The news is good for job applicants in the green technology sector. There were 749,197 positions posted nationwide in the United States between January 1, 2013, and March 31, 2013, according to the latest data released from a new Clean Jobs Index.
Indeed, one area that is showing–and promising–tremendous growth is the solar industry. In Q1 2013, the Clean Jobs Index listed more than 8,000 solar jobs, with titles such as solar sales representatives, installers, solar panel manufacturers and project managers.
The index is being researched and distributed by Aurora, Colorado-based Ecotech Institute–which claims to be the first and only college that directly prepares students for careers in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Ecotech commented that it is, “helping to fill the data gap left by the U.S. government when it recently stopped tracking green jobs due to budget cuts [imposed by the Sequestration].
In addition to providing objective information on jobs—and providing links to the listings, by state— the Clean Jobs Index also aggregates data on a variety of sustainability factors in all 50 states, including alternative fueling stations, LEED projects, total energy consumption, energy efficiency, green pricing, net metering and state incentives.
Among the other highlights of the Clean Jobs Index are the following:
- States with the biggest gains in clean jobs postings from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013: Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont and West Virginia;
- Number of available alternative fueling stations nationwide: 23,575, up seven percent from Q4 2012;
- States with the most alternative fueling stations: California, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington;
- National number of electric car chargers: 16,256, up by 1,274 from Q4 2012;
- States with the most incentives for sustainability and renewables: California, Oregon, Minnesota, Texas and Washington;
- States with the Most Growth in Available Incentives from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013:Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Oregon; and
- New building space LEED-certified within Q1 2013: 110,000,000 square feet nationally, up five percent from the previous quarter.
"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."
Ecotech Institute regularly gathers data for the Clean Jobs Index from a variety of independent research entities, such as the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Green Building Council, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi