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Where Are the ‘Green Jobs’ in 2018? You May Be Surprised

By 3p Contributor


In 2018 job seekers and employers continued to pursue “green jobs” in sectors like renewables and conservation. While growth occurred in many states, recent trends saw Texas leading the way in sectors like wind power, currently supporting over 24,000 such jobs backed with over $42 billion in capital. These jobs are just a small part of more than 10 million clean energy jobs worldwide in 2018.

Although the clean energy sector continues to be one of the highest growth industries in the U.S., many people are still unaware of the variety of opportunities available to them. Part of the reason is that while renewable energy is the most visible and substantial sector, opportunity is also divided along geographical lines, making it a difficult field to enter for people living in certain areas.

But renewable energy is only one portion of the professional ranks fighting for environmental causes. There are dozens of different career paths that job seekers should be aware of that contribute to the fight against climate change. To show students, jobseekers, and companies what opportunities are available, we published a recap listing the best climate change jobs. The list breaks down careers by four categories: field jobs, office jobs, high paying jobs, and entry-level jobs.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), this resource includes the median pay, degree requirement, and projected growth of 18 different professions that the BLS predicts will experience steady growth over the next decade.

If you are interested in working in a job related to sustainability, the following fields could be of interest to you.

Entry-Level Jobs

You do not need a doctorate to have a meaningful impact in the fight against climate change. While scientists and engineers are among the most visible green jobs, there are many important careers that only require an associate's degree.

For example, environmental engineering technicians make a median pay of $50,230 and have a projected growth rate of 13 percent over the next 10 years. They assist environmental engineers by collecting air and water samples to assess pollution. On the front lines in the fight against environmental contamination, environmental engineering technicians work both indoors and out in the field.

Social and community service organizers also play a critical role in the fight against climate change. The position usually requires an associates degree and has a projected growth rate of 18 percent. Organizers galvanize public support and educate their community about pressing local and global environmental issues.

High Paying Jobs

Green jobs are not only important for the future of the world, they can also be lucrative career choices. Educating the public and job seekers on career paths that anticipate a continued growing demand and pay high medium salary can convince more talented people to enter into such jobs to prevent climate change.

Environmental engineers take home a median pay of $86,800 in a field that has an expected growth rate of 8 percent. Most environmental engineers hold a master’s degree and are skilled at preparing environmental investigation reports, designing projects that help protect the environment, and inspect industrial facilities to make sure they are up to code.

Office Jobs

Of course, there are jobs that function in a more traditional office environment, with regular hours and other regular functions for those who prefer to stay inside. Again, communicating the diversity of positions and structures of green jobs will convince more of the public to enter this growing sector.

Sustainability specialists, who typically have a bachelor’s degree, make a median salary of $55,000 and can expect a 9% growth in job opportunities over the next ten years. Sustainability specialists tend to work in the private industry, helping businesses make cost-effective decisions that also promote environmentally friendly policies.

Image credit: Mario Caruso/Unsplash

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