May 19, 2024

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10 Green Careers That Are Eco-Friendly And Pay Six Figures

5 min read
10 Green Careers That Are Eco-Friendly And Pay Six Figures

The general consensus is that green jobs don’t pay well, but a Deloitte study reported a growing demand for well-paying jobs in environmental sustainability. The survey found that over 40% of Gen Z and Millennials would switch jobs over climate concerns. The report added that climate change is a major concern for Gen Z and Millennials, with approximately 60% of respondents reporting feeling anxious about the environment over the past month and more than 70% saying they are actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment.

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, Resume Genius researchers also debunked the myth that sustainable green jobs offer low pay. They identified ten eco-friendly career choices for job hunters interested in green jobs and environmental sustainability. They sourced data from O*NET’s database of Green Occupations, categorized jobs into the groups “Green New & Emerging,” “Green Enhanced Skills” and “Green Increased Demand.” They cross-referenced job titles using BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook data to ensure each job offers a minimum of the national median salary of $59,540 and demonstrates faster-than-average growth.

Six Figure Eco-Friendly Jobs

Each of the positions includes the median annual wage for that job title, number of U.S. jobs, projected employment growth through 2032, degree needed and industry. The result was ten of the highest-paying green jobs in 2024:

  1. Natural sciences manager. Median annual salary (2023): $157,740. Number of jobs (2022): 86,300. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 5%. Bachelor’s degree required.
  2. Marketing manager.Median annual salary (2023): $157,620. Number of jobs (2022): 389,800. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 6%. Bachelor’s degree required.
  3. Software developer. Median annual salary (2023): $132,270. Number of jobs (2022): 1,795,300. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 25%. Bachelor’s degree required.
  4. Aerospace engineer. Median annual salary (2023): $130,720. Number of jobs (2022): 63,800.Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 6%. Bachelor’s degree required.
  5. Electronics engineer. Median annual salary (2023): $119,200. Number of jobs (2022): 299,700. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 5%. Bachelor’s Degree required.
  6. Environmental economist. Median annual salary (2023): $115,730. Number of jobs (2022): 17,600. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 6%. Master’s degree or Ph.D. required.
  7. Chemical engineer. Median annual salary (2023): $112,100. Number of jobs (2022): 20,800. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 8%. Bachelor’s Degree required.
  8. Electrical engineer. Median annual salary (2023): $106,950. Number of jobs (2022): 299,700. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 5%. Bachelor’s Degree required.
  9. Materials scientist. Median annual salary (2023): $106,160. Number of jobs (2022): 95,000. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 6%. Bachelor’s Degree required.
  10. Construction manager. Median annual salary (2023): $104,900. Number of jobs (2022): 505,800. Estimated job growth (2022–2032): 5%. Bachelor’s Degree required.

According to Corissa Peterson, career expert at Resume Genius, “With climate change being the biggest issue of our time, interest in green jobs is surging alongside the need for skilled professionals. Yet, many job seekers have reservations about pursuing a green career—including the concern that they won’t be able to achieve financial stability. Our study demonstrates that there are ample opportunities to find fulfilling and impactful careers in growing professions that can advance society toward a greener economy.”

Four Steps To Land A Green Job

1- Pursue education and certifications. According to the report, while it’s not a must to have specific degrees or certifications to enter the green job sector, those credentials can significantly enhance your qualifications and improve your chances of landing a job. “Pursuing degrees related to sustainability, such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Environmental Science, can greatly enhance your job prospects,” the findings show. “For job seekers already holding degrees or making a career transition, professional certifications like the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) or LEED Green Associate can demonstrate specialized knowledge and commitment to the field and help applicants build a qualified profile in the growing sustainability sector.”

“I advocate for approaching a transition to the climate sector as you would any career shift,” Natalie Lavery, head of marketing at Climate People, points out, adding that, “Just as a healthcare startup doesn’t require a healthcare degree for marketing roles, working in a climate company doesn’t mandate a specialized ‘green’ background.” However, Lavery underscores that showcasing a passion for climate can compensate for lack of experience in the eyes of employers. “Numerous exceptional climate cohorts like Terra, Climatebase, Voiz Academy, and One Point Five can be helpful to help job seekers in getting a lay of the land.”

2-Develop a robust skill set. The 2023 LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report shows a sharp increase in demand for green skills, with job postings growing by 22% from 2022 to 2023. Yet, the report indicates that the supply of qualified candidates hasn’t kept up. “Instead, the amount of green talent has only increased by 12% during the same period,” the researchers found. “This gap highlights a significant skills shortage in the green job market. To compete effectively, job seekers should develop a combination of hard skills, such as solar panel installation or sustainable product design, alongside essential soft skills like analytical thinking, leadership and communication,” they advise in the report.

“Sustainability is a rapidly growing field and employers are always on the lookout for top talent,” explains Sebastian Morgan, career expert at CV Genius. “But don’t feel discouraged from applying for jobs that fit your skills and experience. Focus on highlighting your transferable skills and the work you’ve done that demonstrates you’re capable of handling the duties of the role.”

3-Network with professionals in the green industry. “Networking can lead to meeting more like-minded professionals, gaining access to valuable learning opportunities and potentially even securing a green job,” the researchers reveal. “Effective ways to network include joining professional associations, attending industry workshops and conferences and interacting with local green businesses. Additionally, participating in online communities focused on green initiatives, such asBSR, ClimateAction.tech and Work on Climate can further support your career development in the sustainability industry.”

For job seekers targeting green roles or wanting to gain a presence in the field, staying active in online discussions and keeping up with the latest articles will position you as an informed voice in the green jobs sector, says Conrad Benz, hiring manager at Resume Genius. “By consistently engaging with and contributing to conversations on sustainability, you’ll enhance your visibility and also establish yourself as someone who cares deeply about the environment,” he notes.

4- Use social media to your advantage. “Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can help you learn about companies, discover job openings and make professional connections,” the researchers conclude. “To effectively use social media for job hunting, applicants can customize their profiles with relevant keywords, follow companies and use hashtags such as #greenjobs to see more job postings and engage with content in their desired career field. Also, connecting with employees and participating in initiatives like the #OpenDoorClimate movement on LinkedIn can boost your visibility and increase your chances of getting a job through employee referrals and professional networking.”

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