- A new analysis from Promoleaf revealed that jobs that relate to the environment, sustainability, renewable energy, conservation, and recycling employ as many as 875,000 workers across the United States.
- Green jobs are set to grow at a rate of 8.6% over the next decade, with a predicted 114,300 new jobs to be added to the green workforce in that time.
- That overall growth rate for green jobs is higher than for the overall workforce (+7.7%), and some green occupations are among the fastest-growing in the country — plus they tend to pay 31% more than the national median salary.
A new analysis from Promoleaf revealed that the “green economy” is booming: jobs that relate to the environment, sustainability, renewable energy, conservation, and recycling employ as many as 875,000 workers across the United States.
This number accounts for about 0.6% of the American workforce, which indicates that not only are green jobs common, but they are needed.
The report also revealed a number of optimistic and useful findings regarding the green jobs sector — based on an analysis of figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET, green jobs are set to grow at a rate of 8.6% over the next decade, with a predicted 114,300 new jobs to be added to the green workforce in that time.
The overall growth rate for green jobs is higher than for the overall workforce (+7.7%), and some green occupations are among the fastest-growing in the country.
According to database O*NET, the median annual pay for a someone working a green job is $76,530, which is about 31% higher than a national median salary of $58,260.
The number of available jobs on both the higher and lower end of the job scale could make this career path an option for both people looking for a career change and workers who are just starting out.
These are the top ten green occupations employing the most workers in America in 2022:
- Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
- Environmental Scientists and Specialists
- Natural Sciences Managers
- Environmental Engineers
- Environmental Science Technicians
- Forest and Conservation Technicians
- Conservation Scientists
These are the top ten green jobs with the highest salaries:
- Natural Sciences Managers: $137,900
- Biofuels/Bio Diesel Technology Managers: $125,470
- Chief Sustainability Officers: $111,080
- Wind Energy Engineers: $107,800
- Environmental Economists: $105,630
- Geothermal Production Managers: $103,150
- Hydroelectric Production Managers: $103,150
- Solar Energy Systems Engineers: $100,640
- Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists: $97,630
- Wind Energy Operations Managers: $97,630
These are the states that are leading the way in green jobs
Alaska, Colorado, and Washington are all states where green jobs make up nearly 1% of the workforce (40% higher than expected based on the national average of green jobs per state).
On the lowest side of the spectrum are states such as Arizona and South Carolina, where green jobs account for 0.4% and 0.3% of the labor force, which is the lowest concentration compared to the national average of 0.6%.
These are the green occupations with the largest number of job openings as of May 2022
Among the green jobs with the highest number of postings as of May 2022 are occupations in Environmental Science, Occupational Health & Safety, and Recycling.
- Natural Sciences Managers — 52,000 job postings
- Environmental Engineers — 50,000 job postings
- Sustainability Specialists — 21,000 job postings
The green economy will affect the future of work
The increase in green jobs is being driven by consumers wanting to support companies that take action in addressing social and environmental disparities.
As the International Labour Organization put it, “The world of work needs environmental sustainability.”
As the world moves towards a greener economy, a Greening with Jobs report estimates that 6 million jobs will be lost, including in the areas of petroleum extraction and refinery, coal mining and production of electricity from coal.
However, if humanity fails to transition to a greener economy, the same report estimates that 72 million full-time jobs will be lost by 2030.
This is based on projected temperature increases and environmental degradation, which impacts jobs and working conditions to the point where heat stress and temperature increases will lead to shorter available work hours (particularly in agriculture).
Provided that the right policies for a greener economy are put in place, it’s possible that 24 million new jobs could be created globally by 2030.