The idea of green jobs is still fairly new, but what we do know is that these environmentally-friendly occupations aren’t going away anytime soon.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on Employment in Green Goods and Services, which found that there were 3.1 million green jobs throughout the nation in 2010. That equates to 2.4 percent of the nation’s total employment.

Why should you care about green jobs? Because they’re only going to grow as technology continues to evolve and they’re only going to get more important as we figure out how to deal with climate change.

Here are the top industries where you can find green jobs, as well as a few examples of environmentally-conscious occupations within those industries:

  • Manufacturing – The manufacturing industry had 461,800 green jobs, account for 4 percent of the industry’s employment. Popular green jobs within the manufacturing industry include:
    • Iron and steel workers who use recycled materials.
    • Air conditioning installers and repairers who use energy-saving equipment.
    • Workers at plants that build hybrid and energy efficient vehicles and parts.
  • Construction – The construction industry had 372,100 green jobs, making up 6.8 percent of the industry’s employment. Popular green jobs within the construction industry include:
    • Weatherization and retrofitting workers that help homeowners and businesses save on energy costs.
    • Workers who build power plants and other large factories that run on renewable energy.
    • Employees that build and install solar panels, windmills, and other energy-efficient equipment.
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services – This industry had 349,000 green jobs, accounting for 4.7 percent of its overall employment. Popular green jobs within the professional, scientific, and technical services industry include:
    • Engineers who design energy-efficient equipment such as solar panels and windmills.
    • Architects who draw up blueprints for energy-saving buildings.
    • Consultants who help other companies figure out how to reduce energy costs.
  • Administrative and waste services – The administrative and waste services industry had 319,900 green jobs, making up 4.3 percent of the industry’s employment. Popular green jobs within the administrative and waste services industry include:
    • Waste collection workers who reuse and recycle trash.
    • Employees who work at recycling centers and plants.
    • Workers who clean up public spaces.
  • Utilities – The utilities industry had 65,700 green jobs, accounting for 11.9 percent of the industry’s employment. Some popular green jobs within the industry include:
    • Nuclear power and hydroelectric power plant workers.
    • Workers at innovative plants that use biomass, wind, and sunlight for energy.
    • Geothermal employees who figure out how to harness the Earth’s heat.
  • Government – This industry had 860,300 green jobs, making up 4 percent of the industry’s employment. Popular green jobs within the industry include:
    • Workers who operate public transportation.
    • Employees of departments who enforce environmental regulations.
    • Rangers and other employees of local, state, and national parks.

These are just some examples of the green jobs that are out there. Chances are there are more green jobs in the industry you want to work in, so check out your options and consider going green with your career.


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