Green Jobs in the United States

The BRIGHT Green Jobs Repository: A Catalog of Training Opportunities for Green infrastructure Technologies

When implementing Green Infrastructure to revitalize brownfields in your neighborhood, new jobs in both the Initial installation of infrastructure and its long-term operation and maintenance will become available. These jobs will often require new training and certification standards, which can include education from universities, trade organizations, non-profits, and training grants. Below are some job training opportunities in watershed management, solar panel installation, green building, and other fields useful for a variety of professionals that may meet the needs of your development project in the short- and long-term.


General GI Training


-       Green Futures Research & Design Lab (GFL) at the University of Washington features a global lecture series featuring prominent international speakers from the field of green infrastructure. The GFL is also currently developing a Green Infrastructure Resource Center to provide professionals, students, and community members with resources about key green infrastructure systems.


-       IL: Training through Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative seeks to facilitate the development of a skilled workforce for the emerging “green” economy. Their green collar job program, aimed towards unskilled, unemployed, and underemployed individuals to update training for new technologies.

-       TX: Texas A&M offers online courses in irrigation, environment and wildlife, and wastewater management.

Rainwater Harvesting Programs


-       Rainwater Harvesting Certification provided by the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)- requires members pass a written exam, participate in ARCSA workshops, and pay an accreditation fee. Must complete annual education requirements and renew status every 2 years for reaccreditation. (National Training and Certificate Program).

-       Rain Bird Academy offers over 40 classes and workshops through their Professional Irrigation Training Program. Their online class for rainwater collection and utilization, for example, is an 8 hour training that requires previous knowledge of irrigation system installation.


-       AZ: A Water Harvesting Design Certificate is available for community organizers, educators, and professionals.

-       AZ: The Rainwater Catchment Systems Inspector Certificate Program through ARCSA offers sit-in workshops and online courses in Rainwater Catchment Systems Design, Installation, and Inspection.

-       TX: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Training Program offers as-needed classes, youth education programs, and training for ARCSA accreditation.

-       NC: North Carolina State University offers a Rainwater Harvesting Workshop and Stormwater Nitrogen and Phosphorus (SNAP) Tool Workshop for Plan Reviewers, Professional Engineers, and local Designers and governments.

-       OR: CCB License offers a 3 hour, state-approved online course in rainwater harvesting with a certificate of achievement. It is designed for day-laborers in Oregon who need a refresher course or introduction.

-       RI: Tradesman CE offers a 5 hour online OSHA & Rainwater Harvesting course approved by the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board.

-       WA: Northwest Ecobuilding Guild offers a 20-hour installation design training covering the basics of rainwater harvesting for small scale residential application. The class, for those with basic plumbing knowledge and experience working in the construction trades, has no cost to participants.


Watershed and Stormwater Programs


-       Watershed and Stormwater Training is a 3-5 day intensive training session hosted by Center for Watershed Protection that include classroom time, design exercises, and field visits so participants can implement restoration programs in their home watersheds. (National Training and Certificate Program).


-       NC: North Carolina State University offers Stormwater BMP Inspection and Maintenance Certification to managers of local stormwater facilities to train in inspecting and maintaining common technologies. This workshop offers 7 PDHs (professional development hours) for professional engineers and surveyors, as well as the opportunity for other professionals to earn education credits.


Green Building and Plumbing Programs


-       The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) offers continuing education in a variety of formats and to offer national personnel certification, construction trades testing programs, and a renewable certification.


-       Green Building Certification Institute offers an LEED certification for building industry professionals who demonstrate a thorough understanding of green building and the knowledge and skills to facilitate the LEED certification process by passing the LEED Professional Accreditation exam. (National Training and Certificate Program).

-       Green Plumbing Training and Certification offered by GreenPlumbers® USA provides environmental training for existing journey-level plumbers and other industry professionals to promote water conservation and awareness of greenhouse gas emissions in a 32- hour accreditation course. Recertification is not required.

-       American Society of Plumbing Engineers’ Certificate in Plumbing Design program is sponsored by International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and designed for engineers and designers of plumbing systems.

-       National Association of Green Designer’s Certification program for building industry professionals.


-       CA: Green Building Professional Training provided by Build It Green to California building professionals and those developing and supporting the market for green building. Certification is obtained through attending one year of training and passing a final exam. Recertification is required every 2 years.

-       DC: Based in Washington, D.C., GreenHOME provides Green Building Training through workshops and technical assistance, as well as an opportunity for a variety of professionals to earn a certification or Technical Assistance Grants to meet Green Building Act requirements. The organization partners with DC Greenworks, DC, Appleseed, Casey Trees, and other groups to create incentives for low- impact development.


Pervious Pavement Programs


-       National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) offers the Pervious Concrete Training and Certification for knowledgeable contractors to minimize the risk of project failure. The organization provides exams for three levels of certification and performance evaluations that local sponsoring groups may administer. Recertification by exam is required every 5 years. (National Training and Certificate Program).

-       NRMCA’s Contractor Certification Program offers three levels of certification: Pervious Concrete Technicians, installers, and craftsmen. Contractors must pass a written exam, and recertification is required every 5 years.


-       MI: Michigan Concrete Association offers a certification in pervious pavements. Students participate in hands-on training and take a written exam.

-       MO: The Concrete Promotional Group offers 4 levels of certification: technician, installer, craftsmen, and advanced pervious concrete team certification. Training courses are held in partner with The University of Missouri- Kansas City.

-       NC: The Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association offers NRMCA Pervious Concrete Technician training courses that can leads to a technician certification.


Conservation, Wetlands and Forestry Programs


-       Wetland Training Institute (WTI) offers 1-6 day courses on a variety of wetland topics relating to wetland construction, policy, and management, some of which are offered in conjunction with Portland State University. While WTI does not offer a certification, many of the organization’s courses satisfy certification requirements in several states.

-       The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers wetlands training through the Natural Resources Conservation Services.


-       DC: Casey Trees Washington D.C. employs high school student interns each summer for D.C. Urban Forestry training to help “regreen” local neighborhoods by learning to care for trees and share their newfound knowledge with the community. Visit their website to learn application requirements and details about the opportunity.

-       IL: The City of Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) in Partner with WRD Environmental offers GreenCorps Chicago training through workshops, technical assistance, and educational programs providing horticultural instruction and employment.

-       LA: Join an AmeriCorps field crew in Baton Rouge, Louisiana through the American Youthworks program.

-       LA: Louisiana also extends opportunities for fieldwork through LA Corps, providing education, training, and specialized, paid work experience.

-       ME: Join a field team, or receive specialized training to become a field team leader of the Maine Conservation Corps in the department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

-       MN: Training provided by Conservation Corps Minnesota provides AmeriCorps crew members the opportunity to complete natural resource- based projects on public land. In addition to some employment benefits, the Crew gains experience in a variety of fields, preparing for work in other technical fields.

-       MD: The Maryland Civic Justice Corps’ Native Landscaping and Conservation Skills Training provides youths a paid opportunity to experience hands-on conservation work in state parks, gaining basic landscaping skills and the knowledge to conserve and protect natural resources.

-       VT: Vermont Youth Conservation Corps offers a variety of crew experiences to youth members through their conservation and farm programs.

-       WA: Washington Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members get hands-on experience in train building, habitat restoration, and disaster response, offering full-time permanent positions as well as temporary opportunities ranging from three to eleven months.

-       WI: The Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps aims to train and educate disadvantaged close the skills gap, improve water quality, and build local habitat. Contact the organization to learn more about professional training and job placement.


Green Roofs Programs


-       Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) offers four Green Roofs courses in 30 cities world-wide, as well as an accredited exam to become a certified Green Roof Professional (GRP). Details about the annual fee and 16 continuing education credits required for recertification can be found on GRHC’s website:


-       NY:Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training at Sustainable South Bronx addresses land-use, energy, transportation, water and waste policy, and education to advance the environmental and economic rebirth of the South Bronx. Select participants receive hands-on training in Green roof design.


Solar Panel Programs


-       Solar Energy International (SEI) hosts a Solar Professionals Certificate Program offering a variety of certificates, including a Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate,Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate, Solar Business and Technical Sales Certificate, and International and Developing World Applications Certificate, among others. Each varies in tuition cost and course requirements.


-       Rising Sun Energy Center offers Green Energy Training Services (GETS), a 12-month job training program for adults interested in starting a career in solar energy system construction. Participants receive short-term training in Oakland and gain job placement assistance upon training completion.

-       NABCEP® (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners®) offers a variety of Board Certification Exams related to solar energy development, including Technical Sales, Design Specialization, Solar Heating Installation, and Commissioning/ Maintenance Certifications as well. Check required fees for application, examination, and re-certification.

-       Everblue hosts accredited online training in Solar fundamentals, installation, design, and sales to prepare professionals for NABCEP certification.

-       Online courses thought the Solairgen School of Solar Technology are available for entry level and advanced energy professionals. The school also hosts in-person, hands- on workshops to help professionals prepare for the NABCEP certification exam.


-       CA: Solar Training Institute, a fully accredited solar education institute, offers professional, contract, and residential installation training courses to groups of 10 or more students.

-       CA: Homeboy industries training program offers a 4-month solar training installation certification program, and will cover the costs of tuition and supplies for clients who wish to enroll in the Photovoltaic Training program at East Los Angeles Skills Center. They also offer community services for case management, mental health, and workforce development.

-       FL: The 5-day, hands-on Installing PV systems workshop at the Florida Solar Energy Center is designed for Contractors, Utilities, Engineers and Code Officials. They also offer a NABCEP Associates program, and other programs for continuing IREC education.

-       GA: Solairgen School of Solar Technology hosts hands-on workshops for PV design and installation in Georgia. Fees and class schedule vary by training program.

-       TX: Ecotech, a division of Brightwood College, El Paso, is the country’s premier provider of solar training for installers, electrical professionals, designers, and PV salespeople, and offers online trainings to supplement their classroom courses.


Brownfields Programs


-       U.S. EPA Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grant to provide training, research, and technical assistance to facilitate brownfields revitalization via the Sustainable Community Development Group, Inc. and Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute grantee organizations.


Native Plant Certificate and Education Programs


-       AB: Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance- Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers a Certificate in Native plants studies. Curriculum is composed of 6 eight-hour course courses and 6 four-hour elective courses, two field trips, and a 40-hour volunteer work requirement.

-       CO: Colorado State University Native Plant Master 3- week extension courses with outdoor field training are open for registration. The website also lists other Native Plant Master Courses in Boulder, Colorado.

-       DE: Mt. Cuba Center Ecological Gardening Certificate Program teaches eco-friendly horticulture practices and inviting ecological design.

-       ME: New England Wildflower Society offers certificates in Native Plants Studies through programs in field botany and horticulture design, offering separate courses for beginner and advanced students.

-       KY: Kentucky Native Plant Society offers a Native Plant Stewardship Certification to provide knowledge about Kentucky’s native plant resources, threats to native plants and experience managing and restoring native plant resources.

-       SC: The South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG) offers a certificate in Native Plant Studies in partnership with the South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS). The fieldwork-based courses are led by qualified professionals.