DOE includes sustainable builder in list of 5 fastest-growing jobs in clean energy
- The Department of Energy has released its list of the fastest-growing clean energy jobs, and sustainable builder made the list, along with wind turbine technician, solar installer, clean car engineer and sustainability professional.
- The top spot on the list went to wind turbine technicians, which the DOE said added 25,000 to its numbers last year and is the overall fastest growing job in the U.S. Solar installers also grew at a fast clip, with 73,000 new positions last year.
- In a January report, the DOE found that energy-related projects provided more than 2 million construction jobs last year, with the number of construction workers in the energy-efficient segment expected to grow 10.6% in 2017.
The DOE found that approximately 1.4 million workers were involved in the energy-efficiency industry in 2016: 250,000 employed in generation and fuels construction and nearly 425,000 working in transmission, distribution and storage. The department noted that the term "sustainable builder" can involve a wide range of occupations, from architects to trade workers to equipment operators.
Construction has been seen a significant change in mindset regarding green building and sustainability, with a significant portion of that trend driven by increased demand from owners. A Dodge Data & Analytics' World Green Building Trends 2016 report found that green building is doubling every three years.
The clean energy sector is not a place for niche contractors alone. Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction's renewable energy sector represented 34% of the company's total 2016 revenue, and, in 2015, it became one of only two Minnesota contractors to get into the large-scale battery storage business.
In the 2016 Top 400 Contractors rankings, Engineering News-Record named Mortenson the No. 1 U.S. wind contractor and the No. 3 solar contractor.
Tom Wacker, chief operating officer of Mortenson, told Construction Dive earlier this month that clean energy would most likely continue to grow as long as conditions remains favorable. Wacker said that how fast the sector grows will also depend on whether there's a new disruptive technology to shake things up.
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