The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and its partners today announced the launch of the Green Buildings Career Map, an interactive career map highlighting the breadth of rewarding career opportunities in building energy efficiency. The Map was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, in partnership with the Building Performance Association (BPA), Community Action Partnership (CAP), Home Builders Institute (HBI), Building Performance Institute, and National Institute of Building Sciences. 

The Green Buildings Career Map features 55 jobs in energy efficiency for buildings across four different industry sectors, as well as over 300 potential advancement routes—all developed with input from industry subject matter experts. By helping interested job seekers learn about quality jobs related to energy efficiency in buildings, the Green Buildings Career Map will help foster a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified workers to meet employer demand. 

“The Green Buildings Career Map will raise awareness about the diversity of meaningful career options in energy efficiency, particularly among diverse and underserved communities,” said IREC President & CEO Larry Sherwood. “This is crucially important to sustaining the rapid growth of this important industry and ensuring the benefits of employment in this sector are accessible to more people.”

Energy efficiency is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. These jobs will become increasingly important to meeting climate goals because power and space conditioning for buildings accounts for 40% of all energy use in the U.S. To ensure this job growth also benefits underserved communities, the Map even highlights 32 “New-Collar” Green Jobs—skilled roles that do not require a college degree. IREC and the partners will conduct extensive outreach to share the Map with relevant audiences, including underrepresented groups, such as communities of color and low-income communities, and organizations that serve them.

The Map can be used by a wide range of audiences from job seekers and workers to school and career counselors, training providers, and recruiters. Job seekers from entry-level to advanced can use the map to identify opportunities for career progression. Current and prospective students can use it to evaluate the skills needed and possible on-ramps for different roles, while counselors and training providers can use it to help people identify different career paths and training options. Recruiters can showcase the variety of advancement opportunities stemming from specific jobs. 

“Now more than ever, workforce development is critical in our industry,” said Building Performance Association CEO, Steve Skodak. “BPA recently conducted outreach to over 400 members and discovered that career opportunity awareness and training accessibility is a barrier to industry growth. We hope the Career Map will encourage individuals to consider a career in energy efficiency, highlight well-paying jobs, and reach those in underserved populations.”

“The Community Action Partnership is excited for the launch of the Green Buildings Career Map,” said Denise Harlow, CEO of CAP.  “Coming at this time when many are looking to pivot their career paths toward what is coming next, a tool that helps navigate the world of green jobs is critical. The nation’s 1,000 local Community Action Agencies connect individuals to opportunity and to have this new resource in the toolbox is important.”

“IREC’s Green Building Career Map is an indispensable resource that aligns a diverse workforce with the building industry’s contributions to sustainability, affordability, and economic strength,” said Home Builders Institute President and CEO Ed Brady. “As the nation’s leading provider of career technical education in construction, HBI does one thing: train skilled workers for the building industry, with a focus on placement in meaningful jobs. This initiative is a perfect fit for HBI and its students.”

The Map was created with the input of an experienced, cross-sector group of industry subject matter experts who helped ensure its accuracy and real-world usefulness. “The Green Building Career Map will transform the way we engage students with their career possibilities,” said Amanda Hatherly, Director of the EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College and one of the subject matter experts that contributed to the project. “It’s visually engaging and simple to use, while having so much valuable information embedded within it.” 

IREC specializes in the creation of interactive national clean energy career maps that showcase the breadth of jobs in a particular sector, having also developed acclaimed and widely accessed maps for the solar and HVAC/R industries. Rich job detail and market data showcase not only the career, but the training and certification pathways to get there. 

To access the Green Buildings Career Map, visit IREC recently hosted a webinar about the Map—interested individuals can learn more and watch the webinar here.