Energy AuditorGreen career expert, Carol McClelland recently came to the Green Economy Post to answer your green career questions and they were so good ones. So, we decided to run a series of posts on some of the commonly asked green career questions. Carol McClelland, PhD, author of Green Careers For Dummies and Founder of Green Career Central

Today’s question  ….

I have read that the Obama Administration is giving a lot of money to states for retrofitting and that energy auditors will be in demand. I was thinking about getting certified. However, I do not see many jobs for this type of work and I was wondering if getting certified will be a waste of money, of it there will be demand for this type of work in the near future.

Cynthia Mowry

Carol McClelland says:

Hi Cynthia,

Yes, the Obama Administration has recently announced the $6 Billion HomeStar program ( As I understand it, President Obama outlined the basic purpose of the program, but it is up to Congress to put it into law. This means that it’s in the works, but no one is ready to write the rebate checks yet!

I have also heard that larger cities in California have received money to create energy efficiency/conservation plans in their regions. I know my county is planning to launch a training program in the next few months to train auditors and installers to meet ambitious energy efficiency goals that were associated with the stimulus funds they received for this project.

Before you leap into training, I would do a bit more research to understand how energy efficiency is unfolding in your state and region. It’s likely that it will unfold in stages. Doing your homework now will save you from wasting your money or help you plan your training in a timely manner.

Remember, rebate programs can definitely spur on an industry. We’ve definitely seen this happen in state after state in the solar industry. So at a minimum, the Obama announcement is a good sign, but you want to understand the program, track how it’s developing, and how it is landing in your area.

Good luck!


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SEVEN STEPS TO YOUR GREEN CAREER AUDIO – In this recorded audio program, Carol McClelland, shares a seven step plan you can follow to find your green career. In this audio you’ll discover: How to shorten the path to your green career with our 7-Step Action Plan; Tips to keep you moving forward to your goal; and answers to your questions about your next steps.

HOW TO SHORTEN YOUR PATH TO YOUR GREEN CAREER – This free ebook is a step-by-step process helping green career seekers use their passions, interests, experience, and training to plug into the green economy.

Clean Edison - building green professionalsCleanEdison Building Performance Institute Building Analyst Training Course ~ CleanEdison’s BPI Building Analyst course will teach you basic principles of building science to assess energy efficiency in a home while also monitoring conditions that have a direct impact on human health and safety. BPI Standards emphasize the “house-as-a-system” approach to inspecting a home, meaning that all systems are interconnected from the HVAC equipment, to the envelope, the foundation, walls, roof, doors and windows. You will learn how to use diagnostic equipment such as the blower door and the combustion analyzer to ensure systems are functioning together correctly to maximize home performance, comfort, energy efficiency, safety and durability. An energy auditor with BPI certification gives homeowners peace of mind knowing the professional meets the national standards of the Building Performance Institute having passed both a written and a hands-on field exam. Click here, for more information about the CleanEdison Building Performance Institute Building Analyst Training Course.

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Author: Carol Mcclelland (4 Articles)

Carol McClelland, PhD, author of Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation’s leading green career experts. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find work that matches their values and interests. Green Careers For Dummies is designed to be a resource for finding your fit in an environmentally responsible job for both those looking to make a career change and recent college graduates. In addition to writing Green Careers For Dummies, Carol is the Founder and Executive Director of Green Career Central. This online resource center dedicated to providing career guidance, coaching, and resources to clarify the ever-evolving world of green career possibilities for professionals, students, and career counselors. Follow Carol on Twitter at: or become a fan on her Facebook page.

  • John Walker

    San Diego, Ca is becoming a hotbed of activity in Green Jobs, San Diego is the nations leader in Solar installations for homes, which means green jobs. I recently interviewed a man who formed a Energy Auditing Company with money he received for training and certification as a HERS rater and BPI professional. He company currently employs 3 people and they have done over 40 audits so far. You can see the video interview at

  • Diego

    Is there really work for people who get energy audit training?


    Its a useful skill for those in the contracting industry, but I wouldn’t recommend a career change.

  • Carol McClelland

    Thanks for your comments, John and Diego.

    I just watched your video, John…that’s for posting that link. Great to see and hear someone who is finding a way into this industry.

    Diego, as it stands right now, I think the employment opportunities are tight in this field and it is people in the building trades that will get this work. The big question is how will this industry develop in the future! It takes time to train for a new field…so as the signs develop I think it will be beneficial for people to get the training (and experience) to be able to move into the industry.

    There’s no way to tell at this moment exactly how things will unfold. Time will tell.

    For those interested in energy auditing…pay attention to the dynamics in your local region. Each region is going to have a different rate of expansion in this industry as it has in other green/clean/ sustainable industries.

  • Casey

    Aside from the Homestar program, which is still just legislation, there was a lot of additional money distributed to states and municipalities for energy efficiency through the block grant program. There was also additional ARRA funding allotted specifically for energy efficiency programs. Local governments are choosing to spend this money in different ways, but many of them are using a portion of their money to set up energy auditing programs that drive the local market for energy efficiency improvements. In these areas there is much work being created for auditors, because the local governments are subsidising the cost of the energy audits. You should check with your state or local government to see if this is the case in your area.

  • Carol McClelland

    Hi Casey,

    Thanks for sharing these details. I have heard of these programs in my area, but I wasn’t sure how widespread they were. Appreciate the additional info!