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Renewable/Sustainable Energy Careers

photo of solar panel installer

The Green Jobs Act (H.R. 2847) was enacted in 2007 to address the shortage of skilled workers in emerging environmental technologies, particularly those applicable to renewable energy and energy-efficiency industries. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, it authorized up to $125 million to establish national and state job training programs. Most jobs created through this legislation are “middle-skill” jobs, requiring more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree — or a community college associate degree.

The Obama-Biden “New Energy for America” plan also pledges to help create five million new jobs by investing $150 billion during the next 10 years in developing and alternative energy sources.

The Green Energy Career Guide offers tips on skills, degree courses and volunteer jobs valuable for finding green careers in areas as diverse as climate change, energy finance, micro-renewables, bioenergy, sustainability, and solar, hydrogen, hydro and marine energy sources.

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

According to America’s Career Infonet, related occupations include the following  salary information in Texas. Please note that education level, career experience and geographic area will greatly influence job opportunities and potential earnings.

Several of the positions below require education and career experience past an associate degree, and varied opportunities will be available depending whether you follow a construction-related path or a more specific environmentally-related career.


Job Title Hourly Rate Annual Salary

Projected Growth Through 2016

Environmental engineers $39.44 $82,000 +22%
Environmental engineering
$19.87 $41,300 +25%
Environmental sciences and  protection technicians $19.71  $41,000 +19%
Environmental compliance inspectors $23.24 $48,300 +13%
Construction managers $33.69 $70,100 +26%
Cost estimators $27.33  $56,800 +29%
First-line supervisors or managers of construction trades workers $24.96 $51,900 +22%
Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers $18.04 $37,500 +24%