BC is shifting towards a Clean Economy— with big changes in fossil-fuel-reliant industries and an increased demand for other natural resources. With it, new career paths will emerge and existing jobs will transform. A more robust set of environmental and sustainability skills will be in demand to mitigate the effects of climate change.
To help develop a workforce to meet BC’s Clean Economy goals and propel innovation in fields like alternative and renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building, BCIT is looking ahead to identify industry needs and develop skills training and programs. With full- and part-time programs and flexible microcredentials geared towards the Clean Economy already underway, in diverse fields like Forest Management and Environmental Risk Assessment, BCIT lets you start your education journey, stay on the cutting edge of the industry’s evolution or upgrade your existing skills to specialize in an emerging, in-demand field.
Here are the programs and skills that will get you on your way to a career in the Clean Economy:
Natural and applied sciences
Making up 57% of current Clean Economy industry jobs, the natural and applied sciences field has the strongest career growth potential over the next decade. WorkBC’s most recent Labour Market Report predicts 13,000 job openings, accounting for 43% of all new roles in core environmental occupations.
What to study at BCIT?
Both the Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Engineering program and Chemical and Environmental Technology diploma program provides you with a broad set of skills to support employment across Clean Economy industries: Environmental Analyst roles in commercial, industrial and research labs; Research Technologist positions for fuel cell and energy companies; or specialist roles in air/water quality monitoring and remediation for government and consulting firms.
There is currently a shortage of qualified restoration biologists and practitioners trained in the techniques needed to restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in British Columbia and across Canada. Graduates of BCIT’s Ecological Restoration full- or part-time Bachelor of Science program will be qualified for jobs with organizations that restore natural ecosystems—particularly fish and wildlife habitats—and will be equipped for rewarding careers with municipal, regional, provincial and federal government agencies, private industry, stewardship groups and NGOs.
You’ll develop leading-edge technical skills and knowledge in the two-year Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program through hands-on learning in field labs, classroom experiences and projects aligned with current needs of government, NGOs and private industry. Your learning outcomes will reflect today’s needs for managing natural renewable resources in urban, rural and wild land environments.
Fully funded for Canadian citizens and permanent residents by Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) and the Government of Canada, BCIT’s new Building Energy Modelling and Simulation part-time microcredential offers you new skills to support the Clean Economy.
Designed for working professionals interested in seeking a new path in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction, this course is intended for detail-oriented learners with prior education and/or relevant work experience. It will prepare you for a career as a building energy performance consultant, or energy modelling expert.
If you’re interested in expanding the depth of your knowledge, the Building Energy Modelling and Performance Analysis advanced certificate paves the path to support you in being hired as building energy performance analysts, building energy modelling managers (BEM), or specialists.
The Labour Market Report predicts that 27% of new Clean Economy roles will be management positions. BCIT’s advanced certificate programs and flexible microcredentials help leaders develop skills to meet changing industry demands and respond to new environmental, social and sustainability focus areas. Our full-time degree and diploma programs, supported through industry partnerships and hands-on learning opportunities, set you up with work experience so you can step into, and succeed, in management roles.
What to study at BCIT?
The online and part-time Sustainable Energy Management Advanced Certificate is aimed at filling BC Hydro’s need for Energy Managers and Fortis BC’s need for Energy Specialists. It also sets you up for additional opportunities with the many governmental or energy-related agencies, non-profits, energy management software manufacturers and distributors, and building systems and controls manufacturers.
The BCIT ESG Fundamentals microcredential is designed for business leaders and individuals looking to act on their commitment to building an inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative economy. You’ll map an initial ESG strategy for your organization and build your skillset so you’re qualified for advancement within and beyond your current position. Throughout the course, you’ll learn how to identify and work with the latest tools and framework, including GRI, ISO, CCAB, TCFD, SDGs, and B Corp.
The Forest and Natural Areas Management full-time diploma program sets you up for a wide variety of employment opportunities outdoors, indoors or a combination of both. Graduates work for the municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments, the environmental consulting sector, and various natural resource industry sectors. You’ll also develop skills needed for the new emerging field of Urban Forestry, including roles in Invasive Species Management, Arboriculture and Urban Interface Management.
Already leading construction teams, but want to make the move to a greener side of the business? Develop your ability to manage BC Energy Step Code and Net-Zero Energy and Passive House compliance with BCIT’s part-time Supervising Net-Zero and Passive House Construction microcredential. Over five courses, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge to inform design, coordinate work, and control construction quality to achieve airtightness and enclosure performance levels and learn tools and strategies to support site supervision.
Education, law, social, community and government services
The next decade will bring an additional 7,600 job postings in the education, law, social, community and government services field — which is 11% of the Clean Economy’s projected roles, according to WorkBC’s Labour Market Report. BCIT’s unique partnerships with the Province of BC and Government of Canada provide innovative training opportunities that are developed for current industry needs, helping graduates get prepared for immediate employment in the Clean Economy.
What to study at BCIT?
The part-time Drone Applications for Environmental Risk Assessment microcredential gives you job-ready skills in careers related to drone operations, digital mapping, 3D modeling and environmental sustainability including forestry and agriculture. You’ll be guided through Transport Canada regulations, conducting a site survey and mission planning, and will learn structure-from-motion (SfM)-based image processing techniques.
Maintain your current job while completing the part-time Fundamentals of Water and Wastewater Operations Associate Certificate, and gain the essential knowledge and skills to protect human and environment health through water and wastewater facilities.
More clean economy career paths
While cleaner and greener innovations emerge every year, the construction and automotive industries continue to lead the charge with new energy technology and sustainable building practices. If you’re looking to jump into some of the most advanced and fast-moving fields, Electric Vehicles (EV) and mass timber are a great place to start.
What to study at BCIT?
As new mandates from the BC Government and changes to the 2020 National Building Code of Canada roll out, the mass timber industry is expected to grow. To prepare for the shift to more renewable materials, you can get introduced to this emerging industry and explore some of the fundamental features and tools associated with mass timber construction through BCIT’s part-time Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction microcredential. This program is fully funded for Canadian citizens and permanent residents by Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) and the Government of Canada.
Those who have successfully completed the Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction Microcredential are eligible for a tuition credit applicable towards the cost of tuition for the Associate Certificate in Construction of Mass Timber Structures. This Advanced Certificate has been developed for experienced carpenters, ironworkers, and installers with an interest in expanding their expertise to mass timber.
BC currently has more than 54,000 light-duty EVs on the road, and with multiple government rebates on new EVs, the number is steadily rising. To support this growing fleet, BC is building a robust EV infrastructure, requiring increased EV service and repair capacity through technician training. BCIT, together with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, developed the EV Maintenance Training course for Automotive Service Technician (AST) Red Seal Technicians or AST third or fourth-year apprentices. In the course, you’ll develop skills to diagnose, service and repair the majority of electric vehicles through a 6-hour online self-paced safety module and an intensive 30-hour classroom and shop training period.
Not yet a Red Seal Technician or apprentice? BCIT is partnering with Tesla START to offer a four-year specialized electric vehicle training pathway program, providing you with industry-focused skills to become Red Seal Certified Automotive Service Technicians while also offering potential employment with Tesla Service Centers throughout Canada. Each year, you’ll receive eight weeks of training at BCIT then apply your learning in the work environment at a Tesla Service Centre in the Lower Mainland.
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Why choose a career in the clean economy?
Preparing for employment in the Clean Economy at BCIT equips you to help shape and inform important initiatives for Canada’s future. Whichever path you choose, you’ll develop the skills needed to meet complex environmental dilemmas and drive substantive change.
Still not sure where to start? Attend one of our upcoming information sessions to learn more about our programs and related careers.