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Growing Jobs in Environmentally Focused Occupations

If your career plan involves caring for the planet, there’s good news. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth in many occupations related to helping the environment or conserving natural resources.

In fact, two of the occupations that BLS projects to have the fastest employment growth from 2020 to 2030, wind turbine service technicians (68% increase) and solar photovoltaic installers (52% increase), involve “green” work. However, as the data show, the total number of new jobs is projected to be relatively small in these and some other green occupations.

Data chart on select green jobs with projected growth.

Chart 1 data below

Each of these occupations had a median annual wage that was higher than the $45,760 median for all workers in 2021. The typical education required to enter these occupations varies.

Workers in green occupations focus on the environment in different ways. Wind turbine service technicians and solar photovoltaic installers, for example, build and maintain systems that create energy from sources that don’t become depleted. Other workers help to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution. Still others advise organizations or individuals on ways to protect and preserve natural resources.

Data chart on select green jobs with projected growth.

Chart 2 data below

You can find information about these and hundreds of other occupations in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, which describes what workers do, how to enter the occupation, what the projected job outlook is and more. Check it out and start charting the path to a green job future today.

 

Chart 1 data:

Selected green occupations with projected employment growth, 2020–30

Occupation

New jobs, projected 2020–30 (numeric growth)

Environmental scientists and specialists, including health

7,300

Solar photovoltaic installers

6,100

Wind turbine service technicians

4,700

Environmental science and protection technicians, including health

3,600

Environmental engineers

1,900

Conservation scientists

1,500

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians

1,300

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.

 

Chart 2 data:

 

Selected green occupations with projected employment growth, 2020–30

Occupation

Median annual wage, 20211

Employment, 2020

Employment, projected 2030

Typical entry-level education

Environmental engineers

$96,820

52,300

54,300

Bachelor's degree

Environmental scientists and specialists, including health

   $76,530

87,100

94,400

Bachelor's degree

Conservation scientists

   $63,750

25,300

26,800

Bachelor's degree

Wind turbine service technicians2

   $56,260

  6,900

11,700

Postsecondary nondegree award

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians

   $48,390

17,300

18,600

Associate's degree

Solar photovoltaic installers3

   $47,670

11,800

17,900

High school diploma or equivalent

Environmental science and protection technicians, including health

   $47,370

34,200

37,800

Associate's degree

Note: None of these occupations typically requires work experience in a related occupation for entry.

1 Wage data exclude self-employed workers.

2 This occupation typically requires long-term on-the-job training to attain competency.

3 This occupation typically requires moderate-term on-the-job training to attain competency.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.

 

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