
Construction manager Green construction manager who oversees sustainable building projects.
Supply chain manager Green supply chain manager who focuses on the environmental effects of his/her decisions.

 

Transition to a Brand New Career That's Green

Think you want a brand new career that's green, but not sure where to start?

  • Try a free online tool called JobStat. It lets you enter your previous occupation and then see a list of related occupations that require similar skills and training. Your list of results will also contain a "green" flag if any of your career matches are green.
  • You can also use the MinnesotaWorks job bank to search for green jobs using green keywords. Or explore these green job boards to find your dream green job.
  • Explore 50+ green career profiles on this website to see if any sound interesting.
  • Explore career paths in a variety of green economic sectors, including renewable energy, building-related energy efficiency, and more. These tools can help you figure out how to break in to an industry, and where your career might take you.