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

Debunking the Myth of Low-Paying Green Jobs

1. **Changing Perceptions**:

   - While the common belief is that green jobs are poorly compensated, a *Deloitte study* revealed a rising demand for well-paying positions in environmental sustainability.

   - The study highlighted that over 40% of Gen Z and Millennials are willing to switch jobs due to climate concerns.

2. **Environmental Worries**:

   - Significantly, around 60% of respondents from Gen Z and Millennials expressed anxiety about the environment in the past month.

   - Furthermore, more than 70% mentioned actively working to reduce their environmental footprint.

3. **Earth Day Insights**:

   - In light of Earth Day on April 22nd, *Resume Genius* researchers challenged the notion of low pay in sustainable green jobs.

   - They identified ten eco-friendly career options in the categories of "Green New & Emerging," "Green Enhanced Skills," and "Green Increased Demand," ensuring a minimum salary of $59,540, exceeding the national median, and faster-than-average growth rates through data from O*NET’s Green Occupations and BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.  

Six-Figure Eco-Friendly Jobs

Each of the positions includes the median annual wage for that job title, the number of U.S. jobs, projected employment growth through 2032, the 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, “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 a 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.”

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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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