Green Jobs: What Are They and Do I Fit In?

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Green Jobs: What Are They and Do I Fit In?

“Environmentally conscious and determined to make a positive impact on the world.” Sound like you? Fabulous. Are you also wondering if you need to pursue an environmental science degree to land your dream green job? –You don’t.

The green industry celebrates all backgrounds and acknowledges that environmental advocacy doesn’t always have to come from a student with an environmental science background, making this in-demand industry appealing to students from a variety of specialties.

What Is A Green Job?

We generally associate work that promotes environmentally conscious decisions and aims to improve a variety of environmental issues such as water and air pollution, recycling, energy, and gas as green jobs.

A more technical definition from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) defines green jobs as,“decent [i.e. fair and dignified] jobs that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment by incorporating one or more of the following aspects: improving energy and raw materials efficiency; limiting greenhouse gas emissions; minimizing waste and pollution; protecting and restoring ecosystems; and supporting adaptation to the effects of climate change.” Green jobs are growing in popularity, and as time moves on, the lines that define green jobs and regular jobs are likely to disappear.

Ways To Think About Fitting Into The Green Economy: 

Where do you want to live? You’ve got a higher chance of stumbling across a green job in Alaska, Colorado, or Washington.

PromoLeaf’s Green Jobs Report 2022 lists the top states where green jobs employ the most relative to the national average: Alaska, Colorado, and Washington -all states where green jobs are nearly at 1% of the workforce, or approximately 40% higher than expected based on the national average.

What do you want to study? Engineering is most likely to lead you directly to a green career, but if that’s not really your thing, you still have plenty of other green paths to consider.

Careers to consider learning more about:

Create your own green job

  • Occupational Health & Safety Specialists, $74,870 per year
  • Urban Planner, $78,500 per year
  • Conservation Scientist, $63,750 per year
  • Environmental Lawyer, $127,990 per year
  • Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers, $48,860 per year

2021 medium salary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Perhaps you end up in a career pathway that isn’t entirely aligned with your aspirations to join the green movement – that’s ok. How about thinking about working for a company who has roots in trying to make the world a better place?

There are several ways to seek out employers with great environmental initiatives. However, consider Grow Ensemble’s advice on what to look for when a company claims their operations sustainable:

  • Transparent & ethical sourcing of materials
  • Environmentally conscious manufacturing practices
  • Waste-conscious packaging (recyclable, as little material as possible)
  • Shipping options that negate the carbon footprint
  • Diverting landfill waste at their products end-of-life

The planning tools on the Encourage app can help you chart a path toward your dream green job. Visit to learn more and download the app!

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