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. Entrepreneurship

    Elon Musk Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Read more about Elon Musk, the South African immigrant turned technology and engineering entrepreneur and inventor worth $13.6 billion.
  2. Retirement

    Why are 401(k) contributions limited?

    Find out why contributions to 401(k) retirement plans are limited, including what the current contribution limits are and how limits encourage participation.
  3. Stock Analysis

    Why Walmart Raised Its Minimum Wage

    Read about the potential pros and cons of Walmart's promise to increase its minimum starting salary to $10 an hour.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Millennials Guide: Freelancer vs. Employee

    How to decide if joining the gig economy is right for you.
  5. Savings

    All About Income

    Income is the money you or a business earns by providing goods or services, or through investments.
  6. Insurance

    Healthcare Premiums Keep Rising, But Salaries Aren’t

    Learn how college and health insurance costs have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated, and how, given the necessity of these services, consumers are stuck.
  7. Professionals

    Career Advice: Management Consulting Vs. Law

    Compare the career opportunities between management and law using such criteria as skills needed, starting salary and work-life balance.
  8. Taxes

    Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Severance Pay

    A look at the top ways to lessen the tax burden on severance pay.
  9. Professionals

    8 Justifications For Sky-high CEO Salaries

    Why are CEO salaries so astronomically high? There may be more to the story than you think.
  10. Personal Finance

    8 Profitable Majors For The College-Bound In 2015

    Choose your college major wisely to justify the rising cost of higher education. Here are 8 majors that lead to good jobs and high salaries.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Back Pay

    The amount of salary and other benefits that an employee claims ...
  2. Payroll Card

    A prepaid card onto which an employer loads an employee’s wages ...
  3. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

    A federal law designed to ensure equal pay for all workers, regardless ...
  4. Cash Bonus

    A lump sum of money awarded to an employee, either occasionally ...
  5. Society of Actuaries (SOA)

    The SOA is a professional organization for actuaries in the U.S., ...
  6. Foreign remittance

RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. How does the always be closing (ABC) strategy benefit a salesperson's sales funnel?

    It is good practice in sales to always be closing, because it's common for a salesperson's sales funnel to be leaky. When ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some common functions of business intelligence technologies?

    Although business intelligence technologies have some common functions, their main function is to support a company's decision-making ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!