Green construction is proving to be an increasingly attractive profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the industry has seen rapid job growth over the past few years as interest in long term sustainability and environmental protection becomes more prevalent. LEED construction standards and other specialized processes are forcing innovation and growth of green construction jobs.
In his article, “Careers in Green Construction,” Drew Liming of the B.L.S.described green construction as: “…the practice of erecting buildings and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient. Green buildings limit their environmental impact by conserving as much energy and water as possible and are constructed of recycled or renewable materials in order to achieve maximum resource efficiency.”
The resulting product of new construction techniques and specialized materials offers increased structural longevity and cost savings through waste and overhead reduction. Workers with specialized skills and knowledge in the craft have come into high demand, with the graph below looking at some of the occupations and median annual wages of the budding industry.
The data suggests that construction managers have one of the highest earning potentials, with a median annual wage at $85,030. In addition to managing their workforce, green construction managers are tasked with ensuring that onsite processes are environmentally friendly.
Mechanical engineers have a median annual wage of $80,400 and architects are positioned close by at $77,210. While architects handle structural design specifications for maximizing energy efficiency, mechanical engineers have a similar role in reducing inefficiencies and finding innovative power saving solutions.
Green carpentry is another specialized occupation, with workers trained in advanced construction techniques that reduce waste and improve building efficiency. The median annual wage for the position sits at $43,980.