20 Green Jobs (and what they pay in California)

(ref: Green Jobs Guidebook, www.edf.org/cagreenjobs)

Here’s a partial list of jobs that can help save our planet while providing opportunities for career growth even in a struggling economy.

  1. Solar Lab Technician — Performs a variety of tests on solar devices, examines test samples and reads blueprints, diagrams, instruments and operational instructions. Salary: $19-$25/hr. Minimum education: Associate’s degree in a related field.
  2. Solar Energy Engineer — Perform site-specific engineering analysis and evaluation of energy efficiency utilizing building simulation software. Salary: $75K – $80K. Minimum education: Bachelor’s Electrical Engineering.
  3. Wind Turbine Sheet Metal Worker — Perform all operations necessary to make, install, and repair a wide variety of sheet-metal products related to wind turbine production. Salary: $14-$22/hr. Minimum education: Apprenticeship or Trade School.
  4. Wind Turbine Mechanical Engineer — Responsible for design, development, testing of all aspects of mechanical components, equipment, and machinery. Salary: $90K+. Minimum education: Bachelor’s Mechanical Engineering.
  5. Biologist – Marine/Fisheries — Plan and conduct evaluations of factors affecting California’s fish populations and provide oversight of fisheries monitoring programs. Salary: $25-$32/hr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in Biology
  6. Environmental Health and Safety Lead — Ensure compliance of plant operations with federal and state requirements relating to air emissions, solid waste, hazardous waste, waste water treatment, and chemical management. Salary: $81K-$96K/yr. Minimum education: Master’s or equivalent in Environmental Science, Environmental Management, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry or Biology.
  7. Soil Conservation Technician — Provides technical assistance to land users in planning and applying soil and water conservation practices. Salary: $16-$24/hr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in a related field.
  8. Forestry Conservation Worker — Perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect forest, forested areas, and woodlands, and build erosion and water control structures and leaching for forest soil. Salary: $15-$22/hr. Minimum education: HS or GED.
  9. Forestry Restoration Planner — Collaborate with field and biology staff to oversee the implementation of restoration projects and to develop new projects. Salary: $73K-$84K/yr. Minimum education: Master’s in Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science or other related areas.
  10. Energy Conservation Representative — Inspects homes of utility customers to identify conditions that cause energy waste and suggests actions. Salary: $20-$32/hr. Minimum education: HS or GED.
  11. Energy Efficiency Finance Manager — Project-manages energy efficiency projects and policies and conducts relevant market analysis and research. Salary: $90K/yr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in accounting, finance, business administration.
  12. Civil Engineer — Deals with overall design, construction, and maintenance of green buildings. Salary: $73K-$84K/yr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering.
  13. Commercial Green Building and Retrofit Architect — Participate in all phases of design for commercial and educational buildings. Salary: $90K-$107K/yr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in Architecture.
  14. Commercial Energy Field Auditor — Conducts energy audits in commercial businesses and identify areas of improvement. Salary: $12-$14/hr. Minimum education: Associate’s degree in Building Materials, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Energy Management.
  15. Train System Operator — Work as a train conductor or train system engineer. Salary: $20-$24/hr. Minimum education: HS diploma or GED.
  16. Climatologist — Conducts climate change research and data analysis. Salary: $65K-$85K. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in scientific or engineering discipline.
  17. Environmental Scientist — Conducts research to identify and abate/eliminate sources of pollutants that affect people, wildlife, and their environments. Salary: $65K-$85K. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in scientific or engineering disciplines.
  18. Recycling Center Operator — Performs daily operations at a Recycling Center, including materials processing and customer service. Salary: $11-$18/hr. Minimum education: none.
  19. Environmental Technician — Develops methods and devices used in the prevention, control and correction of environmental hazards. Salary: $40K-$53K/yr. Minimum education: Associate’s degree in Engineering.
  20. Geothermal Operations Engineer — Collect and process information on geothermal field and plant performance and diagnose problems with geothermal wells. Salary: $70K-$80K/yr. Minimum education: Bachelor’s in Engineering.

You can read more about these and other Green Jobs by visiting the Environmental Defense Fund website at http://www.edf.org

Also try checking out 35 Colleges with a Strong Concern for Social Justice and Service-Learning.


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