You’ve probably heard of white-collar, blue-collar, and maybe even pink-collar jobs. Now there’s a new color associated with jobs: green. Any job that focuses on the environment, sustainability, or social responsibility may be classified as a green job or green-collar job. These jobs can be found in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and agriculture. Below, six green jobs with projected growth over the next decade. And if you’d like more information on green jobs, read Green Jobs for a New Economy: The Career Guide to Emerging Opportunities.
Energy auditors identify energy-saving procedures, prepare audit reports analyzing energy usage data, and inspect individual systems to determine energy consumption. Candidates with certification will have the best opportunities. Average annual wages for energy auditors were $60,610 in 2009.* Visit Association of Energy Engineers website for more information about training and job opportunities.
Wastewater engineers design water treatment facilities, water distribution systems, and storage facilities. They also analyze wastewater treatment methods and sludge disposal methods. A degree in mechanical, civil, or environmental engineering will provide a good foundation for a wastewater engineering career. Wastewater engineers earned an average annual salary of $76,590 in 2009.
Sustainability specialists measure an organization’s environmental impact, develop and track sustainability project goals, train those involved in sustainability efforts, and create reports outlining progress in sustainability projects. Sustainability specialists earned an average annual salary of $60,610 in 2009.
Recycling coordinators manage recycling programs, including the scheduling of pick-ups and drop-offs and compliance with relevant laws. Other responsibilities include budget management, waste management program development, and efficiency optimization. Recycling coordinators earned an average of $42,940 annually in 2009.
Solar Energy Systems Engineers
Solar energy systems engineers determine energy needs and design solar power systems for residential and commercial sites. Although solar power still constitutes a small portion of energy, solar engineering is a growing field. Median wages for solar energy systems engineers was $89,560 in 2009. Visit Solarpower.org for more information.
Wind Energy Project Managers
Wind energy project managers create wind energy project plans, outlining tasks and goals for projects. They allocate resources, prepare status reports, and oversee workers involved in wind energy projects. In 2009. wind energy project managers earned an average of $92,600.
*Job Description and Salary sources:
Occupational Outlook Handbook