Has your high school guidance counselor ever told you that you could become an environmental economist? How about a Biomass Plant Technician? Or a wind operations manager?
These careers, which once seemed a little idealistic, reserved, for example, for eco-friendly people or granola chewers, are now part of a multitude of well-paying “green jobs”.
The current transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy requires systemic changes that will result not only in new products and services, but also in changes in production processes, business models, required skills and the tasks involved in existing professions. Green jobs need green skills – those attributes which include the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to live, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
Never before have these green skills been so imperative. The need to shift to more environmentally sustainable patterns of production and consumption has spurred new jobs in areas such as pollution mitigation and waste prevention, environmental remediation, sustainable supply and energy production and management.
Green careers are finally taking center stage
According to the government-run O*NET occupational database, the median annual salary for a worker in one of the green jobs is $76,530, about 31% higher than a national median salary of $58,260. $.
The World Economic Forum says decoupling fossil fuels is more important than ever. And it’s happening – solar and wind have grown by orders of magnitude and now account for more than 10% of the world’s electricity. It also means that these two technologies must increase their market share by several factors – as the electricity system as a whole also develops – in order to significantly decarbonize energy. To do this, these and other renewable industries must attract new workers.
A new analysis from Promoleaf reveals a number of optimistic and useful findings regarding the green jobs sector. Which sectors need green workers now? Professions include those which contribute directly to the study, protection and improvement of the environment or which are exercised with due regard to the environment and its effects on the work or industry in question.
- Renewable energy, such as wind power engineers;
- Durability, like sustainability specialists;
- Agriculture, such as agricultural engineers;
- Nature protection, such as foresters;
- Environmental sciences, such as biologists and environmental scientists;
- Teaching, such as environmental science teachers;
- Pollution mitigation, such as environmental compliance inspectors; and,
- Waste management, such as recycling and recovery workers.
The 50 jobs that fell under the definition of “green” employ up to 875,000 people in the United States. At that figure, they make up about 0.6% of the U.S. workforce, a statistic that Promoleaf credits less as an indication of the extent of green jobs and more as a testament to how many are needed.
- Green jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 8.6% over the next decade, with 114,300 new jobs expected to be added to the green workforce over this period.
- Eight of the 10 highest paying green jobs offer salaries of $100,000 or more per year.
- Topping the list are natural science managers – a shorthand profession for managers of science laboratories and R&D departments in companies – with a salary of $137,900 a year.
- With the exception of wind energy engineers ($107,800) and environmental economists ($105,630), the list of top 10 green careers is largely made up of occupations associated with management and operations development. renewable energy.
- Wind turbine service technicians and solar PV installers rank among the top two jobs for the highest growth rates over the next decade.
- Among the green jobs with the most postings in May 2022 are occupations in environmental science, occupational health and safety, and recycling.
- The overall growth rate of green jobs higher than that of the overall workforce is +7.7%.
- The best green career states are California and Texas, and the best green career cities are Los Angeles and Chicago.
- Alaska, Colorado, and Washington have green jobs that make up nearly 1% of the workforce, or ≈ 40% more than expected based on the national average.
- Iowa is in the top 10 states, with about 12,100 workers (0.8% of the workforce) in green jobs. The most common green job in the state is “wind energy development manager,” which corresponds to the fact that 57% of Iowa’s electricity is generated by wind turbines.
- States like Arizona and South Carolina only offered green jobs to 0.4% and 0.3% of the workforce, a very low concentration compared to the national average of 0.6%.
Case study: an environmental economist
Environmental economics is concerned with the study of the economics of natural resources at both ends of the supply chain spectrum – their extraction and use and the wastes released into the environment. They also study how economic incentives harm or help the environment and how they can be used to create sustainable policies and environmental solutions.
Environmental economists can study or develop policy recommendations regarding:
- Externalities or unintended effects on the environment or human health resulting from economic activity;
- Permit trading, also known as “cap and trade,” is a policy tool to combat the release of greenhouse gases that cause global warming;
- Cost-benefit analysis of environmental regulations;
- The economics of biofuels, waste management, land cleanup and other environmental technologies and industries; Where,
- Valuation, which aims to assign monetary values to natural resources and deals with ecosystem services provided by nature, such as the prevention of erosion by trees or the filtering of water by plants.
When environmental economists perform analyzes related to environmental protection and the use of the natural environment, such as water, air, land, and renewable energy resources, they assess and quantify the benefits, costs, incentives and impacts of alternative options using economic principles and statistical techniques. .
Do you want to know more about the field of environmental economics?
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