Topic Archives: Green Jobs

Earth-friendly Careers for Earth Day 2018

Only 2 more years until we hit the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970. Here at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we track jobs, including jobs that take care of our planet. The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides career information for hundreds of occupations. The Handbook has been around for almost 70 years; the first paperback edition in 1949 cost $1.75!

In honor of Earth Day, here are six earth-friendly career paths to consider:

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

What they do: Monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health.

  • 2017 median pay: $45,490 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 32,840
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 12% (Faster than average)

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

What they do: Manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.Conservation scientist

  • 2017 median pay: $60,970 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 30,340
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 6% (As fast as average)




Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

What they do: Study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems and the impact humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

  • 2017 median pay: $62,290 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 17,710
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)

Environmental Engineers

What they do: Use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

  • 2017 median pay: $86,800 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 52,640
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)


What they do: Study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.Microbiologists

  • 2017 median pay: $69,960 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 21,870
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)




Urban and Regional Planners

What they do: Develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.Urban planner

  • 2017 median pay: $71,490 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 35,310
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 13% (Faster than average)




You can explore hundreds of occupations using our Occupational Outlook Handbook. For a larger list of new and emerging earth-friendly or “green” jobs, visit the Department of Labor’s O*Net Resource Center.


Green technologies and practices among establishments

Back in June 2012, BLS published a news release with information on establishments that used Green Technologies and Practices. These technologies and practices include those that improve the establishment’s energy efficiency, reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials that result from operations, conserve natural resources, or reduce pollutants. The June 2012 release found that about three-quarters of business establishments reported the use of at least one green technology or practice during August 2011. This week BLS published a new edition of Beyond the Numbers that delved further into the data to examine the extent to which establishments used combinations of green technologies or practices. The report found that about two-thirds of businesses that used any green technologies and practices used more than one type. The report also examined the combinations of green technologies and practices that were most prevalent.

Also this week, BLS published a midyear update of consumer expenditures. This news release found that average expenditures per consumer unit for July 2011 through June 2012 were 1.9 percent higher than the 2011 annual average. All major components of household spending except apparel increased over the 12 months ending in June 2012 compared to the 2011 annual average. BLS previously published only an annual news release on consumer expenditures. This week’s release contains the first midyear update of information on consumer expenditures and covers the last 6 months of 2011 and the first 6 months of 2012.

The March issue of the Monthly Labor Review also was published this week. It features two articles that summarize 2012 trends in employment and unemployment in the United States from the monthly surveys of nonfarm establishments and households. The issue also includes articles on changes in state unemployment insurance legislation in 2012, restricted work following a workplace injury, and seasonal adjustment in the Employment Cost Index.

The employment situation of military veterans in 2012

There were 2.6 million Americans in the civilian population in 2012 who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001.  We refer to this group as Gulf War-era II veterans. It is essential to understand how these veterans and veterans from earlier periods are faring in the civilian labor market. This week, BLS published a news release on the employment situation of U.S. military veterans in 2012. This release adds to the normal information about veterans and nonveterans that we report each month in the Employment Situation.  In particular, the release provides more detailed information about the employment status of veterans with service-connected disabilities, those who were members of the Reserves or National Guard, and those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The release also features more detail about the demographic characteristics, educational attainment, occupations, and industries of veterans. The feature The Economics Daily includes an interactive chart showing unemployment rates for veterans and nonveterans from 2008 to 2012.

Also this week, BLS published a news release on employment associated with the production of Green Goods and Services in 2011. Green Goods and Services jobs are found in businesses or government entities that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. In 2011 there were 3.4 million Green Goods and Services jobs, or 2.6 percent of total employment. Both the number and percent of jobs were up slightly from 2010. The release provides additional detail on the industries and states where Green Goods and Services jobs are found.