Did you know? 30% of employees currently in the energy sector are set to retire by 2012

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Green-ovation is our little way of saying that you get to work on the cutting edge of green design and energy innovation. From managing technical projects to designing energy-efficient buildings, systems, products and processes, the Green-ovation people usually have a nice balance of technical skill and theory.

Sustainable Architect (LEED AP)
Are you passionate about building design and committed to a more sustainable future? Sustainable architecture is the perfect marriage of these two exciting areas. As an architect, you have creative control over which technologies get included in building design. Want a green roof? Want solar heating? You can make it happen!
As a sustainable architect, you must have a firm grasp of building codes and regulations. You will design plans for new buildings and older building retrofits that incorporate LEED principles (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and develop the construction plans that will make them a reality. You may specialize in a particular type of building or phase of development.

Understanding: LEED and energy efficiency principles, efficient and sustainable resource use

Skills: design principles, attention to detail, communication, computers, English, report writing, research

A university degree in architecture is necessary, though additional qualifications may be necessary. Most sustainable architects are LEED APs (LEED Accredited Professionals) certified by the Green Building Certification Institute or through The Canada Green Building Council. You will also have to register with a provincial association in order to work as an architect. Useful courses include technological arts, mathematics, English, sociology, philosophy, art, physics, and chemistry.

Relationships: You will be working closely with a variety of professionals such as other architects and building contractors, government agencies, and consultants. You will also be communicating frequently with clients.

Atmosphere: Office work and on site assessments are a regular part of the job. You will also be making presentations to clients, which may require some travel.


Software Developer
Our world is getting increasingly tech-savvy, and green collar industries are no exception! The energy produced from solar installations, wind farms and geothermal plants all needs to be monitored, and someone has to design the software to make sense of all that data. Green software programs can help businesses monitor their renewable energy sources, greenhouse gas emissions, and overall energy use. With this “smart data,” companies can make better decisions on how to be more energy efficient. If you like working with computers, thrive on developing systems and want to be on the cutting edge of renewable energy IT, a career as a software developer would put you right in the thick of it!
Software developers are needed for all areas of energy management, including monitoring renewable energy sources, and tracking energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. You may also play a role in green products manufacturing, or introducing green online services. Working with engineers and researchers, you will be responsible for writing the computer codes that make up a software program or application, or updating the code for existing applications.

Understanding: energy efficiency and power transmission principles, energy management, computer programming languages and applications.

Skills: critical thinking, decision-making, analysis, and technical knowledge.

A university degree in Computer Science is necessary, and specialization in various computer programming languages and applications (eg. Linux, Java etc.) would also useful. Computer science, mathematics, industrial arts and technology, and business are all useful courses.

Relationships: You may be working as part of a small team and have regular meetings with engineers and researchers to assess their needs.

Atmosphere: Most of your time will be spent in an office.


Computer programmer, IT specialist, software engineer, energy manager, energy auditor, sustainability manager

Renewable Energy Researcher
Sandia Labs
Innovation is the name of the game! You spend your time in a lab and in the field taking measurements, making calculations, and analyzing data. As this field is changing every day, you must keep on top of the latest innovations, which can sometimes be challenging. With a dedication to sustainable energy sources, you may find yourself working on improving technologies for wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectricity generators, geothermal plants or biomass facilities. As we seek to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, renewable energy researchers will be a critical component of a clean and green future.
Your work will largely involve researching and experimenting with different types of renewable energy. You will also have to learn about generators, and may be involved in building and designing new models. Other duties may include conducting environmental impact assessments and writing detailed reports on your research.

Understanding: energy efficiency and thermodynamics principles, climate change, mechanical or electrical engineering.

Skills: innovation, report writing, technical knowledge, computers, mathematics, English, communication, attention to detail, analysis.

University degree required in engineering, biotechnology, chemistry, or geology. Mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, biology, computers, and geology are all useful courses.

Relationships: Working as part of a team, you will be in communication with other researchers, interested stakeholders, clients, and colleagues.

Atmosphere: You may find yourself in a lab, in an office, or in the field. Your employer may be the government, a private company, or a university.

$50,000-$100,000 (depending on education and experience)
LEED Consultant
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally-recognized green building certification that measures efficiency in green design and construction. LEED recognizes achievements in areas such as water efficiency, energy efficiency and sustainable building materials. Some LEED consultants work alongside sustainable architects, others are hired by homeowners or organizations to ensure that the architects and contractors are making good on their green promises. As organizations and homeowners continue to demand more environmentally responsible building choices and smarter designs, LEED consultants will become more and more in demand.
LEED consultants advise on all aspects of a building’s LEED certification process. You will make recommendations and assist with the design and implementation of LEED principles. At times, you may make presentations on LEED certification or perform a LEED rating analysis on a building. You will also be responsible for preparing the necessary paperwork for certification.

Understanding: energy efficiency and design principles.

Skills: problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking, organization, English, research, report writing, communication, analysis, and attention to detail.

University degrees in architecture, engineering, or construction sciences are desirable, but experience in construction or trades is highly recommended. LEED accreditation through the Canada Green Building Council is highly recommended.

Relationships: You will be interacting with a variety of people such as contractors, construction managers, building inspectors, architects, and industry professionals.

Atmosphere: Travel between an office, construction site, permit offices, and various other agencies will be required.

$85,000 on average
Industrial Design Engineer
Do you like building things? Does the challenge of designing smarter, more efficient, eco-friendly products appeal to you? An industrial design engineer with that kind of drive is needed to steer the future of the manufacturing industry in the right direction. This can mean anything from designing energy efficient light bulbs or biodegradable take-out containers, to inventing solar-powered laptops or robots! If innovation and a technical brain is what you’ve got, then this is the career for you!
You will be responsible for designing and developing products, which may include testing prototypes, coordinating the manufacturing process, managing a small team, and ensuring that your company complies with appropriate manufacturing standards. You may also be responsible for making sure the machines involved in the manufacturing process and the raw materials used to make the product are environmentally-friendly.

Understanding: life cycle analysis, air quality, pollution prevention, sustainable design, energy efficiency.

Skills: problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, technical programs, organization, English, management, report writing, research, communication, analysis, attention to detail.

A university degree in Engineering is necessary. Additional qualifications are an asset. This position requires at least 5 years experience in engineering. Important courses include sciences, mathematics, English, technical arts, and computers.

Relationships: You will manage or work with a team and should be able to communicate your creative ideas effectively. You may also be interacting with suppliers and clients. Atmosphere: You will work indoors, splitting your time between the office and a lab or factory.


Geothermal Engineer
Geothermal energy is a rapidly expanding and increasingly popular technology for both residential and industrial applications. Geothermal technology takes advantage of the heat that naturally radiates below the earth's surface. Because the temperature underground is always constant, geothermal technology can be used for both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. As a geothermal engineer, you may be exploring new ways to harness and use this exciting technology, or determining the best design, methods and technology for individual installations.
As a geothermal engineer, you will work to develop geothermal technology and drilling techniques, monitor reservoirs and energy fields, use computer models, and diagnose and resolve problems.

Understanding: energy efficiency principles, thermodynamics, pollution reduction, climate change

Skills: problem solving, organization, critical thinking, innovation, report writing, technical knowledge, complex tools, computers, mathematics, English, communication, attention to detail, analysis

An engineering degree is necessary, though additional education is preferred. Training and certification is offered by the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition. Useful cources include chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics, English, computers, and geography.

Relationships: Daily interaction with technicians and technologists, as well as other engineers, will be necessary. Some meetings with energy policy planners may occur.

Atmosphere: You will often be working out in the field, taking measurements and ensuring operations are running smoothly.

Biofuel / Bioenergy Researcher
Sandia Labs
Do you love science, but hate how fossil-based fuels pollute the environment? Biofuel and bioenergy researchers and engineers challenge existing energy beliefs and develop progressive ideas that can be part of the solution to climate change.
You will conduct extensive research on biofuel or bioenergy, conduct experiments, publish studies, analyze data and make recommendations to improve existing technology.

Understanding: Research, communication, technical language, computer, report writing, attention to detail, mathematics.

Skills: Climate change, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, biological and chemical processes.

A master's degree or Ph.D. in engineering (chemical, biological, biochemical), chemistry, biology, or related field. Useful courses include biology, chemistry, physics, English, geology, and mathematics.

Relationships: You will work mainly with other scientists, engineers, educators, and professionals.

Atmosphere: You will likely spend most of your time in a lab, though at times you may be presenting your findings at conferences or universities. You may find yourself working for private agencies, governments, engineering firms, or universities.


Automotive Engineer
You love cars but not the pollution they generate. Be part of the solution! Design automotive components and systems that will combat pollution, conserve fuel, or use alternative fuelling methods. As environmental regulations about emissions become more stringent, more engineers will be required to make innovative and efficient vehicles.
An automotive engineer's duties can include designing and developing transmission and engine systems, developing prototypes and testing vehicles, and producing innovative fuel systems (including hybrid and electric models).

Understanding: fuel economy and emissions, transmission and engine systems, vehicle dynamics.

Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, organization, research, report writing, computers, analysis, mechanical and electrical engineering.

A university degree in Engineering (electrical, automotive, or mechanical) is required. Useful courses include mathematics, sciences, computers, automotive technology, and English.

Relationships: As part of a team, you will be reporting to a supervisor and communicating with other engineers and researchers. As you advance, you may make presentations to potential clients, become a supervisor yourself, or manage the design of an entire project.

Atmosphere: You may be working in a laboratory, out in the field, or in a manufacturing plant.

$70,000-$90,000 (may increase with experience)