Infographic: Where to Get a Green Job

posted by Shannon on August 10th, 2011

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Infographic: Where to Get a Green Job

Where To Get a Green Job

Investment in the green economy and renewable energy today will help ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the global economy in the future. But perhaps more importantly, right now investment in the green economy is creating new jobs for millions of job-seekers around the country.

Traditional vs. Clean Job Growth

The green or clean economy refers to the sector of the economy that produces goods and services that benefit the environment. The clean economy is growing and creating new jobs quickly—between 1998 and 2007, job growth in the green economy was nearly triple the growth of all U.S. jobs during the same period.

  • Traditional job growth: 3.7%
  • Clean economy job growth: 9.1%

Renewables Drive Green Job Growth

Within this green economy, four of the top five segments with the highest job growth are in renewable energy. These booming sectors are ripe for qualified job-seekers. Percent change for the renewable energy segments with the highest job growth:

  • Wave/ocean power: 20.9%
  • Solar thermal: 18.4%
  • Wind: 14.9%
  • Carbon storage/management: 13.3%
  • Solar photovoltaic: 10.7%

Top Jobs in Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has become a popular segment of the green economy. Within renewables, hydropower-related businesses employ the greatest percentage of workers. Renewable energy jobs, 2010:

  • Geothermal: 2%
  • Waste-to-Energy: 2%
  • Solar thermal: 4%
  • Biofuels/biomass: 15%
  • Solar photovoltaic: 17%
  • Wind: 18%
  • Renewable energy services: 1%
  • Wave/ocean power: 1%
  • Hydropower: 40%

Who’s Getting Hired?

You don’t have to be an engineer to get hired in the green economy. Industries within the green economy require a variety of positions and experience levels.

Scientists and Engineers

  • Share of all clean energy occupations: 10.1%
  • Share of all U.S. occupations: 5.4%
Green Collar Occupations (Green collar jobs are defined as those that have a median wage that falls within 20 percentage points of the national median wage).
  • Share of all clean economy occupations: 68.7%
  • Share of all U.S. occupations: 42.9%
Low Wage/Low Skill Occupations
  • Share of all clean economy occupations: 6.3%
  • Share of all U.S. occupations: 28.3%

Gettin’ Paid

  • Median wage of typical clean economy job: $44,000
  • National median wage: $38,616

Manufacturing Sweet Spot

Compared to jobs nationwide, a greater portion of jobs in the clean economy are in manufacturing-related segments. 26% of clean economy jobs are in manufacturing. 9% of overall U.S. jobs are in manufacturing. Manufacturing-intensive industries of the clean economy:

  • Solar technologies
  • Wind-energy technologies
  • Electric vehicle technologies
  • Water-efficient products
  • Green chemical products
  • Sustainable forestry products
  • Recycled-content products
  • Energy-saving consumer products

Where the Jobs Are

So you’re looking for a job in the green economy? They’re in big cities—84% of the nation’s clean jobs are in metropolitan areas.

Metro areas that have the largest absolute number of clean jobs in the country:

  • New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, NY: 152,034
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA: 89,592
  • Chicago-Jolie-Naperville, IL-IN: 79,388
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD: 70,828
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD: 54,325
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA: 51,811
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA: 43,060
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH: 41,825
  • Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX: 39,986
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: 38,562
Metro areas that have experienced the greatest growth in green jobs between 2003 and 2010 (% refers to average annual % change in green jobs):
  • Knoxville, TN: 14.6%
  • Raleigh-Cary, NC: 13.7%
  • Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA: 11.4%
  • Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR: 10.5%
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY: 8.8%
  • Ogden-Clearfield, UT: 8.6%
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX: 8.5%
  • Tulsa, OK: 8.3%
  • Toledo, OH: 8.1%
  • Albuquerque, NM: 7.8%

The Best Green Job Resources

  • in area of focus choose “environment” or search “green” as a keyword
  • has a “green dream jobs” section
  • Google “green jobs guidebook” (developed as a California-centric resource but provides excellent info on all the different kinds of green job categories plus salary and educational info.

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14 Responses to “Infographic: Where to Get a Green Job”

  1. Carol McClelland says:

    Great visuals on this report on green jobs. Love seeing WHERE the green jobs are showing up. Thanks.

  2. Glenda Maurer Roberts says:

    We have solar panels that were turned on in April. Our May bill was -$11, June bill was $-8, and July we had to pay $15. It was really hot! We have no gas in this house, all electric, burning wood for heat. With a 25 year old who uses the dryer as an iron, the electric runs high.

  3. Ethan Lipman says:

    I’d add renewable energy world’s job board to that “best green jobs” list.

  4. Mukesh Mudaliar says:

    Relative to traditional industries, the green economy is booming.

  5. William Palfreman says:

    How absolutely moronic. Of course if the working population are burdened with taxes to subsidies “green job”, then that ill gotten money can be spent on paying people in “green industries” more. It does not change the truth that the whole society is made poorer by such actions.

    You people have to understand that scarcity is real. All resources are scarce. The only people who can make the correct judgement about what to do with those resources are their owners, just the same as only the householder can decide if spending money on concreting the cellar is a good idea or not. Green jobs are a wicked fantasy. Real resources are taken by force, given to companies who would not be able to use them in a free market, and things are done to those resources in a way that is simply not demanded by consumers when given a free choice. The outcome is job losses elsewhere, all society being made poorer, and what are laughable called Green Industries distort the political and economic life of the nation for their own benefit.

  6. Laura Graham says:

    Rebuilding a country’s infrastructure when it is falling apart is our generation’s duty to our children. Rebuilding in a more efficient way using smart green design only make sense. Will this create jobs? Of course.

  7. Patricia A. McGoldrick says:

    Great green way to spread the word for employment in this sphere!

  8. Christine Griffin says:

    Looks promising!

  9. Eric Wolff says:

    These are pretty graphics, but the ten-year period ending in 2007 is not a useful comparison to anything. The industry was so tiny that any growth looked huge, in percentage terms. The largest metro area in absolute numbers was the New York City metro area, home to some 14 million people. Green jobs accounted for 152,000 jobs. That’s nothing.

    Also, notice the 40 percent of jobs in hydro power — those aren’t new green jobs, those 100-year-old jobs working at dams with hydro turbines. This chart just doesn’t mean anything until we include the last 4 years when significant investment in solar, wind, and efficiency has taken place.

  10. Trevor Stafford says:

    William, fossil fuels are also heavily subsidized. Does that make their gains ‘ill-gotten’?

    The rest of your argument is incoherent. All resources are scarce? Err, no. But they do have marginal production costs and the cost of green resources are dropping.

    I do not understand your metaphor comparing householders to resource allocation. Who puts in the sewers and builds the highways, not the ‘householder’.

    Do you understand that jobs connected to ‘dirty’ industries are as finite and temporary as the resources they consume? In the near future those jobs will disappear and society will be left very poor indeed.

    Should they just hold on to the bitter end, then? What’s distorting the political and economic life of your nation are incredibly powerful lobbies and politicians who seek short-term and very personal enrichment at the cost of long-term competitiveness. You call green industries laughable. I don’t find your solution funny at all.

  11. George Leddy says:

    Skeptics should read the Brookings report on the clean economy for an authoritative analysis that shows the actual potential of green job growth.

  12. Steve Paulson says:

    Recycle, not only for the earth, but for your kids and their kids.

  13. Bernard A Ferret says:

    Where to find a green job? Easy answer: has 11.000 of them.

  14. Phil says:

    Great stuff. We run a blog to guide young people through the career planning and job hunt process. We shared this infographic today to encourage our readers to expand beyond the standard sourcing outlets (Monster, Craigslist etc.) into more nontraditional sources of employment. It certainly won’t hurt to look into a better paying, faster growing industry where you can work with a clean conscience.

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