Green Energy design Jobs

Energy Engineer Green Jobs

Thanks to rising fossil-fuel prices and attractive federal tax credit incentives for businesses and individuals, it's never been an easier time for Americans to purchase new "green" technology.

The popularity and demand for wind and solar energy in the United States has exploded over the past decade. Since 2000, we have increased our wind turbine energy capacity more than tenfold from 3, 000 megawatts to over 35, 000 megawatts today; enough to power 9.7 million homes. The amount of solar energy supplied to our grid increased by 37% in 2009 alone and powers an additional 350, 000 homes.

But alternative energy industries aren't the only ones growing. As the price of fossil fuel energy continues to rise, the demand for cost saving, energy-efficient "green" buildings will grow rapidly as well. The U.S. Green Building Council projects the number of green construction industry jobs to grow by 2.3 million between 2009 and 2013 to keep up with the strong demand for more efficient buildings.

As the price of solar and wind technology continues to drop to more affordable levels, and as energy-efficient buildings become more popular, "green" industries will grow even more rapidly in the future.

So how can you get in on this expansion of the clean, mean and "green" industries? By getting a "green" job that pays handsomely, of course. Here are 10 "green-collar" jobs that pay $80, 000+ salaries.

1. Green Building Architects

Green building architects are in charge of making a building design that is functional, safe, economical and of course, "green." Having energy efficiency in mind, the architect may design the building with several sun facing windows for natural, energy-free lighting. Because larger buildings use more energy, a green architect may design smaller, space-efficient rooms, keeping "wasted" area to a minimum. The most desirable green architects will carry the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional credential.

Median Salary: $77, 210 to $80, 000+

Minimum Training/Education: Bachelor's or Master's degree in architecture (5-8 year program). Architectural license - complete three-year internship and pass a national exam. LEED AP credential.

2. Wind Turbine Service Technician

Also called wind techs, these skilled green collar techicians repair and maintain the complex machinery and systems found within wind turbines. Atop 300-foot tall wind generators, wind techs fix broken circuit boards and motors, inspect turbine blades, replace faulty generator components and even change out light bulbs that have burned out within a turbine.

But be prepared to be on-call all hours of the night for a repair; as a specialized technician you are the hero that will come to the rescue when trouble strikes.

Median Salary: $31, 000 (entry-level) to $104, 000 (experienced)

Minimum Training/Education: Training program in wind turbine technical operations is desirable. Companies like to hire workers with electrical experience and generally provide on-the-job training.

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