Where the green jobs are at

Roxanne Estrada

Courtesy of University of Colorado at Boulder: Environmental Center
Courtesy of University of Colorado at Boulder: Environmental Center

When we recycle and bring our own water bottle we tend to feel pretty good about ourselves and that we might be making at least a small difference.  But that’s pretty much all the results are – a nice warm feeling in your heart.  But what if you could make a couple bucks and still have that nice feeling?  These are the green jobs that are popping up all around the country.  And yes they are decent paying jobs for recent graduates.  Green collar jobs are well-paid careers with positions ranging from entry-level to professionals.  The chart bellows highlights the main industries of green careers and how many new jobs were created in the short time span of one year in 2007.

The Renewable Energy Industry in the United States, 2007

First is the type of industry, second is the revenue/budget the industry had in billions, third is how many jobs were already in place and fourth is total jobs created in a year.

Wind: $3.30; 17,300; 39,600

Photovoltaics: 1.30; 8,700; 19,800

Solar Thermal: 0.14; 1,300; 3,100

Hydroelectric Power: 3.50; 7,500; 18,000

Geothermal: 2.10; 10,100; 23,200

Ethanol: 8.40; 83,800; 195,700

Biodiesel: 0.40; 3,200; 7,300

Biomass Power: 17.40; 67,100; 154,500

Fuel Cells: 1.10; 5,600; 12,800

Hydrogen: 0.81; 4,100; 9,400

Total Private Industry: 38.45; 208,700; 483,400

Federal Government: 0.65; 900*; 2,100

DOE Laboratories: 1.90; 3,800**; 8,700

State and Local Government: 0.95; 2,600; 5,800

Total Government: 3.50; 7,300; 16,600

Trade and Professional: 0.63; 1,600; 3,500

Associations and NGOs

TOTAL ALL SECTORS $42.58 217,600 503,500

*Includes Federal employees and direct support contractors.

**Includes federal employees, laboratory employees, and direct support contractors.

Source: Management Information Services, Inc. and American Solar Energy Society, 2008.