Green Jobs Spotlight: Energy Efficient Automobiles

If you love working with your hands and don’t mind a smudge of grease here and there, perhaps you’ll find the perfect green career in the green vehicle sector. A bit more focused than some of the green transportation jobs out there, a green job in the eco-vehicle industry would involve working directly with the development and sale of greener automobiles like hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).

Green job possibilities in the eco-automobile sector

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and President Obama have set a goal to deploy 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) by 2015, develop and deploy sustainable alternative fuels, improve vehicle mileage, and develop advanced combustion engines. That means there are plenty of opportunities for getting into a green career working with more eco-friendly cars and trucks. Here are a few of the job titles you’ll find in this field:

  • Research and development: Scientists, engineers, and mechanics are needed to develop advanced vehicle technologies in a variety of fields. This can include anything from advanced fuels like biofuels and hydrogen, new engine control strategies, fuel economy standards, hybrid-electric vehicle technologies, and light-weight but durable propulsion materials. Individuals with a variety of skill levels and specialties will be needed to make the vehicles of the future a reality.
  • Advanced vehicle mechanics: Whether you specialize in electric vehicles, gas-electric hybrids, full electric vehicles, biofuel engines, or hydrogen engines, you’ll find that the demand for green vehicle mechanics will be rapidly increasing as consumers purchase eco-friendly vehicles in larger numbers. Working in this career field will require basic mechanics training plus additional coursework and experience dealing directly with these new vehicle technologies, but there are lots of exciting opportunities for those willing to make the commitment.
  • Vehicle conversion specialists: There are thousands of vehicle owners out there who already own a car that’s not so good with fuel. As an electric vehicle or biofuels conservation specialist, you’ll help car owners turn their gas-guzzling beasts into electrically-powered vehicles or biofuel-guzzling vehicles. Going into this green career field will likely involve professional knowledge and experience in mechanics and electrical devices.

Green careers can take many forms, as you can see, and there’s something for everyone. Given modern dependence on private vehicle ownership, no doubt there will always s be rewarding careers available for mechanical green jobs seekers.


Images Via Flickr: naotakem and Toyota Motor Europe


This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at

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