Survey: Sustainable construction a top career field in South Florida

If your job is in jeopardy or career at a dead-end, there's something you can do. Emerging career fields can let you become more employable, with a little retraining.

College administrators in South Florida were asked to name the hot new fields for job seekers.

Their list includes health information technology, information security, sustainable construction, alternative energy engineering and mobile application development.

Training in these areas costs from $1,700 to $8,700 and can be completed in one or two years for full-time students. Expect it to take longer if you're attending part-time..

The payoff can be big: The average salary for software engineers who develop applications is $81,000.

Here are details about each of the sustainable construction career field, which offer abundant opportunities for employment, college officials say. Information about health information technology, information security, alternative energy engineering and mobile application development can be found at

Sustainable construction careers

Construction jobs cratered after the economic downturn, but the future is in sustainable or "green" building, said Michelle Anaya DePotter, executive director of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Public agencies' interest has sparked demand for contractors who are knowledgeable in sustainable - or environmentally friendly and resource-efficient - building, she said.

Finding money for new construction projects is not easy, so jobs in the industry are not assured, Anaya DePotter said. Still, training in sustainable construction is a "plus," she said.

In 2010, the majority of green jobs in Broward and Palm Beach counties were in construction, according to the 2010 Green Jobs Survey by the Florida workforce agency.

Palm Beach State College offers a two-year associate degree in Sustainable Construction Management for about $6,000. The college also offers two certificate programs, each costing about $2,300.

Both certificates can be completed in one year, if enrolled full time.

The average entry-level salary in construction is $37,367, according to the Florida workforce agency, which did not have information specific to sustainable construction jobs.