Top 25 Green Collar Jobs in America for Sustainability
Green Collar Industry
The green industry cluster comprises the fifth largest market sector in the United States of America.
What Is "Green Collar"?
A green-collar job is understood as one that is connected to eco-friendly or sustainable products and services. Examples include recycling operations, alternate (renewable/sustainable) energy sources, clean technologies, construction via green building (LEED), organic farming, solar panel production and installation, bicycle repair, green algae oil production, and many others.
There exits an abundance of economic opportunity in green industries. In the 2010s, the green industrial cluster comprises the fifth largest market sector in the United States of America.
US legislators, citizens, and corporations have explored and begun to implement initiatives of "going green" toward sustainable energy and a cleaner earth. With environmental efforts expanding the world of work is also changing.
Past and Present
Going Green For Work
For-profit and non-profit companies are implementing recycling and community effort programs to clean up their cities and metropolitan areas. Employers are offering reimbursements for purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles or finding other means of commuting. Recyclable materials are more frequently used in business. Finding eco-friendly employment should become easier and easier at this movement continues.
By definition and nature, green jobs are local job market area positions. Because of this, green jobs can create employment opportunities for previously unemployed or underemployed people and remove them from public assistance roles. They boost local economies by keeping dollars spent at home.
Green Enterprise Zones are proposed for a local and future federal government effort for targeting economic growth; this concept will put thousands of Jobs Corps and vocational school graduates to work and remove citizens from the public assistance rolls.
Top 25 Green Jobs and Mean Salaries in the 2010s and 2020s
These 25 positions will increase most in numbers available, from highest to lowest increases (Salary data for 2010 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics):
1. Hydrologist: The median annual income is $51,080.
2. Environmental Engineer: The median annual income is $50,000.
3. Pest Control Technician: The median annual income is $30,500.
4. Conservation Biologist: The median annual income is $52,480.
5. Science Teacher: The median annual income of kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers ranges from $41,400 to $45,920.
6. Toxicologist: The median annual income is $79,500.
7. Pollution Control Technician: The median annual income is $32,000.
8. Fund-raising Director: The median annual income is $45,000.
9. Ecologist: The median annual income is $68,950.
10. Camp Counselor: The median annual income is $19,320.
11. Business Manager: The median annual income is $50,000.
12. Economist: The median annual income is $72,780.
13. Forester: The median annual income is $48,230.
14. Environmental Attorney: The median annual income for attorneys specializing in construction, real estate and land use is $70,000.
15. Community Affairs Manager: The median annual income is $56,000.
16. Environmental Health and Safety Technician: The median annual income is $35,500.
17. Landscape Architect: The median annual income is $53,120. For landscape architects in nonsupervisory, supervisory and managerial positions for the federal government, the average annual income was $74,508.
18. Waste Disposal Manager: The median annual income is $35,000.
19. Environmental Chemist: The median annual income is $51,080.
20. Corporate Waste Compliance Coordinator: The median annual income is $39,000.
21. Urban and Regional Planner: The median annual income is $45,250.
22. Agricultural Inspector: The median annual income is $35,000.
23. Wastewater Water Operator: The median annual income is $35,000.
24. Wildlife Biologist: The median annual income is $42,000.
25. Pollution Control Engineer: The median annual income is $66,000.
Popular Green Job Resources
- 1% for The Planet 1percentforplanet.com - Great source of companies making the pledge to environmental practices.
- Co-op America Green Pages coopamerica.org/pubs/greenpages - We talked about them many times. Have you joined yet?
- Eco-Employ ecoemploy.com/ - for environmental job listings.
- ECO JOBS ecojobs.com/ - Subscription based service, but may help you find the green job of your dreams. It features jobs, degree programs and internships
- Environmental Career environmentalcareer.com/ - Check them out.
- Enviro-Yellow Pages, The Yellow Pages for Sustainability and Jobs - enviroyellowpages.com/Resources/Jobs/index.html - Green job listings.
- Green Business greenbusiness.net/ - There is a small monthly fee to participate, but the information, sources and contacts are priceless.
- SimplyHired simplyhired.com/ - Type in key words such as "green, organic, sustainable, renewable" and you can find jobs available in your area.
America's First Green Job Corps in Oakland
Global Green City
Oakland, California is one of the first cities to lead the way in green jobs and industry.
Oakland, California Green Platform
In September 2006, city leaders initiated the "Apollo Challenge," to encourage the public and private sectors to adopt a green jobs platform. The first signers of this petition were an eclectic group made up of an electrician, a poet, a city council member, an activist, and a job counselor.
Oakland, California's model "Global Green City" template
Oakland's constituency asked Congressman Ron Dellums, retired to run for mayor and he agreed. He ran on the platform of making Oakland a "model city" in which the green vision, universal health care, and education led the way. Dellums decreed that Oakland would become the "Silicon Valley of green capital" because:
- Oakland is a sunny, windy city, able to lead the industry in solar and wind power.
- The "green wave" of investment is active and alive in the Bay Area.
- An advantageous court settlement of an energy lawsuit opened up millions of dollars for the city to spend on sustainability. Further, the recent bond issue provided community colleges investment dollars for green collar job programming and the greening of campus operations.
The Oakland Apollo Alliance chapter of the National Apollo Alliance, met to create 3,000,000 clean-energy jobs through 2016, offering hope to low-income people and persons of color in green industries. So far:
- People's Grocery delivers fresh organic food to low-income families.
- California Youth Energy Services trains and pays youth to complete energy audits.
- Developers via Apollo Alliance are constructing building Red Star Homes, a system of green buildings constructed by individuals released form prison. The system is transforming a previously toxic brown-field (polluted area) into a clean, green living space.
Three overall goals of this green model city effort include:
- Creating the nation's first "Green Jobs Corps" for a new green economy.
- Creating "Green Enterprise Zones" in Oakland (and then other American cities) where green businesses and green-collar employers receive incentives and tax benefits to build and hire locals. This is the overall Green Economic Development Plan, to identify ways to enable sustainable enterprises that hire locals, bringing in money and keeping it at home.
- Pursuing the "Green the Port" movement, inspired by Los Angeles, to refit the Oakland port to biodiesel and reduce toxic emissions. An infamous public health threat will be defeated by this green model for sustainability.
District of Columbia's Green Job Corps
Many other major US cities like Washington, D.C. have implemented a type of "Green Jobs Corps" effort in a first successful year -- They are creating urban green infrastructures for healthier environments and healthier economies.
Good urban ecosystem management will create tens of thousands of jobs and save millions of dollars. Green collar training provides skills in urban landscape management and a reliable, well-educated labor force.
The new urban-based Green Collar Job Training and Job Placement program you are likely to hear about soon will:
- Provide employment;
- Build clean and green communities and prioritize the need for green collar jobs;
- Teach fundamental, marketable skills in a hands-on, inquiry-based manner (the most effective way to learn);
- Nurture confidence, social skills, and respect for eco-stewardship;
- Support green businesses in their development;
- Promote green job placement via partnerships with local businesses, green employers, and employment agencies;
- Create partnerships with job-readiness, job placement, AmeriCorps, and many other workforce development efforts; and
- Supply green services and beautification to local facilities of green training courses.
- Graduate apprentices in green our training will be placed in jobs in landscaping, park maintenance, and nurseries. Partners in the DC area include Earth Conservation Corps, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation , Covenant House Washington, The Coalition for the Homeless, along with other humanitarian and green entities.
© 2007 Patty Inglish