High Paying Green Jobs

Need a green job that pays well? A conservation scientist may work for you (provided you have the correct training, of course). (Photo: Steve Jurvetson [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Proponents of green jobs have touted the trend as a pathway out of poverty for millions of Americans. On the other side of the coin, naysayers claim that green jobs come with a significantly reduced salary and will only add to the country’s economic woes. However, not all green jobs are entry-level and moderate paying. Forbes magazine has a list of 10 green jobs that come with a six-figure salary.

  • Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Climatologist/Environmental Meteorologist
  • Renewable Energy Manager
  • Environmental Specialist/Scientist
  • Senior Urban Planner
  • Commercial/Industrial Designer
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Senior Hydrologist

“In further proof that it's possible to support the environment while living a comfortable lifestyle, postings for environment-related jobs on TheLadders.com, a job search site for $100,000-a-year and more jobs, have increased by 25% over the past year.” Source: Forbes

Unfortunately, TheLadders.com requires a paid subscription to view any of their job listing and since I’m not in the market for a new job, I decided to do some salary research on other websites. According to the California Association of Professional Scientists, a high-ranking environmental scientist at the University of California Lawrence Berkeley Labs earned more than $120,000 in 2008.

The Forbes article explains that attorneys practicing environmental law can easily have salaries in excess of $145,000 per year, similar to attorneys practicing other specialties.

As you can see, these jobs require advanced college degrees. If you aren’t already in a position to enter one of these ten six-figure green jobs, check out the green college honor roll for their eco-focused degree programs. Learning about sustainable design or environmental science at an institution that practices what they preach is a great way to expose yourself to the benefits of a green job, first-hand.