Blue, brown and green are the colors of water, contaminated land and restored land. The job opportunities available in these markets are well paying and cannot be off-shored due to national security concerns. However, a major problem exists for the environmental and water industry companies: there are not enough Americans willing pursue these jobs because they are not glamorous and highly technical. Who wants to use math and science everyday, right? I hope you see it differently. If you are a job seeker who has the right skills and knowledge you will get hired immediately when the projects start up. Here is some information which may be helpful.
The stimulus package has $6 billion set aside for each state’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds to “promote clean water and ensure safe drinking water “. These funds are used by the states to build and improve water and wastewater infrastructure in cities and rural communities. The jobs connected to these projects require certifications or degrees in construction management, engineering and water plant operations. Let me turn your attention to a good opportunity.
Water/wastewater treatment plant operators are in high demand due to the large numbers of people retiring from the field. Each state has its own certification program and requirements but job seekers who have mechanical knowledge and a college degree may have a distinct edge over candidates who do not.
The EPA has an appropriation of $100 million dollars dedicated to environmental remediation and restoration programs. Environmental remediation and restoration is the process of cleaning contaminated commercial and industrial land (or brownfields) to a useful and functional state (one of the most successful industrial remediation and restoration sites is Atlanta’s Atlantic Station where an old steel factory was turned into a green based commercial area) . There are many contaminated buildings and factories around the country where chemicals and heavy metals are slowly seeping into the soil and water.
Before these contaminated sites can be restored, environmental scientists, engineers, real estate development professionals and remedial contractors will evaluate the contamination and design a cleanup plan to restore the land to “clean” status. Other professionals in the field of environmental forensics, toxicology and chemistry will be needed to assist in evaluation and legal matters.
If you are a job seeker interested in environmental remediation and restoration or the water industry make sure that you get the right education and certifications to increase your chance of getting a position . You will be glad you did.