Green jobs, defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are jobs that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
A green job is one that supports and restores the environment, contributing to a sustainable world.
Opportunities for green jobs are growing! According to the International Labor Organization, there were 9.8 million green jobs in 2017.
By 2030 there will be an additional 15-60 million new green jobs. These jobs will contribute to a green future.
Green jobs are found in almost any sector. They can be in forestry, conservation, technology, as well as construction, and business.
No matter the job or sector, building your technical and leadership STEM skills will help you in your career.
Green jobs provide environmental, economic, and social benefits for individuals, communities, and the global society.
Green jobs represent one of the fastest growing and changing segments of the global economy. This growing field can provide opportunities for workers, especially if they are creative and flexible.
Worker satisfaction is significantly higher in green sectors than in the economy at large.
Workers in green forest jobs are typically able to find a healthy work–life balance. Opportunities to work outdoors doing what they love helps these workers maintain a good quality of life.
Many green jobs pay well because they require specialized skills. Many also provide job security as they cannot be outsourced.
Green jobs help to ensure environmental sustainability for all of us. Workers in the forest sector help to balance environmental, economic, and societal needs for current and future generations.
Employers are looking for workers who can communicate and collaborate, and who are creative leaders. Use the self-assessment worksheet to analyze your leadership and people-oriented skills, as well as your technical skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
While many people think of STEM in terms of technical skills, most green jobs also require leadership skills.
This self-assessment worksheet lists ten STEM skills that encompass a wide variety of skills that can help any job seeker in the green economy, whether or not you are aiming for a STEM career.
Forest Team GO! Video highlights the variety of professionals that work together to manage forests. Forests are not just managed by foresters, loggers, and park rangers, but also gardeners, scientists, engineers, and more! Created by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute Forest Team GO! explains the sustainable cycle of forestry.
Watch five short videos to learn more about careers in forestry, including forest health specialists and natural resource specialists. Developed by Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, these videos show how the tasks of Minnesotan foresters can differ depending on the season and where they work in the state—from planting trees and conducting prescribed burns in the spring to snowmobiling to remote forested areas in the winter.
Learn about STEM research in national parks across the country by watching the America the Beautiful Video Series created by PBS NewsHour STEM Student Reporting Labs. These stories highlight research projects involving students to save bats in Mammoth Cave National Park impacted by disease, understand the genetics of bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and track bears in Yosemite National Park.
Download Natural Inquirer’s Career Cards and explore more than 250 different scientist and engineer career opportunities in forestry. The career cards include personality traits specific to the career, examples of research questions, and more! Developed in partnership with Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) and the U.S. Forest Service and available in ENGLISH and SPANISH.
Learn more about the life of a field forester and more in the booklet Find Your Path from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. For example, Joe Newton, a former professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks, now works as a Field Forester and collaborates with tree-planters, helicopter pilots, and other company staff to maintain the health of tree plantations. This booklet provides other forest-sector employee profiles—forest manager, natural resource ecologist, research economist, logging crew, millwright—offering advice, short job-descriptions, and the various twists they took on their career path.
Read about stories from youth just like you who are already working in green jobs. PLT Canada’s Green Job Youth Spotlights features youth who participated in a green job summer program with PLT Canada and are on the path to becoming future forest and conservation leaders.
Get tips and resources for pursuing government agency green job opportunities with this handy outdoor career opportunities guide. It includes how to research regional agencies, where to find job openings associated with these agencies, and how to build your experience—from seasonal jobs to volunteering—so your résumé stands out from the rest.
Explore environmental job openings through online job boards such as the Conservation Job Board, Texas A&M’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board and GreenJobs.com. Filter between categories, locations, and job type—and subscribe to receive email alerts for up-to-date job openings around the country. The Conservation Job Board frequently features different conservation-related online graduate programs in the United States.
Learn more about the work of a tree conservation ecologist in the Collaboration with Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare episode of the podcast series Planted: Finding your roots in STEM Careers. Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare works at The Morton Arboretum, located 25 miles west of Chicago. She collaborates with individuals and institutions all over the world to save the brandegee oak (Quercus brandegeei) from extinction. Dr Alvarez-Clare talks about her career path and discovering her passion in tree conservation and shares how climate change is impacting tree life cycles.
Listen to Dr. Tracy Fanara’s STEM Story as an environmental engineer, and research scientist, currently managing the Environmental Health program at Mote Marine Laboratory. The podcast series Her STEM Story, highlights the career paths for women in STEM. Dr. Tracy Fanara talks about what environmental engineering is, what a day in the life is, and gives advice for others seeking STEM careers.
Learn more about the current progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the Have We Made Progress on the SDGs? episode of the podcast series Global GoalsCast. A guest from the UN Foundation discusses how countries and cities—from Uganda to New York—are measuring their SDG progress with the help of policymakers, entrepreneurs, and individuals. This podcast shares the stories of individuals, companies, and organizations working towards a more sustainable world.
Play the About that Forest game to simulate the role of a forest manager. While managing the forests, players will face many challenges and be impacted by decisions made by others living in the forest and an uncertain environment. Every decision made will affect the shared common good of the forest community.
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