Green jobs pay well: For those looking to launch careers in environmental fields, it’s good news that it’s possible to align purpose with profit.
Most jobs related to environmental protection in US paid a higher wage than the national median of $38,640 in 2018, according to recent wage data released by US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
But well-paid environmental jobs make up less than 1% of the country’s total job count, making them tougher to land. For example, there were almost three million registered nurses, 306,000 financial analysts, 230,000 programmers in US in 2018, but only 9,000 atmospheric and space scientists, which is the best paying occupation among all environmental jobs identified by the BLS.
Environmental jobs are also not the fastest growing occupations. Atmospheric and space scientists are expected to grow 12% between 2016 and 2026, at about the same pace as financial analysts, while software developers should grow by 24% during the same period.
The fact that the green jobs aren’t abundant may mean that only a handful of passionate environmentalists may eventually land them. But you don’t necessarily have to study environmental science to protect the planet: A chemical engineer can develop new battery technologies that would make an economic case for gas car owners to switch to electric ones; a food scientist can reduce the cost of cell-cultured meat so that people would cut their beef intake.