Tree hugging is not just for volunteer activists, it's for corporate America as well! Despite what you might think, you can earn a decent salary while saving the planet. Green collar jobs can be found in both the private and public sectors; they can even be found in jobs that you would have never considered to be "green". The following are some of the higher paying green collar jobs according to 2008 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and actual job listings.

  • Environmental Engineer
    The job description involves: designing, developing, testing and implementing new technology, infrastructure, manufacturing strategies, and products to produce clean energy, efficient technology and renewable energy sources. Depending on whether they're employed in commercial or public organizations, environmental engineers earn an average of $77,920 per year. (Learn more in What Does It Mean To Be Green?)

  • Physicist
    For this profession, you have to initiate, conduct and evaluate research, and serve as an expert regarding energy production from condensed matter. Physicists in this field have an average annual salary of $106,440.

  • Environmental Scientist
    These scientists provide expert advice in the clean-up of environmental construction sites. In addition, they research and design plans and correct contaminated sites. The average annual salary is $65,280.

  • Chemist
    Working with chemicals might not seem very "green", but it can be. Chemists perform research in the fields of biology, energy, fusion energy, environmental sciences or nuclear physics. Using this information, they propose and evaluate new policies, programs and products related to efficient, renewable energy and environmental safeguards. The pay isn't too shabby either, averaging $71,070 per year.

  • Sustainability Director
    This is a fairly new corporate position in many different companies. The sustainability director is in charge of initiating and managing programs that create value while improving the environment. Examples of projects may include reducing energy consumption or marketing sustainability efforts to clients and investors. The salary for this new and prestigious position is $120,000 to $150,000.

  • Agency Director
    The Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance employed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, oversees the licenses of organizations involved in hydropower energy. This executive level position is responsible for both technical and administrative functions of the agency. The annual salary ranges from the handsome $117,787 to the very generous $177,000.

  • Energy Technology Program Specialist
    These strategists are also Federal Policy Advisors. They counsel government agency officials and the legislature on the feasibility, cost effectiveness, and other concerns. This critical role impacts decision making regarding energy resources. Salary is $102,830 to $153,200.

  • Analyst/Financial Specialist
    Government program analysts establish policies and coordinate programs. Financial specialists control program budgets and other activities to implement new green programs. Analysts and financial specialists operate in all government agencies including those dealing with energy, the environment and education. Salary for these jobs average $84,780 per year.

  • Economist
    Maybe some good can come of marrying economics and environmentalism. Being an economist can be green by conducting research and analysis of the impact of efficient, renewable energy on the economy at local, state and federal levels. Economists' salaries average $90,830 per year. (Learn more about the market side of environmentalism in Save The Earth: Become A Capitalist.)

Educational sources are available to help prospective green collar workers obtain in-demand credentials. Positions are available for both emerging workers and experienced leaders. Well qualified green collar workers are expected to continue to attract lucrative compensation. (Learn more in For Companies, Green Is The New Black.)

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    10 Reasons It Is Time to Look for a New Job

    Learn 10 good reasons for switching jobs, such as major life changes, ethical concerns, job description creep and upwards mobility.
  2. Taxes

    Payroll Taxes: Picking Apart Your Paycheck

    Here's what gets deducted from your pay, what your employer pays and where your payroll taxes actually end up.
  3. Professionals

    5 Things to Request If You Can't Get a Raise

    The job market is improving, but many companies are still running on tight budgets which means no raises. But there are other forms of compensation.
  4. Personal Finance

    5 U.S. Cities With High Paychecks and a Low Cost of Living

    Consider these U.S. hubs where workers get paid competitive salaries while enjoying a high quality of life due to a low cost of living.
  5. Economics

    6 Signs That You’ve Made It To Middle Class

    A government task force pinpointed the six financial aspirations that characterize life in the middle class.
  6. Professionals

    The Highest-Paying Engineering Careers

    Learn more about some of the highest-paying jobs in field of engineering. With just a bachelor's degree, most engineers in these jobs make well over $100,000.
  7. Personal Finance

    5 Reasons to Use a Financial Advisor

    Nobody wants to pay for advice, but the help of a pro can be invaluable.
  8. Economics

    Why Jobs Reports No Longer Predict the Fed

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report is thought to be one of the most important signals of major change in forthcoming U.S. monetary policy.
  9. Personal Finance

    How to Stop Being Underpaid

    Once you suspect your employer isn't paying you fairly, it's time to make the case for a raise. It takes research and practice, but it can be worth it.
  10. Investing Basics

    How Goldman Sachs Transformed Utah Into the 'Wall Street of the West'

    Learn how Goldman Sachs has built a substantial presence in Salt Lake City. Read about another major financial institution also located in the area.
  1. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do financial advisors need to meet quotas?

    Most financial advisors are required to meet quotas, particularly if they work for firms that pay base salaries or draws ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between AGI (adjusted gross income) and gross income?

    In the United States, individuals pay taxes based on their adjusted gross income, or AGI, rather than their gross income. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How is marginal propensity to save calculated?

    Marginal propensity to save is used in Keynesian macroeconomics to quantify the relationship between changes in income and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can minimum wages contribute to a market failure?

    The minimum wage acts like a price floor on labor, reducing the supply of jobs available to a level below the market-clearing ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  4. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  5. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  6. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
Trading Center