President Obama announced the Community College to Career Fund, an $8 billion investment, in his Fiscal Year 2013 Budget that would train two million workers with skills that lead directly to good jobs in industries that need workers, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information technology.
The green jobs road is looking pretty saturated for 2013 for a variety of reasons. Whether you like to spend time in the sun or prefer crunching numbers behind a cubicle, you’ll benefit from knowing what prospective job fields will look like in the new year—and what areas will be worth your time to invest in school-wise and job applying-wise.
Here are the top 10 green jobs predictions for 2013:
1) Jobs related to green building are expected to skyrocket. This year, green building is expected to jump to between $98 billion and $106 billion—a huge jump from the estimated amount of $85 billion in 2012. A whopping 22 percent to 25 percent of residential homes this year should be green.
2) Solar jobs will become in even greater demand in 2013, with more homeowners and business owners opting to take advantage of free sunlight to generate electricity, thus saving on the wallet. In fact, the cost of solar transistors is projected to drop by 50 percent about every 1.5 years. Last year, solar energy increased in popularity by 86 percent.
3) Flow batteries are energizing the green jobs sector in 2013. These batteries are rechargeable fuel cells that enable an electric grid to store extra electrical power during off-peak hours. Engineers and manufacturers of these batteries should have pretty strong job prospects this year.
4) Wind energy jobs will continue to provide more and more employment for green job seekers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy announced earlier in January that it would fund seven offshore wind projects. Wind energy makes up 2 percent of the world’s electricity right now, and the capacity is projected to keep doubling every two years.
5) Mass transit jobs appear to be a goldmine this year as more cities focus on becoming commuter-friendly and, as a result, far more green. The U.S. President Obama administration is already dedicating more investment to transit—possibly $60 billion over the next few years—and 2013 will certainly be a catalyst.
6) Green high-technology jobs are cropping up in more diverse reasons in the United States, particularly Boise, Idaho, and Greensboro, North Carolina—leaders in the high-tech job sector.
7) Freelance green job seekers are on the rise this year. As unemployment remains a problem and as companies continue to tighten their hiring and spending belts, more individuals are looking to start their own green jobs and do more task-based work rather than working the regular eight-hour shift downtown. And with green products and services growing in demand, finding a green business to start on your own is not too difficult these days.
8) Green accounting is especially becoming a field on which more companies are relying, as sustainability reporting is on the rise. Combining financial reports with sustainability reports is becoming more crucial as green practices become a staple part of organizations’ agendas—and subsequently, their budgets—in 2013.
9) Business has always been a good area to study, but if you master the specialized area of green supply chain management, then you are certain to be entering an area that is predicted to skyrocket this year. More companies in 2013 are projected to implement more eco-friendly manufacturing processes and product designs, for instance, as both government policies and green customers require this.
10) Believe it or not, more farming jobs will be available in 2013. Many existing farmers are nearing retirement, and many more will be needed to replace them in the area of organic farming and mass food production.