Get a Job as a Green Building Professional
(Page 7 of 8)
The results are extremely heartening. Booz Allen projected that the number of jobs in green building will increase fourfold by 2013, going from two million to nearly eight million jobs within just four years, which will generate more than $554 billion additional dollars in GDP, and more than $396 billion in earned wages. As for the USGBC, its LEED-related economic outlay has already supported 15,000 jobs—and is projected to support 230,000 jobs by 2013.
As another example, an annual international survey called the Carbon Salary Survey released 2010 results on green jobs in a variety of ﬁelds. Of the 1,200 people surveyed, interesting ﬁndings included the facts that three-quarters of those in green jobs are satisﬁed with their work and 35 percent feel more secure in their positions than they did one year ago.Moreover, the study found that green jobs are available across the world in the renewable energy ﬁeld, perfect for those who want to work and live abroad.
Green as in Salary
Income estimates for various green building professionals range widely and are updated frequently, so generally it is best to check reliable online sources and reputable annual surveys for the most current information. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a website and associated tools dedicated speciﬁcally to the green building ﬁeld. As a basic reference: in 2011, an environmental engineer is estimated by that site to make around $80,000 a year.Another resource, PayScale, is a massive database of salary proﬁles for a variety of jobs, and it gives another good sense of current market salaries. This resource gives job seekers accurate numbers and negotiation leverage for interviews; average salaries for related building professionals in 2011 ranged from $76,000 for a mechanical engineer to $67,000 for an architect to $58,000 for a construction project manager. These ﬁgures do vary, however; the Carbon Salary Survey found that the average salary for those they polled in the United States was $104,000.
How to Get Into the Field
Many different paths lead to the green building ﬁeld, which means that each path may be custom-tailored or combined to ﬁt speciﬁc needs and interests. These paths will be explored in greater depth in Chapter 3, but as a brief overview, here are the three main paths that can be taken: learn, involve, and collaborate.
Learn: The ﬁrst path into the green building ﬁeld is via educational knowledge and academic skills. This could be through formal higher education, training, hands-on experience, or competitions.
Involve: Another wide path to take could be volunteering at a local nonproﬁt organization, or a more formal mentoring or internship program where an experienced professional demonstrates how to incorporate green building principles.
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