Jobs In Clean Energy

JOBS IN CLEAN ENERGY

When it comes to jobs, climate change promises a mixed bag with many losses and many gains but concrete action on addressing a warming world presents a singular opportunity for more of the substantial job creation already underway.

HOW WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT THE JOB MARKET NEGATIVELY?

As the world transitions from coal, oil and gas to clean energy, jobs will clearly be lost in the fossil fuel industries. Extreme heat, a significant consequence of global warming, is hazardous to human health, so it should not come as a surprise that agriculture, in which 940 million people work, is expected to be a sector deeply affected by a warmer world. Construction, refuse collection, repair, transportation, tourism, and sports also among the other fields projected to suffer the fallout of hotter temperatures.

ARE THERE JOBS THAT WILL THRIVE?

In crisis comes opportunity, and the renewable energy sector offers a surfeit of just that. In the United States, solar jobs have seen tremendous growth. The National Solar Job Census 2022, the latest report to date, shows that as of December 2022, there were 263,883 solar workers in the U.S. This represents an increase of 8,846 jobs, or 3.5% growth since 2021. Decarbonizing the energy sector, electrifying transportation and infrastructure including homes and offices, reforestation, carbon capture and storage technologies will eliminate some jobs while creating many more. Already in 2019, Forbes was reporting that “building new renewable energy is cheaper than running existing coal plants and prices get cheaper every year.” Meanwhile, the clean energy goals mandated by both states and utilities are driving demand for workers to build renewable energy infrastructure. 

ARE YOUNG PEOPLE TRAINING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE JOBS?

In the fall of 2021, according to the NYT, some of the hottest MBA courses were about climate finance, impact investing and social entrepreneurship. This interest reflects an increase in jobs that require knowledge in environmental, social and governance, or E.S.G., topics. 

DOES AN INTERNSHIP HELP?

Getting an internship is an effective way to start. Great coaching on Intelligent.com.

ARE THESE CHANGES ACTUALLY HAPPENING?

  • By January 2023, Bloomberg was predicting that 24 million green jobs could be created globally by 2030 as tackling climate change transforms the labor market.
  • In May 2030, The World Economic Forum weighed in with support reporting that companies are facing pressure to accelerate their green transitions as just over 1 in 4 adults say sustainability is one of their top non-negotiables for a new job.
  • In July of 2023, USA Today reported that environmental and green careers are flourishing as many job seekers are looking for work in companies aligned with climate goals. A survey of Gen Z and Millennial workers found more than 40% either have or plan to change jobs due to climate concerns. A Deloitte report adds that environmental and sustainability studies are booming in colleges as increasing numbers of students want to advocate for change through where they work.

WHAT JOBS WILL BE IN DEMAND?

America will need electricians, HVAC technicians, and gardeners. Careers like wind turbine services technicians, hydrologists, atmospheric and space scientists, solar photovoltaic installers, soil and plant scientists, conservation scientists, environmental science and protection technicians, environmental engineers, and environmental scientists and specialists will all see growth.

DOES THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISH A JOBS REPORT?

The U.S. Department of Energy publishes a national jobs report every year here. The 2022 fact sheet can be found here.

JOB DIRECTORIES AND RESOURCES 

For more on where the clean energy jobs are, check out  the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. Other job directories are:

Our own ORGANIZATIONS page is another resource as some organizations such as the U.S. Climate Alliance and Wildlife Society host their own job boards.

CURRENT NEWS

Biden Builds a Domestic Green Army

By The Editorial Board 04/02/24
Who says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has no influence? Her vision to mobilize a government Climate Corps to promote green politics is becoming a reality. President Biden wants to shrink the real Army, but his budget…
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Wind and solar energy are booming in surprising places

By Shannon Osaka 11/15/23
a county named for its coal deposits — a power company is building hundreds of wind turbines. In Mingo County, W.Va., where many small towns were once coal towns, the Adams Fork Energy plant will…
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Governor Hochul Announces Clean Energy Jobs at Highest Level Ever in New York State

11/15/23
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the number of individuals with clean energy jobs in New York State reached the highest level ever with a record 171,000 workers at the end of 2022, reflecting the quality…
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Displaced Miners Find Work in Renewable Energy Boom

By Benjy Sachs 10/30/23
Dale Davis, a retired coal miner in Cadiz, Ohio, left the profession because of a lack of job security. Laid off four times in the course of more than three decades in mining, Davis has…
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Empowered State

09/25/23
Electric planes. Towns powered by waterfalls. Offshore wind farms. This isn't the far-off future of clean energy—it's what's happening right now in New York State. Join three New Yorkers as they explore the clean energy…
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Wanted: 20,000 young Americans to fight climate change

By Lisa Friedman 09/20/23
President Biden intends to use executive authority to train and employ thousands of young people in jobs to fight global warming, Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser, said on Tuesday.
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Decoding: The Green Jobs Revolution

By Jan Jaro 09/19/23
The Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (“Infrastructure Act”) are game-changing pieces of legislation that will catalyze trillions of private-sector green energy and decarbonization investment in the United States. These bills will…
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Jobs That Will Thrive in the Climate Change Era

09/15/23
The employment landscape is changing because of climate change. The future or current working lives of this generation will be, to an extent, influenced by the climate crisis as the world is pushing for a…
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New Rules Help to Answer Whether Clean Energy Jobs Will Also Be Good Jobs

By Dan Gearino 09/07/23
One goal of the Inflation Reduction Act is to make sure that jobs created by the transition to clean energy have high standards for wages and benefits. The Biden administration is now providing some specifics…
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High-speed rail is a huge opportunity for American workers

By Ray LaHood and Greg Regan 09/03/23
The Biden Administration is planning to use funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to construct multiple high-speed rail lines. This is a very big deal for American workers.
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Environmental groups recruit people of color into overwhelmingly white conservation world

By Todd Richmond 08/27/23
Arianna Barajas never thought of herself as the outdoors type. The daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in Chicago’s suburbs, her forays into nature usually amounted to a bike ride to a community park.
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America’s manufacturing boom could add 250,000 jobs in two years — report

By Emily Peck 08/21/23
Roughly 200,000 to 250,000 new manufacturing jobs could be added in the U.S. over the next two years, according to a new estimate from Goldman Sachs.
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KEY RESOURCES

Can your career actually give you the power to save the planet?

10/03/23
Electric planes. Towns powered by waterfalls. Offshore wind farms. This isn't the far-off future of clean energy—it's what's happening right now in New York State. Join three New Yorkers as they explore the clean energy…

Find your dream climate job

05/11/23
Search for roles across hundreds of exciting climate organizations. Discover companies and organizations that need your skills to achieve their mission.

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS NY

04/27/23
Looking for a job focused on climate solutions? Is your clean energy business or organization hiring? Explore our resources below and join the movement for green jobs!

How To Get An Internship

04/05/23
Getting an internship is one of the most important things you can do to start your career off right. Decades ago, a college degree would have been the only thing you needed to get hired…

Welcome to Offshore Wind Training New York

03/29/23
This website, supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will introduce you to career pathways and training opportunities in the growing offshore wind industry to help jumpstart or further your…

Nature Tech Jobs

01/13/23
The climate jobs platform focused on naturetech, nature based solutions and the biodiversity crisis. Explore jobs and organizations focusing on nature tech.

Jobs and the Energy Economy

01/12/23
An expert panel discussion about the reality of energy-related jobs and the impact of the Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts across the sector.

Welcome to eeJOBS

11/25/21
Welcome! eePRO is the global online community for everyone who cares about education and creating a more just and sustainable future. Connect with other EE professionals, participate in discussions in eePRO groups, and find and…

Jobs & Economy Archives – Yale Climate Connections

11/09/21
Stories about the economic costs of climate impacts and the economic benefits of climate solutions.

How Renewables Power 12 million Jobs Globally

10/29/21
Upward trajectory confirms the sector’s consistency in generating socio-economic gains, even during a pandemic.

Find Your Green New Career


08/13/21
When we invest 10 trillion dollars in green infrastructure, we can stop the climate crisis and create millions of Green New Careers in the process.

The Best Environmental Sustainability Jobs Boards and Sites

05/26/21
With 8.1 million job openings and 9.8 million unemployed Americans looking for work, according to Kenan Institute, a partner of University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, there is a lot of career movement in…

Statement by Rewiring America on the release of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

05/26/21
The intersection of climate progress and economic prosperity is at the heart of our work at Rewiring America and we are thrilled that President Biden has put these issues front and center in his American…

A single nuclear power plant creates more jobs than any other type of energy generation facility.

05/18/21
The nuclear energy industry is a powerful engine for job creation. The U.S. nuclear energy sector directly employs nearly 100,000 people in high-quality, long-term jobs. This number climbs to 475,000 when you include secondary jobs.…

Our Plan: Labor Leading on Climate

05/06/21
Over the next three years, CJNRC will be building Climate Jobs organizations in 11 additional states that have strong political leadership, a strong labor presence, and elected officials who are committed to making progress on…

Advancing a Pro-Worker, Pro-Climate Agenda

05/06/21
We are a growing coalition of labor unions representing 2.6 million working men and women at the center of New York’s economy. We are committed to building a clean energy economy at the scale climate…

5 Ways State and Local Governments can make climate Jobs good Jobs

05/06/21
As state and local governments pursue projects to address climate change—such as building wind farms and solar fields, installing electric vehicle infrastructure, and improving building efficiency—they should use their powers in a way that delivers…

The weekly action toolkit for the climate movement

04/30/21
Welcome back to ITM, the ACTION TOOLKIT for the climate movement. Knowing how to take action on climate is tricky, so WE BOIL IT ALL DOWN FOR YOU. We also know how busy you are,…

Mobilizing for a zero carbon America: Jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs

10/01/20
From mass unemployment to the threat of climate change, the U.S. will face a number of seemingly unprecedented challenges even after the current public health tragedy has passed. Finding needed solutions won’t be easy and…

The Growth Of America’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Jobs

08/27/20
Over the past several decades, the United States has been transitioning into a more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient economy. New business models, goods and services, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, have emerged,…

Clean Energy and Jobs

08/27/20
Energy industries and others have argued that policies to reduce carbon emissions or promote new energy sources could impose debilitating costs on the economy. Some labor and consumer groups have also raised concerns that such…

Frequently Asked Questions on Climate Change and Jobs

08/27/20
Climate change will seriously impact employment across economic sectors and regions. These impacts will result from extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, heavy precipitation, and increased occurrence and intensity of cyclones, or from…

Green Jobs in Your Community

08/05/20
Green infrastructure is often perceived as costly and "job-killing", but the case for its cost effectiveness, multiple community benefits, and job creation potential is not mere wishful thinking. Across the nation, communities are proving that…

Find Out Where the Green Jobs Are in Your State

08/05/20
This U.S. state by state section is part of a larger and evolving group of related resources that include valuable information of cleantech, sustainability and environmental employment trends and green sector by sector employment outlook…

Make climate your career

08/04/20
Discover jobs at thousands of organizations working on climate solutions.

The 7 Highest-Paying Careers in Climate Change and Sustainability

01/21/20
As it turns out, most opportunities to simultaneously do good for the planet and your bank account exist in science and management fields. To land them, you’ll need to have advanced levels of education and…

The 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

12/10/19
The U.S. Energy & Employment Report provides a unique window on the people who meet the nation’s energy needs, and identifies important trends and skill sets for the 21st Century energy workforce. Download the 2020…

How can I get a job that fights climate change?

08/01/19
But times have changed, and in 2019, high-schoolers are kicking most adults’ rent-paying, voting (or not) asses when it comes to adequate concern about the climate crisis. That makes sense, since by the time we’re…

Fact Sheet – Jobs in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Resilience (2019)

07/23/19
This fact sheet focuses on employment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in the United States and around the world. According to the 2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report (USEER), 611,000 people worked in…

Climate Corps

01/07/19
Climate Corps is a 10-month fellowship program that provides incredible professional development opportunities for emerging climate protection leaders through implementation of climate change resiliency projects with local governments, non-profits and for-profit businesses. Fellows participate in…

MORE NEWS

Democrats Say Their Climate Plans Will Create Jobs. It’s Not So Simple.

By Lisa Friedman   09/04/19  
The Democratic presidential candidates are rolling out their plans to fight climate change, and one thing is clear: Averting catastrophe is only one selling point. So far, nearly every presidential candidate claims that cutting greenhouse…
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Mobilizing for a zero carbon America: Jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs

By Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch   07/01/20  
From mass unemployment to the threat of climate change, the U.S. will face a number of seemingly unprecedented challenges even after the current public health tragedy has passed. Finding needed solutions won’t be easy and…
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Impacts of Green-New-Deal Energy Plans on Grid Stability, Costs, Jobs, Health, and Climate in the United States

12/03/19  
The energy portion of the U.S. Green New Deal Costs $7.8 trillion upfront but pays for itself over time from energy sales Costs include wind-water-solar (WWS) electricity, heat, H2 generation; electricity, heat, cold, H2 storage;…
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UN Climate Action Summit is told ? climate action, jobs and Just Transition is possible

09/24/19  
The ITUC has challenged governments at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York to make a living planet, secure jobs and decent work their ambition for action on climate change.
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How to fight climate change in agriculture while protecting jobs

By Laxmi Pant   02/14/19  
Agriculture has become a carbon-intensive endeavour. Crop, livestock and fossil fuel use in agriculture account for about 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
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