Did you know? You can work in the environmental sector, have fun, and make money at the same time!
Tech Arts

The following careers match the tag you've selected:
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.

$60,000-$100,000

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.

$50,000-$80,000

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

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.

$80,000-$150,000

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.

$70,000-$85,000
Automotive Engineer
Suma
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)

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
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