Climate change is a hot button issue that affects many different industries.
So it should come as no surprise that green jobs are growing at double the rate of traditional jobs in Canada. Some of the biggest gains to be made are in the Skilled Trades, thanks to a focus on sustainable development.
In 2008, the Canadian government passed the Federal Sustainable Development Act, signalling a change in how the Canadian government would approach environmental initiatives. Increased awareness about our environmental footprint, coupled with new federal regulations, has skyrocketed demand for green jobs in the trades and opened up exciting new career opportunities. Colleges are getting on board, developing new programs and certifications as well as electrical unions and other Skilled Trades, especially with initiatives for alternative energy.
Interested in joining this growing field? Here are five in-demand green jobs in the Skilled Trades.
1. Wind Turbine Technician
Wind energy is a relatively new contributor to the power system in Canada. It currently comprises about 4 percent of energy production, but demand continues to grow. In May of 2015, Canada became the world’s seventh largest producer of wind energy.
With the increased demand for wind energy, there is a growing need for Wind Turbine Technicians. These professionals are responsible for inspecting, cleaning, calibrating, repairing, and troubleshooting different component of wind turbines. This job requires a college degree, and a background in engineering is a definite plus. It also requires you to work outdoors on high platforms, so this may not be the best fit for someone with a fear of heights.
The average pay for a Wind Turbine Technician is C$21.44 per hour and most professionals choose to spend about 10 years in this role before moving onto other positions in this field.
2. Solar Energy System Installer
Solar energy is another environmentally-friendly form of energy production that is gaining popularity in Canada. In fact, it is projected to comprise up to 5 percent of Canada’s energy needs by 2025.
With the rise in solar energy, demand for Solar Energy System Installers is heating up. People in this role assist in installing, maintaining, and repairing solar installations. They install solar panels on roofs, and they may also be responsible for wiring them into a homeowner’s electrical supply. Because of this, this role often requires a licensed or apprenticing electrician. A college degree in Energy Systems Technology can also be useful.
The average pay for a Solar Energy System Installer is C$15.56 per hour.
3. Energy Auditor
As more people and organizations take steps towards going green, maximizing efficiencies becomes increasingly important for saving energy and costs.
Energy Auditors are responsible for reviewing residences or facilities to find changes homeowners or organizations can make to improve environmental efficiencies. Energy auditors make use of diagnostic tools and their own expertise. A Certified Energy Advisor (CEA) licence is offered by some colleges across the country and a background in engineering can also help.
The average pay for an Energy Auditor is approximately C$54,000 per year.
4. Energy Retrofitter
Once an Energy Auditor has identified the necessary adjustments for a residence or building, someone has got to make the changes – enter the Energy Retrofitter.
An Energy Retrofitter works in tandem with the recommendations from energy auditors. They’re responsible for installing energy efficient systems, completing infrastructure upgrades to buildings, and draft-proofing. Training and previous experience working with HVAC systems is a huge benefit to this role.
The average pay for an Energy Retrofitters is $52,000 per year.
5. Green Roof Installer
Toronto is the first city in North America to create bylaws requiring and governing the construction of green roofs on new developments in the city. Green roofs aren’t just visually appealing – they also help with water diversion, stormwater management, air quality, and urban heat.
Green Roof Installers take their landscaping and gardening skills and apply them to an urban environment. They install green roofs on both residential and commercial developments. This job involves planting vegetation, installing barriers, membranes, and irrigation systems. A professional accreditation is available for this job, however on-the-job experience and a green thumb are both huge assets for this career path.
The average pay for a green roof installer starts at C$45,000 a year.