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Energy Voices: Insights on the future of fuel and power

Want a green job? Here's who's hiring in wind energy, solar

Wind energy, environmental consulting, biotechnology, and solar power were some of the fastest-growing industries in 2011, according to OilPrice.com. Which companies are doing the most hiring this year?

By Jen AlicGuest blogger / October 3, 2012

Muhammed Oladineji, left, and Orlando Muentes with Wind Energy Services paint the leading edges of 280 foot-tall turbine in Kodiak, Alaska in this September 2012 file photo. September has seen an unusual increase in the number of green job openings, according to OilPrice.com and The Green Job Bank.

Marion Owen/Kodiak Daily Mirror/AP/File

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This month has been a fortuitous one for green jobs, despite the ups and downs particularly in the wind energy sector, and there are a handful of companies who seem to be on a hiring spree, on the look-out for qualified applicants with backgrounds in everything from agriculture, engineering, construction, design, natural sciences and marketing.

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Wind energy, environmental consulting, biotechnology, and solar power topped IBISWorld’s list of fastest-growing industries in 2011, and Forbes listed solar installers among its highest paying jobs that require only a two-year degree. Beyond that, Forbes also came out with a list for 2012 of six-figure green jobs.
With jobs a key issue ahead of November elections, it may also come as a surprise that traditionally Republican-held states and swing states are leading the green jobs market. According to a report released earlier this month by San Francisco-based DBL Investors, green jobs are showing the most growth in traditionally Republican and swing states. Of the top 10 states for job growth—Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Carolina, Nevada, New York and Colorado-- four of them are traditionally Republican and four are swing states. Furthermore, of those 10 states that represent the largest percentage of clean energy jobs, six are held by Republicans and one is a swing state. 


To clarify matters a bit, a green worker can be anyone from a solar panel installer and someone who weatherizes your home, to a climatologist and a sustainability chief for a major company--so it’s a fairly large category.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs as those that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or in which workers’ duties involve making production processes more environmentally friendly or resource efficient. (RELATED: Gazprom Funds Anti-Fracking Campaigns in Europe?)

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