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Environmental Impact Assessor
Environmental Impact Assessors review the feasibility of proposed development sites and evaluate the potential impacts on air, soil, water, and wildlife. They also evaluate the construction process itself, making sure that it conforms to regulations. More and more governments and investment agencies are making environmental site assessments mandatory for new development projects, so this field provides great opportunities to make a difference.
You will be responsible for gathering and analyzing data from sites, conducting inspections, identifying potentially adverse effects and recommending preventative measures, ensuring that the site conforms to environmental regulations, meeting with residents or government agencies, and possibly making policy recommendations.

Understanding: familiarity with air/soil/water contaminants, chemical processes, and applicable regulations.

Skills: analytical, attention to detail, communication, report writing, English, technical language, computers, research.

University degree in environmental science is a minimum requirement, though a master's degree is preferred. Useful courses include chemistry, biology, English, physics, sociology, political science, philosophy, mathematics, and geography.

Relationships: You may find yourself conducting meetings with local residents and businesses or in discussions with government offices. You will often work alone or as part of a small team and sometimes meet with other experts in the field.

Atmosphere: You will either be in an office or outdoors. Some travel may be necessary.

$50,000-$100,000 (depending on experience and education)

Environmental auditor, energy auditor, energy educator, social marketer, policy advocate, policy analyst

Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians can be found high up on platforms inspecting, cleaning, calibrating, repairing, and troubleshooting the various components of a turbine to ensure efficient operation. As this exciting field continues to expand and countries begin to include more and more renewable energy content in their energy mixes, technicians will be in increasingly high demand.
Attention to detail is key here. You will need to be comfortable working in a small team or on your own as you assess the components of wind turbines and write field reports. Your ability to read technical diagrams, schematics, and illustrations will be essential. Problem-solving and technical skills will be important for this position.

Understanding: wind energy technology, electrical engineering, energy efficiency principles.

Skills: report writing, mathematics, attention to detail, problem solving, communication, technical language, computer.

A college degree is important, and an engineering background would be useful. Courses that may be helpful include mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, geology, technological design, machine/manufacturing technology, and English.

Relationships: You will likely work as part of a small team. You may also be communicating with clients or suppliers.

Atmosphere: You will mostly be working outdoors, on high platforms so you will have to get used to working at heights.

Solar Service Technician
Do you like the challenge of working with new and emerging technology? How about a career in repairing and maintaining solar installations? A career that mixes hands-on work with technical expertise, solar service technicians are part of a progressive field that is growing at an incredible rate.
You will assist with the installation, maintenance, and repair of a solar installation. You must be a licensed or apprenticing electrician and should be familiar with different solar systems (photovoltaic, thermal), and the National Building Code of Canada. The job may require heavy lifting and use of ladders. You are also expected to be aware of applicable health and safety regulations to ensure a safe working environment.

Understanding: solar energy technology, electrical engineering, energy efficiency principles, health and safety regulations.

Skills: mathematics, computers, communication, technical language, problem solving, attention to detail.

You must be a licensed or apprenticing electrician to work as a solar technician. A college degree in Energy Systems Technology is also useful, although years of experience as a solar panel installer may be enough. Courses that may be helpful include mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, geology, and English.

Relationships: You will likely work as part of a small team of installers and contractors. Your work will be supervised by a Master Electrician. You may also be communicating with clients or suppliers.

Atmosphere: You will mostly be working outdoors, on rooftops or ladders.

Solar Panel Installer
Do you like working outdoors and with your hands? This high growth sector needs you! Solar panels are an innovative way to reduce reliability on traditional energy sources and can lead us towards a more sustainable future.
You will be responsible for installing solar PV (photovoltaic) systems on residential and commercial rooftops; some maintenance may also be required. Installers must always ensure that the structural integrity of a building is maintained, and must have comprehensive knowledge of electrical wiring, inverters and the electrical grid. Cleanup following installation is also part of the duties.

Understanding: energy efficiency principles, electrical engineering, health and safety regulations, mounting schemes, wiring, and inverters.

Skills: problem solving, organization, communication, technical skills and attention to detail.

A college degree is useful but a high school diploma and extensive experience in roofing, electrical, or construction may be enough. Electrical apprenticeships are also useful, and can lead to a career as a Solar Service Technician. Useful courses include mathematics, sciences, physics, and English. The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) offers training and certification programs.

Relationships: Interaction is generally with other contractors, installers, and homeowners. Your work will be supervised by a Master Electrician.

Atmosphere: Outdoors with some time spent in an office (perhaps). Note that heavy lifting on site will be necessary.

$15-$25 per hour

Wind turbine technician/technologist, wind engineer, solar service technician, lighting specialist, industrial design engineer

Master Electrician
Master Electricians (ME) have always played a major role in building projects and power generation, but with the rise of the renewable energy industry, MEs have a chance to “green” their electrical expertise and capitalize on the growing demand for clean, green energy. As we transition out of fossil fuel-based energy sources, these tradesmen will be important players in helping to kickstart the new green economy.
Master Electricians manage all aspects of an electrical project, be it a residential solar PV installation, or getting a turbine up and running. Your work may include installing and connecting solar panels, connecting installations to inverters, testing electrical components and ensuring that the wind or solar installation is safely hooked up. You will also need to be able to read PV line drawings (technical diagrams indicating how the panels are hooked up) and blueprints. You will be supervising a small team of installers and solar technicians and will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that all electrical aspects of the job are safely connected, comply with Electrical Safety Authority and regulations and Local Distribution Company (LDC) requirements, and in good working order.

Understanding: solar and wind energy technology, electrical engineering, Ontario Electrical Safety Code, building code regulations, health and safety regulations.

Skills: mathematics, computers, communication, technical language, problem solving, attention to detail.

In order to qualify for a Master Electrician license, you must have 3 years of experience as an electrician, an engineer or an engineering technician. You must also pass a qualifying exam administered by the Electrical Safety Authority, who offers a preparatory training course.

Relationships: You will be overseeing a small team of installers and electrical contractors. You may also be communicating with engineers, clients or suppliers.

Atmosphere: Your work will include both indoor and outdoor work (which may include being on rooftops or ladders) and may involve some heavy lifting. You should also be comfortable dealing with electrical hazards, as you will face the risk of electrical shock.

Green Roof Installer
Do you have a passion for the outdoors and enjoy working with plants? This technical and labour-intensive position may be right up your alley. The green roof industry is growing quickly! The City of Toronto approved a new by-law that requires green roofs on all new residential buildings over 6 stories. This will open up the sector to lots of new opportunities, so don't delay! Join this exciting and rewarding career today!
You will be responsible for planting vegetation and installing barriers/membranes and irrigation systems on rooftops, helping to provide insulation in the winter, improve air quality, and make our cement-laden city just a little cooler in the summer. Sometimes, green roofs are designed by sustainable architects, but for smaller businesses, green roof installers may also play a role in the design aspect. With your knowledge of native plants and creative flair, you'll be making something that's both practical and beautiful.

Understanding: knowledge of plants, energy and water saving techniques; LEED principles; basic understanding of buildings, structural support, and load-bearing capacity; familiarity with health and safety regulations.

Skills: roofing/construction, botany, landscaping, attention to detail, team participation, communication.

Professional accreditation is available through Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in cities across North America. However, on-the-job experience can play a very important role, as this is a relatively new field. General roofing skills are necessary, with landscaping experience a valuable asset. Courses in science, botany, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, sociology, and philosophy are all useful.

Relationships: Often working with home owners, the public sector and private companies, you will be a valuable member of a small team.

Atmosphere: You will work mostly outdoors, some heights may be involved.