By 2020, $2.3 trillion will be invested in clean-power assets, according to a report recently issued by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the CleanEnergy Economy. To the field service sector that means a trickle-down surge in job growth — creating a surprisingly bright corner of the otherwise slow-recovering labor market.

As we’ve pointed out recently, the green building and related services are sparking new opportunities for field service techs, HVAC professionals, and others. As the green movement expands, on-the-ground service techs – from air quality and HVAC pros to building engineers  – will become an increasingly hot commodity.

Here’s even more supporting data that service pros should take a close look at: A  recent survey by the Association of Energy Engineers, a nonprofit professional society with more than 12,500 members, paints a picture of a growing industry that currently can’t hire enough qualified, “green collar” professionals.

A few highlights from the survey, which canvassed 1,534 AEE members around the country:

  • 37 percent plan to retire in the next 10 years — which hints at a huge number of openings for newcomers and others;
  • 61 percent indicate a heightened shortage of qualified professionals in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields in the next five years;
  • 61 percent indicate a need for national and state training for “green jobs” to address labor shortages that are impairing growth, including positions in energy-efficient buildings and construction, renewables, electric power, smart grid, energy efficient vehicles and biofuels development

There are some short-term caveats of course: The survey suggested that not many of these new opportunities have yet materialized, and that “65% of respondents indicated that the availability of federal stimulus funding has not yet created green jobs in their company or government entity.”

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.