While the world’s economy is slowly recovering and improving, we don’t have to tell you that the green collar economy is booming. Green job training programs are sprouting up across the country and are educating a new, unique type of dedicated work force.
If you’re interesting in switching careers, consider looking into a certificate program or an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in alternative energy technology. These certificates and degree programs will prepare you for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam and will set your new career in motion.
If you’re just interested in learning more about the trade and technology, many community colleges and job training facilities offer seminars, individual courses and weekend workshops as well.
Below is an overview of some of the training programs around the United States. For a more thorough list, visit the Renewable Energy Training Catalog published by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Solar Education Programs
The Evergreen Institute’s Center for Renewable Energy and Green Building
303-883-8290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located in Gerald, Missouri, Evergreen, Colorado and Clarendon, New York but hosts classes across the country.
Alaska Renewable Energy Programs
John Brown University
Fernando Vega- Program Director email@example.com
Siloam Springs, AK 72761
Arizona Renewable Energy Programs
Coconino Community College
Joseph Costion- Dept. Chair- 928-526-7696 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternative Energy Technician Certificate, AAS degree in Alternative Energy Technology
Pima Community College
Solar installer certificate, AAS degree in Building and Construction Technologies with concentration in solar installer.
California Renewable Energy Programs
Solar Living Institute 707-472-2450
P.O. Box 836, Hopland, CA 95449
Workshops in California or on-line training
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers- Union 551- Santa Rosa, CA
John Lloyd- 707-542-3505
Offers classes toward certification
Sun Pirate Solar Training
ISPQ Accredited, located Cotati, CA
UC Berkeley Extension
Intro to PV Systems, Professional Program in Solar Energy and Green Building, Certificate in Construction Management
Diablo Valley College
Pleasant Hill, CA
Alternative energy technology: PV systems certificate
Certification in Solar Installation and Integration
San Bruno, CA
Boots on the Roof
Master certificate in renewable energy, renewable energy boot camps, on-line courses, ISPQ accredited.
Ridha Hamidi- 408-864-8999 x 3159
Intro to PV Tech, PV Tech Field Project
Solar Training Institute
Solar Tech Institute
East Los Angeles Skills Center
PV Installer Introduction and Certification preparation courses
Green Career Institute
866-545-5441 or email@example.com
800-732-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar business, intro to PV, advanced PV. On-line courses.
760-795-6820 or 888-895-8186
One week courses in business strategies and PV
Colorado Renewable Energy Programs
Solar Energy International
ISPQ Accredited Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP) on-line and hands on workshops offered all over.
iCAST- International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology
On-line training, classroom training. Some free training.
Arapahoe Community College
Doug Mugge- Department Chair- 303-797-5863
Active Solar Thermal Systems Technician certificate
Florida Renewable Energy Programs
Florida Solar Energy Center
321-638-1000 or Sherri Shields, Asst. Communications Director- 321-638-1010
Michigan Renewable Energy Programs
Michigan Energy Demonstration Center at Northwestern Michigan College
Oakland Community College
Dr. Debra Row- email@example.com
Certificate in Renewable Energies and Sustainable Living
Macomb Community College
Lisa Richter- 586-445-7191
Renewable Energy Technology Certificate
Montana Renewable Energy Programs
The University of Montana, Missoula
Jenny Gorsegner- Program Assistant- 406-243-7916 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Gallagher- Department Chair- 406-243-7814 email@example.com
Energy Technology Program, online but majority of classes still offered in traditional classroom
New Mexico Renewable Energy Programs
San Juan College
505-327-5705 or 866-426-1233 (toll free)
Santa Fe Community College
Randy Grissom- director Sustainable Technologies Center- 505-428-1641, firstname.lastname@example.org
Certificate in Solar Energy
New York Renewable Energy Programs
SUNY Ulster Sustainability 845-339-2025
Courses in Office of Continuing and Professional Education
Oregon Renewable Energy Programs
Portland Community College
Electronic Engineering Technology in Renewable Energy Systems- AAS degree or one year certificate
Northwest Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College
541-463-3977 or 1-800-769-9687
4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon
AAS in Energy Management, Renewable Energy Technician, Water Conservation Technician. Certification in Sustainable Building Advisor, Residential Energy Auditor, Building Operators Certification, Energy Management Certification. Customized energy training too. ISPQ Accredited!
Texas Renewable Energy Programs
512-443-5725 or email@example.com
Austin Community College
Degree programs- 512-223-6404 firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing education/Certification programs- 512-223-7525 or email@example.com
Washington Renewable Energy Programs
Shoreline Community College
16101 Greenwood Avenue North, Shoreline, WA 98133
Associates degree, three certificate programs
Lake Washington Technical College
425-739-8100 x 660 (Dr. Grace Lasker)
11605 132nd Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
AASD - Energy & Science Technician, Energy Technology Certificate of Completion
Wisconsin Renewable Energy Programs
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Solar Energy Technology Program: 920-498-5444 or 888-385-6982 (Associate Degree)
Renewable Energy: 920-498-5461 or 800-422-NWTC x. 5461 (Solar Certificate)
River Falls, WI
Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET)
Renewable Energy Certificate
Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
Offers NABCEP certification training programs
Green Job Resources
Great Green Careers Find green job listings and articles about exploring different types of green careers.
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) The organization's 2010 conference will be held in from May 20-22 in Phoenix, and will include a Green Careers Resource Center. Check out the link above for other green job information from ASES, including their most recent green job reports.
Also, check out this blog series from contributing editor Dan Chiras about finding a green job in the field of renewable energy.
Top photo: courtesy DOE/NREL/Sam Garst. Middle photo, courtesy Solar Energy International. Bottom photo: Courtesy the Evergreen Institute.