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America's Next Booming Industry

According to a study for the U.S. Conference of Mayors released last October, the U.S. economy could generate 4.2 million new green jobs in the next 30 years.

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Professionals with an interest in the environment may find a variety of green opportunities from which they may consider. According to a study for the U.S. Conference of Mayors released last October, the U.S. economy could generate 4.2 million new green jobs in the next 30 years.

"As with [technology], green-consciousness will impact every aspect of business," states Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, a Maryland-based national environmental organization. "No industry will go untouched."

And while the greening economy is creating a host of new careers, McDonald notes that the trend is also beginning to impact more traditional white-collar jobs. From finance and human resources to IT and procurement, the emphasis will now be on conservation and protecting the environment.

Currently, the largest number of U.S. green jobs are in engineering, legal, research, and consulting. Executive positions in these areas offer salaries topping $100,000 with 85% of these positions concentrated in metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, D.C.

"These jobs are not only good for the planet, but good for personal economics as well," suggests McDonald.

McDonald recommends the following advice:

Start Where You Are

Go green by making earth-friendly decisions in your current role. Adhere to eco-consciousness when managing daily operations. Identify ways to incorporate your industry's best green practices. Supplement your professional development with certifications in environmental sustainability areas. Or consider going back to school to get an environmental degree.

Explore Your Options

Attend eco-business conferences and meetings to stay abreast of current trends. Follow emerging environmental legislation that could affect your industry, jobs, and compensation.

Make the Switch

Match your interests, skills, education, and expertise to existing job openings. Consider a careers transition consulting firm in this area. Review these job sites: EcoEmploy.com, Greenjobs.net, GreenBiz.com, SustainableBusiness.com, EcoBusinesslinks.com, and EnvironmentaICareer.com

Leverage Your Uniqueness

Capitalize on opportunities to bridge the "green divide" between corporations and their customer base. Become an expert by understanding all the different ways being green saves money and enhances business opportunities through behavioral changes and technology.

Source: Black Enterprise