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How to Find Green Job Openings

searching for a green job

Is finding a green job like searching for a needle in a haystack? Not if you know how to search.

Now that you've gotten familiar with green careers in Minnesota, are you ready to find a job that helps you benefit the environment? Use these strategies for a successful search.

General Tips for Finding Green Jobs

Searching for green jobs online? Some green jobs are so new that they don't yet have well-known job titles. In fact, two employers might use completely different titles to describe the same basic job duties. So how can you make sure your keyword search is working for you?

  • Consider searching only green job banks. Some job banks post only green job openings. If you're sure green is in your future and don't mind limiting your options from the get-go, this might be a good place to start.
  • Be specific. Searching for general terms like "environment" or "green" will probably yield lots of non-green jobs (for example, jobs with a "great work environment" or jobs with the "green party"). If you're curious to see everything that's out there and want to get the broadest possible list of green jobs, try keywords like "sustainable" or "ecological." (But remember, even these keywords are so general they're likely to return quite a few non-green results.)
  • Use job title examples from career profiles on this site to make sure you're trying all the angles. Each profile lists alternate jobs titles that can help you in your job search. For example, an environmental planner might also be called environmental restoration planner, planner principal, ecologist, environmental scientist, or project planner.
  • Search for tools and technology terms, rather than a job title, to find green jobs. For example, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and CAD (Computer-Aided Design) are two very common tools used in green jobs. This may yield many non-green jobs, but searching this way means you don't need to know the exact job title to get results.
  • Search on common green certifications, such as LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), LEED Green Associate (LEED GA), or Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM). Even if you don't have these credentials, using them as keywords will narrow your results to jobs that prefer or require them, which can help you learn more about your future options or find relevant training.

Use Green Job Keywords

Use the following keywords for each green career cluster below, but keep in mind that job titles often do not contain green keywords. It's a good idea to read the whole job posting to understand why a job shows up in searches with these keywords.

If you're looking for a job in... Try these keywords...
Environmental Conservation

Review career examples.
ecology, conservation, natural resource, or air quality, water quality, water resource, environmental restoration, wetland/stream restoration, watershed
Recycling & Pollution Reduction

Review career examples.
recycling, remediation, pollution, brownfield, water treatment, wastewater, EHS, environmental compliance, environmental impact, waste disposal
Green Manufacturing

Review career examples.
lean manufacturing, sustainable, building automation, energy management, smart grid, waste minimization, reduction
Renewable Energy Generation

Review career examples.
geothermal, solar, wind power, ethanol, alternative fuel, renewable energy, biofuels, biomass, hybrid vehicle
Building-related Energy Efficiency

Review career examples.
LEED, energy efficient, smart grid, energy management, energy conservation, green building, energy performance, sustainable design, HVAC, energy saving, boiler maintenance, insulation

 

Green Networking Opportunities

Remember that Internet searching is a good strategy, but it's not the only way to find your way into green. Don't forget about good old-fashioned networking. There are plenty of opportunities to meet and network with other people who are interested in green jobs. Below are just a few examples.

  • Green Drinks is a regular meeting at a bar or restaurant for people who work or are interested in green jobs.
  • EcoTuesday is a monthly meeting of sustainable business professionals in the Twin Cities.
  • You can also find online green networking groups, such as the Minneapolis Area Green Business Network on LinkedIn.