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How is your “13” looking? According to discerning souls, this number can either mean bad luck—if you’re the superstitious type—or it can mean great promise. You can take your pick regarding how you want your 2013 to be economically. But if you’re like most people the latter is obviously the better choice: The trick is finding which avenue will get you to that promising green career. Here are the hottest top 10 green jobs for 2013 and what you need to do to make this new year the greenest (most eco-friendly) and “greenest” (most lucrative) yet.
1) Solar Panel Installer: This career area is lighting up the charts as the demand for solar power devices has dramatically increased among homeowners recently. The devices are becoming cheaper to make, and they truly can save residents on electricity costs. A post-secondary certificate can lead you to a starting salary of about $35,000 a year.
2) Electric Car Engineer: As gas prices fail to drop anytime soon, many people are getting tired of paying for the “black gold” and are looking to the rechargeable batteries and advancing technologies of electric vehicles. A four-year bachelor’s degree can lead you to a median annual wage of close to $90,000 a year.
3) Green Home Designer: With home design and staging gaining more popularity (just think about all of the home renovation shows on television), going green is the new trend. If you can hop on this creative eco-design bandwagon, you’re setting yourself up for a very in-demand interior design career. Earning your bachelor’s degree in interior design and becoming Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified can lead you to a salary of up to about $64,000 a year.
4) Account Executive/Sales: With so many green businesses cropping up all over the country, green entrepreneurs need fiscally savvy individuals who can successfully promote their products and services to potential clients—and work to keep those clients. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or business administration can lead to an average salary of about $66,000 annually.
5) Green Architect: You can bet that any new building that is constructed this year will abide by eco-friendly standards, with most cities requiring some level of LEED-equivalent performance—particularly in chief projects. If you’re creative and like working with math, then this career field can be lucrative, with a potential salary of about $73,000 a year—with just a bachelor’s degree.
6) Sustainability Program Director: Many businesses—especially colleges and universities—are looking for individuals who can implement their green-focused programs. These might include renewable energy projects or fostering community engagement in green initiatives. A bachelor’s degree in a sustainability or environmental area can guide you to an average yearly salary of about $73,000.
7) Energy Auditor: Both homeowners and business owners are looking at any way they can save on costs while also helping the environment, so energy auditing remains a high-demand field. With at least a high school diploma and Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification, you can take home an average annual salary of $63,000.
8) Environmental Research Analyst: If you like working with figures and helping organizations to make effective decisions, then doing so with a focus on environmental finance and climate change initiatives may be just what will woo you in 2013. Grab hold of a bachelor’s degree, and expect a median wage of about $71,000 a year.
9) Environmental Educator: Whether you are interested in incorporating green ideas in the public school/college classroom or prefer to be educating tourists on the nature reserve, people are eager to learn more about being more eco-friendly. And more employers are eager to have instructors who can do this well. A degree in an environmental field can net you an average salary of at least $26,000 a year.
10) Green Nonprofit Director: If you enjoy the idea of finding possible donors for a nonprofit organization, recruiting staff and allotting funds appropriately, then directing a nonprofit that targets environmental protection can give you the pride of helping Mother Earth combined with the autonomy of being a manager. Enjoy a yearly salary of an average of $45,000 with a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management.
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