The latest Clean Jobs Index, released by Colorado's Ecotech Institute, is good news for anyone looking for green engineering jobs, as well as the economy and environment as a whole.
The group recently released the index – a collective document of all the clean jobs that are available and were added in the country in the first three months of the year – which found that 749,000 clean jobs posting were created in this period. This marked a 7 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. The index is further broken down by the number of job postings by state, and is hailed as a great way for the country to collect green jobs data after the Bureau of Labor Statistics stopped doing so this year.
The solar energy industry was a major generator of engineering jobs, with more than 8,000 positions directly related to the sector added in the first quarter of the year. These jobs included installation experts, manufacturers, project mangers and sales representatives.
"The Clean Jobs Index shows that there is tremendous job growth in the cleantech sector and signs of positive momentum on the state level for environmental factors that can affect us all," said Kyle Crider, Ecotech Institute's Program Chair and Manager of Environmental Operations. "When we see increases in LEED certification, we know businesses are making sustainable decisions; when we see an increase in alternative fueling stations, we know people are driving demand for greener forms of transportation. These are powerful indicators."
The report noted that the largest leaps in greentech jobs compared with the previous quarter were made in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont and West Virginia. Many of these new jobs have been attributed to growth in demand for alternative fueling stations, which rose 7 percent to 23,575 last quarter. This came as the number of electric car chargers rose by 1,274 last quarter to 16,256.
The report included figures from the International Labor Organization, which has predicted that the number of green jobs could surge as high as 100 million globally in the next 20 years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two of the largest drivers of green jobs growth will be careers in geothermal engineering and biofuel development. Biofuels, especially, will be a huge segment for job growth, as Congress continues to pass laws that provide funding for research and development projects regarding the chemistry processes behind biofuels.