Green jobs.  Everybody’s always talking about green jobs.  And while there’s little doubt that the world is going to be moving steadily forward in the direction of energy innovation and sustainability, the big question (at least in my mind) is whether there really are that many green jobs available now, in the current labor market.

To be honest, I’ve been fairly cynical about this heavily-hyped sector for a few years now, since despite all the talk about the coming “green revolution” and such, I don’t know more than a handful of people who actually hold such a job.  In fact, I know several individuals who USED to work for some “green” companies, in the alternative energy field, but they almost all ended up losing their jobs as some of these companies turned out, ironically, not to be all that sustainable, themselves.  At least in terms of their revenues and business model.

Now, though, I’m realizing that I might have been a bit ignorant about the true scope of the green employment sector.  The other day, the Puget Sound Business Journal published a comprehensive 58-page report on “Green Jobs in Washington” that talked about a number of different occupations in the region I wouldn’t initially have classified as “green” in nature, but arguably could be considered as part of this category.  If you review this report, for example, which you’ll find here, you’ll see that there are just short of 100,000 green jobs (according to some experts) in the State of Washington right now, with these roles including positions in organic farming, energy-efficient construction, government policy jobs related to the environment, and thousands of jobs related to the cleanup of nuclear waste at Hanford.  At the same time, though, the report also points out that nearly 56% of employers say that the skills of the people in green jobs are no different than those of people in non-green jobs.  So perhaps these jobs aren’t really as distinct and “new” as one initially might hope!

At any rate, since I know many of my clients are highly eco-conscious and interested in finding employment that might have a “green” aspect to it, I thought the above report might be a useful resource to review.  I also recently came across a job website called GreenJobSpider that is seeking to become the top purveyor of job listings in this emerging sector, although I haven’t yet run a detailed comparison to analyze how many leads this site might offer that aren’t already listed on the big guns, Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.  Still, a search of GreenJobSpider in Washington State revealed 2,173 current openings, so those of you interested in this field should definitely give it a look!