Green Collar 'Pathways' For Indian Country - Jobs - Jobs - Jobs!
The New Power Jobs
by Heather Boerner, for Yahoo! HotJobs
White-hot jobs are opening up in the power sector.
"These aren't just hot jobs, they're sizzling jobs," said Christine Real de Azua, spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association. Wind energy grew by 45 percent last year. "We need every type of job candidate."
Indeed, with oil topping $100 per barrel, expect power industry jobs to explode in the next 10 years -- and not just in petroleum or the electric company. Want to repair wind turbines, manage a nuclear reactor or install solar panels? The jobs await.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and energy leaders reveal what fields are expected to grow, and they are listed below with projected growth levels through 2016, salary data, and what you need to get a related job.
Engineers -11 percent projected growth $44,790-$145,600 annually, depending on specialty
"We're experiencing a comeback in 'dirty jobs,'" said Chris McCormick, partner and head of the energy division of venture capital firm Landmark Ventures. "While a few years ago, what we wanted were the 'clean' jobs in computer engineering, now we're back to the types of engineers who get their hands dirty with chemistry and broad-application engineering."
Chemical engineers who work with biofuels, electrical engineers who design power plants, mechanical engineers who find better ways to capture air and wind energy, and nuclear engineers who make plants run more efficiently will all be in high demand -- with salaries to match. While some engineers, like chemical engineers, may need a PhD to do their jobs, most others, like environmental engineers, only require a bachelor's degree in physics or engineering, according to the BLS.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators -11 percent projected growth $35,590-$75,240 annually
"When I got out of college, people told me, 'Go do other things.' The conventional wisdom was that nuclear power was going to go away," said Carol Berrigan, senior director for industry infrastructure at the Nuclear Energy Institute. "But now, with some regulatory changes, we have something like nine applications out there for 16 new nuclear power plants in the next few years."
Which jobs will grow fastest? Think Homer Simpson, but with more computer knowledge and less buffoonery. On top of the billions of dollars the industry is spending on new construction, the field's employees are aging: In the next 10 years, half of all nuclear reactor operators are expected to retire. You don't need to have an engineering degree for these jobs, but you should expect extensive on-the-job training and classroom instruction as well as licensing exams, according to the BLS.
Industrial Machinery Mechanic - 9 percent projected growth $42,350 median annual income
Someone's got to install the solar panels and repair wind turbines, and industrial machinery mechanics are often the ones who get the jobs. In solar, Tioga Energy's Executive Vice President Preston Roper said the biggest demand is for solar installers.
Both Roper and Real de Azua said local community colleges are the places to go to get the training necessary for the jobs. Many are offering specialized training in solar or wind repair work.
Skilled Trade Workers Electricians - 7 percent projected growth $44,780 median annual income
Line Workers - 7 percent projected growth $52,570 median annual income
Welders - 5 percent projected growth $32,270 median annual income
These workers repair the lines that bring power to your home and build and repair power plant structures. Want one of these jobs? Usually you don't need post-high school education, but you will need an apprenticeship through a union or other skilled trade group. The programs usually take about four years.
Solar Power To Save Money For Nevada Tribal School
Clean, renewable solar power will save money for the Natchez Elementary School in Wadsworth, about 30 miles east of Reno as well as teach the students there a valuable lesson in the benefits of solar power.
A dedication ceremony and community BBQ was held on May 30th at the solar panel array in front of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe school.
The project was built through donated labor from Black Rock Solar, a non-profit supported by the annual Burning Man counterculture festival on the northern Nevada desert. It also was made possible through expertise and financing from MMA Renewable Ventures and rebates from Sierra Pacific Power Co. as part of the state's SolarGenerations program.
The 60 kilowatt system is expected to generate 108,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and result in savings of about $360,000 over the next 25 years.
With completion of this school project, Black Rock Solar will have installed 180 kilowatts of clean renewable energy in northern Nevada since October of last year.
The Netchez Elementary School project is the third such project for communities in northern Nevada for Black Rock Solar. The non-profit is focused on speeding the use of renewable energy by delivering low or no-cost solar power.
According to representatives of the non profit, over the next 25 years, these arrays will save those communities more than $1,080,000 in electric bills, money than can otherwise be spent supporting the needs of the community
And Black Rock Solar hopes to keep doing more of the same.
Last week Executive Director Tom Price and Construction Manager Richard Scott met with the interagency group from the Pyramid Lake Tribe, to discuss future projects on the reservation, in the town of Nixon. They are considering installation of solar arrays on the schools and community center. Those projects might take place in the fall.
Relating Green Collar Careers To Our Traditions: Class Project
We have designed a school project that can be combined with our Green Collar career day event or to be utilized separately.
It engages our youth in a Green Collar career research paper, and includes artwork, traditional stories and historical Tribal references. Students are invited to present their report and artwork when the GCCD event is held in their community.
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