Want to Work in Clean Energy? Move to Detroit!

At the beginning of 2010, President Obama announced that over $2 billion in tax credits would be given out in order to create more than 17,000 green jobs. There are multiple purposes to this push to create new green jobs, of course. There's the need to create job opportunities in a time when so many people are out of work. There's a need to become even more innovative in the use of renewable energy resources so that we can save our planet. But where exactly are these green jobs opening up? Despite the influx of money, it sometimes seems like the green jobs haven't yet really begun to become a reality.

Not so.

There are some areas of the country where employment in green jobs is definitely on the rise. If you want to work in clean energy right now, it might even be smart to move to one of these regions. According to a new report, these are the top five cities that you would want to consider moving to if you were interested in getting a clean energy job today:

1. DETROIT. Although this city isn't number one on the last, it does rank in the top five. I've included it as number one here because it's such an interesting city to think about moving to if you're interested in getting a clean energy job. Many of us think of Detroit as a dirty city due in large part to its longtime role as an automotive manufacturer, a job industry that often seems like its in direct opposition to the green movement. However, things are changing in Detroit and they're also changing in the automotive industry. The big auto makers in Detroit have closed their doors, leaving a large workforce with auto experience to exist without jobs. These people are the perfect people to work on the next generation of auto technology - green technology for hybrid cars and electric vehicles. And yes, these jobs are beginning to open up in the area. In fact, this is a prime place for new companies to consider basing their operations. That's because Detroit still remains rather unpopular so real estate here is particularly inexpensive. Due to the new changes on the horizon, though, this city is poised for a revival. Move here now and you could find that it's relatively easy to get a job in clean energy. You'll also be able to get a new home for a small price. As the area improves economically, the standard of living will rise and you'll find yourself in a nice home with a secure forward-thinking job. Detroit might not have been on your radar before but it's a place to start thinking about, especially if you seek to find a green job.

2. SAN FRANCISCO. It's not surprise that San Francisco ranks at the top of the list as the best city to go to get a clean energy job. This city is arguably one of the greenest cities in the world. The city has put many different programs into place ranging from installing an artist-in-residence at the local dump to turn junk into recycled art to banishing plastic bags from grocery stores to creating a citywide composting program. It's a green place to live. And it's a green place to work. And people seeking clean energy jobs will find that a number of them have opened up in this city. In fact, more than $100 million has been committed to renewable energy projects recently which has opened up even more jobs than before. Besides this, San Francisco is a hotbed for startup companies, many of which combine an interest in technology with an interest in clean energy. These startups also have job opportunities available. Undeniably, San Francisco is a tough city to live in since it does have some of the highest rent and mortgage rates in the country. However, a lot of money is being devoted to clean energy jobs and you'll save on transportation costs here since a majority of people use public transportation to commute to work, so it could be a place to consider if you want to live in a wonderful city where there are clean energy jobs available right now.

3. BOSTON. Would you have thought about moving to Boston to get a clean energy job? Many people don't realize that this city is a great place to get in on the cutting edge of some of the most interesting new green technology that is being developed today. It only takes a few minutes of thought to realize why this is, though. Just think about all of the amazing colleges and universities that are in the Boston area. These are places where the brightest young minds are coming up with innovative ways to implement new technology for a greener environment. In an area where that type of innovative thinking is going on, how could there not be a plethora of clean energy jobs popping up all over the place?! Boston is also a really cool place because it's one of the leaders in the wind energy movement, a clean energy movement that is rapidly gaining traction (and funding!) Wind energy is the third largest fuel source in Boston, an accomplishment that is nothing to sneeze at - and something to think about if you're interested in getting a clean energy job now that will also still be around in the future.

4. NEW YORK. This cosmopolitan city is such an interesting place, isn't it? It's rich with history and yet some of the most cutting-edge things in the world are happening here. One of those things is the development of green technology. When you think about the fact that over three quarters of the people who live here are people who use public transit, you can see that there's an underlying green mindset that runs through the city. Governor David Patterson is well-known as a politician who truly supports clean energy initiatives. He has signed off on a number of plans and projects to this end, including a jobs program designed to bring a wealth of new clean energy jobs to the area. Like San Francisco, New York is an expensive city to live in and it's tough to think about moving to a place where the cost of living is so high. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities for gainful employment in the clean energy sector here and you have to remember that the salaries are higher accordingly to help make up for the higher cost of living. Plus you can sell your car!

5. PORTLAND. Portland is a great city that is also known for its green way of life. Although it's pricier than some places, it's not nearly as expensive to live in Portland as it is to live in a city like San Francisco or New York. That makes it a place that provides a happy medium for people who are seeking a fair cost of living with the opportunity to get a job in the clean energy sector. It would take an entire article to outline all of the different green programs that have been launched in Portland in the past few years. Suffice to say that a full fifty percent of the city's power comes from renewable resources and there is a plan in place to turn over forty acres of rooftop into ecoroofs. Although some of these green projects are well underway, there are plenty of other clean energy projects that are just getting going in Portland ... and who knows what else is on the horizon for this green-minded city. It's definitely a place to think about moving if you're looking for a long-term career in the clean energy sector.

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7 comments

nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

I can't resist...

$2 billion for 17,000 jobs is $117647.05 per job.


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 6 years ago from Illinois

Some of the turbins are being manufactured in China. They showed them on TV. Our money was suppose to give American's jobs, not another country.


Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

I sure hope Detroit can make a comeback with sustainable energy - that the economy in general is bolstered by people working to create more healthy ways to exist here on earth. Great hub.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I have some friends in Michigan...why didn't they tell me all of this? LOL- Fantasic work, Kathryn!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

For a lot of reasons I do think that green jobs should be the next generation of jobs, though I do have some reservation as to how much of that should be subsidized or even encouraged by the government, mainly because I tend to believe the strongest markets thrive because they have to exist out of market demand and financial interest by entrepeneurs. When markets are forced on, they tend to be enterprises that never quite get off the ground, or rise to the level that they would through natural processes. Just look at ethanol to get an example of what I'm talking about. This industry was VERY highly pushed by the Bush administration, and heavily funded by the government, and even mandates have been put into place as to how much ethanol will be a part of the overall gasoline and fuel production into the future—

Still, the industry has all but failed for now.

My thinking is this; if green is being subsidized by the government, those jobs may not have the stablity you are hoping for. I'd say, if you are looking to get into green when it comes to career, proceed with caution. Look for companies who have a solid product, foreseeable demand, and little government intervention.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Interesting. In my research, I'm not finding a good description of a green job, but your list makes me wonder if one aspect is that it must be government-supported.


globalcoffeegrind profile image

globalcoffeegrind 6 years ago

i would have never guessed that any of those cities (save portland) would have even made it on there. would love to see how boston is harnessing wind energy-- never noticed this before. great list!

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