Green jobs are now a definite, permanent fixture in the design and construction sector, according to a study released by McGraw-Hill Construction at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Toronto. The study found that 35 percent of architects, engineers and contractors (AEC) report working on green projects, making up a total of 661,000 jobs, or about a third of the industry workforce. What’s more, green projects are expected to increase steadily.
According to McGraw-Hill’s research, the number of AEC companies focusing on green jobs matched the 35 percent market share for the green-building market in 2010. And as that market share climbs to 48-50 percent by 2015, AEC companies will follow right along, with 45 percent expecting to have green jobs by 2014.
The study defines green jobs as positions in which more than half of the work is on green projects, including construction, design and installation of green systems, but excludes support from services like transportation, manufacturing, production and administration. McGraw-Hill said this was the first study to focus solely on construction and design workers.
The area expected to show the greatest green growth were jobs in the trades, such as carpentry, HVAC, electrician work, masonry and plumbing. Today, green jobs make up 15 percent of trades, but this is projected to grow to 25 percent by 2014.
The study found that extra effort is often necessary to obtain green jobs, with nearly a third of green-job holders saying that they needed special, advanced training to get the careers they have today. But the payoff appears to be worth it: McGraw-Hill said on average, green jobs offer more opportunity and better career advancement than other jobs, and hiring firms report that 71 percent of those who make hiring decisions find candidates who are green-certified to have a definite edge in the job market.