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Green-trades

The following careers match the tag you've selected:
Green-trades

Green-trades give you a chance to work with your hands, with systems, and on construction and retrofit projects. In this sector, you will have the opportunity to learn the basic mechanics of energy saving and/or renewable energy technologies. These careers are often considered “cross-over careers,” as tradespeople (eg. roofers and plumbers) adopt new knowledge and expertise in areas like renewable energy installation or energy efficiency retrofitting. Green-trade jobs will be in high demand in the coming years as the Ontario government requires that a high percentage of all new renewable energy projects be manufactured and installed right here in the province!

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.

$18-$26/hour
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.

$20-$30/hour
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
mathamgri
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.

$50,000-$70,000
Lighting Specialist
Anthony Lee
Do you want to see a change in how people use energy? Want to be the "light" at the of the tunnel? Then this career is the perfect one for you. You can actively reduce energy use and pollution by designing and maintaining lighting projects in a variety of buildings and outdoors areas. The province of Ontario will ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs by 2012, a move that will save 6 million Mwh of energy every year! As we phase out energy inefficient light bulbs, new lighting solutions will have to be designed and implemented- are you up for the challenge?
You will be responsible for identifying areas where energy is being misused or wasted, recognizing energy-saving options and implementing technology that increases energy efficiency. You will assess the lighting needs of different spaces, identify the most efficient lighting solutions and encourage energy-efficient behaviour.

Understanding: LEED and green building principles, energy efficiency.

Skills: mathematics, attention to detail, communication, attention to detail, electrical design principles, computers.

University degree in electrical engineering preferred. Electrician apprenticeships may offer essential hands-on skills. Courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry are all useful.

Relationships: You may be working independently or as part of a small team.

Atmosphere: Work may be indoors or outdoors depending on the project.

$50,000-$90,000
Creative, Design Work
HVAC Technician (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
Are you technically-minded? Do you like to fiddle and tinker with different systems and appliances? HVAC technicians are trained in the installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They use technical knowledge and specialized tools to improve a building's energy use and air quality through a variety of retrofits and by installing new systems.
You will need to have a firm grasp of basic heating and cool principles, as well as a good technical understanding of various products and systems. As the job requires installing and repairing systems, you should also be familiar with related building codes and regulations. You may have to work extra hours or be on-call during peak seasons. Additional safety precautions are necessary due to potentially hazardous refrigerants and risk of electrical shock.

Understanding: energy efficiency principles, building codes, health and safety regulations, and specialized training in mechanical and plumbing installation; knowledge of LEED priciples would be useful.

Skills: problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, English, communication, analysis, attention to detail, heavy lifting.

A high school diploma and specialized training through college or trade school is necessary. Apprenticeships are also very useful in gaining experience and skills. The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) offers training and certification courses, as well as a membership program. Additional safety training is recommended. Useful courses include mathematics, sciences, English, and technology.

Relationships: Work may be done in teams with other technicians and contractors, or individually depending onthe project.

Atmosphere: Work is largely on site, in homes or commercial and industrial buildings, and can be indoors or outdoors.

$15-$30/hour
Hands-on, Tech Arts
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.

$40,000-$60,000
Environmental Construction Project Manager
Do you work well under pressure? Can you handle tight deadlines? Are you a born leader? This career requires all those skills and more. You will coordinate all aspects of a major environmental construction project. You will have many responsibilities, including managing other people and reporting to general contractors or senior managers.
Following at least 10 years of experience and education, you will be prepared to oversee a small team of workers. Your responsibilities may include staffing, coordinating other workers and contractors, consulting with senior staff, and project planning. You will be involved at many levels of the project, so multi-tasking skills are a must.

Understanding: health and safety standards; general understanding of environmental concerns, though specialized education may be beneficial; LEED certification an asset, though strong knowledge of energy efficiency and green building principles may suffice.

Skills: interpersonal, communication, computer skills, writing, leadership, project management, attention to detail.

A degree in structural engineering, architecture, or construction sciences is desired, though sufficient experience may be acceptable. Useful courses include mathematics, economics, physics, chemistry, technology, and business.

Relationships: As a crucial member of a team, you will both supervise staff and work with other projects leads, such as consultants, municipal officials, and contractors.

Atmosphere: Generally outdoors, though travel may likely be required depending on the location of the job site.

$55,000-$75,000
Math, Organized, Tech Arts
Energy Retrofitter
Always in a new location, you are implementing systems that save energy in homes, institutions, and businesses in this rapidly expanding field. As regulations change and social attitudes shift, more and more homeowners will be requesting energy retrofits for their homes.
In response to recommendations made by energy auditors, you will be responsible for installing energy efficient systems, making upgrades to a building's infrastructure (such as plumbing, heating, insulation, lighting, windows etc.), draft-proofing, and assisting with energy audits. You will communicate with clients and auditors about appropriate retrofit solutions specific to each scenario.

Understanding: energy efficiency and LEED principles, building principles, renewable energy sources.

Skills: mathematics, communication, technical language understanding, problem solving

Training in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, general contracting, energy management certification, and other trades is desirable. Useful courses include mathematics, physics, chemistry, techonology, and English.

Relationships: You will interact with clients (homeowners, businesses, facility operators), energy auditors, and materials vendors on a daily basis. Work is often individual.

Atmosphere: Generally in homes or businesses, though some office work may be required

$35,000-$40,000

Energy auditor, installation/renovation specialist, lighting specialist, service technician understanding: solar and wind energy technology, electrical engineering, ontario electrical safety code, building code regulations, health and safety regulations

Hands-on, Tech Arts
Energy Auditor
Greensaver
Are you tired of walking past empty buildings with their lights still on, and do you see each drafty old building as an opportunity for energy savings? As an energy auditor, you are asked to review energy-inefficient areas in homes and businesses and suggest improvements for energy saving. As environmental awareness spreads, expectations about environmental responsibility will also grow. The public is demanding higher standards and better practices, and you could be the person who makes it happen.
You will investigate and evaluate energy use within a home or facility to determine changes that can be made to improve efficiency. Using cool diagnostic tools (like blower doors or thermal imaging), you will identify poorly insulated areas and leakages, assess the efficiency of HVAC systems, and make reccommendations for energy-conserving retrofits. Your reports will often be implemented by an energy retrofitter.

Understanding: energy-saving practices, familiarity with HVAC systems and building sciences, understanding of LEED principles an asset.

Skills: report writing, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, mathematics, materials and technical language knowledge.

A Certified Energy Advisor (CEA) licence is offered by some colleges and various service organizations. The course includes a 5-day workshop, a practicum and a Natural Resources Canada exam. A background in engineering, HVAC, or construction is also handy. Useful courses include mathematics, physics, chemistry, technology, computers, and English.

Relationships: You will work closely with energy retrofitters, clients (who may be home owners), business representatives, or government employees.

Atmosphere: You may find yourself working for a consulting firm or NGO, a government office, or any other number of other organizations. Your work will take you to a variety of sites including homes, businesses, schools, government buildings, institutions, and manufacturing facilities.

$40,000+ (may increase if commission is part of compensation)
Analytical, Hands-on, Math, Tech Arts

Electrical Engineer
Jason Osmann
Your creativity, technical savvy and keen sense of innovation are put to the test in this rapidly growing career. These skills will help you design and install electrical equipment used for power generation or transmission. Electrical engineers are key players in both the wind and solar industry, and will be in great demand as those fields expand and evolve.
Your responsibilities may vary depending on whether you specialize in solar, wind or another field. Generally speaking, you will develop, install, test and maintain electrical connections, prepare plans for projects, and oversee project development. You may also be asked to conduct feasibility reports and field assessments.

Understanding: knowledge of energy generation and transmission principles, knowledge of renewable alternatives to traditional energy sources.

Skills: attention to detail, communication, project management, computers, technical understanding.

A university degree in Electrical Engineering is necessary, though a combination of additional education and experience is preferred. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, computers, data management, and earth sciences are all useful courses, most of which are mandatory.

Relationships: You may work with or oversee other engineers and/or technicians; you may be communicating with outside consultants and other professionals.

Atmosphere: Working both on-site and in an office environment, either for a private company or government.

$70,000-$85,000