What is a Green Job?

A green job is one that involves work in economic activities related to either of the following: reducing the use of fossil fuels, decreasing pollution and green house gas emissions, increasing efficiency, recycling materials, and developing and adopting renewable sources of energy.

 Renewable Energy
This sector covers activities related to developing and using energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. This sector also includes traditional, non-renewable sources of energy undergoing significant green technological changes (e.g., oil, coal, gas, and nuclear).
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list):Solar Energy Systems Engineers, Wind Turbine Service Technicians, Electrical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Bio-fuels Processing Technicians

Energy Efficiency
This sector covers activities related to increasing energy efficiency (broadly defined), making energy demand response more effective, constructing "smart grids," and other energy efficient activities.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list): Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics/Installers, Energy Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Boilermakers, Energy Auditors, Weatherization Installers and Technicians

Greenhouse Gas Reduction
This sector includes activities related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through approaches other than renewable energy generation and energy conservation.  It also includes generation of electricity from nuclear sources and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in electricity generated from fossil fuels.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list): atmospheric and space scientists, climate change analysts, environmental economists/engineers/technicians, logistics analysts, nuclear power reactor operators, transportation managers

Pollution Reduction & Cleanup
This sector covers activities related to reducing the emission of pollutants and to removing pollutants and hazardous waste from the environment.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list): biochemical engineers, chemists, chemical technicians, fish and game wardens, floor sanders, natural science managers, painters
Recycling and Waste Reduction
This sector covers activities related to solid waste and wastewater management, treatment, and reduction, as well as processing recyclable materials.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list):Hazardous Materials Removal Workers, Recycling and Reclamation Workers, Recycling Coordinators, Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

Agricultural & Natural Resources Conservation
This sector covers activities related to reducing the environmental impact of agricultural production and improving natural resources conservation, including reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, soil and water conservation, sustainable forestry, land management, and wildlife preservation.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list): agricultural inspectors and technicians, forestry workers, landscape architects, organic farmers, wildlife biologists

Education, Compliance, Public Awareness, and Training
This sector is concerned with activities that increase public awareness of environmental issues, develop and enforce environmental regulations, and provide training in the application of green technologies and practices.
Sample Job Titles (not a comprehensive list):compliance managers, construction and building inspectors, farm management advisors, training and development specialists, urban and regional planners

  • Businesses directly involved in producing green products or services  – directly involved in producing green products and services, such as jobs disposing hazardous waste, building energy efficient structures, or manufacturing low-emission, high-mileage vehicles.
  •  Businesses indirectly involved in “green” production processes  – involved in environmentally-friendly production processes, regardless of the product or service provided, such as jobs installing Energy Star HVAC systems, manufacturing mercury-free batteries, or growing USDA-certified organic produce. 
  • Businesses involved in the supply chain to produce green products or services  – involved in producing a product or service specifically to be used in making another green product, such as jobs producing wind turbine blades, manufacturing catalytic converters, or producing fertilizers approved for USDA-certified organic agriculture.