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Green growth: Employment projections in environmentally focused occupations

| April 2018

If your career plan involves caring for the planet, there’s good news: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth in occupations related to helping the environment or conserving natural resources.

In fact, the two occupations that BLS projects to have the fastest employment growth from 2016 to 2026—solar photovoltaic installers (105-percent increase) and wind turbine service technicians (96-percent increase)—involve “green” work. However, as the data show, the number of new jobs is projected to be relatively small in these and some other rapidly growing green occupations.

Projected employment change in environmentally focused occupations

The data also show that each of these occupations had a median annual wage that was higher than the $37,690 median for all workers in 2017. The typical education required to enter the occupations varies.

Workers in green occupations focus on the environment in different ways. Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians, for example, build and maintain systems that create energy from renewable sources—that is, sources that don’t become depleted. Other workers help to clean up pollution. Still others advise organizations or individuals on ways to protect and preserve natural resources.

Information about these and hundreds of other occupations is available in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH describes what workers in the occupation do, how to enter the occupation, what the projected job outlook is, and more.

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Green growth: Employment projections in environmentally focused occupations," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2018.

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