In Oregon, we define a green job as one with essential job duties that provide a service or produce a product in any of these categories:
- Increasing energy efficiency
- Producing renewable energy
- Preventing, reducing, or mitigating environmental degradation
- Cleaning up and restoring the natural environment
- Providing education, consulting, policy promotion, accreditation, or other services supporting the above categories
We estimate a total of 43,148 green jobs spread across 4,339 different employers in Oregon during 2010. Green jobs were found in all major industries and all broad occupational groups. Oregon's green jobs made up 3 percent of the state's workforce in 2010, which totaled 1,577,692 jobs in privately owned firms, state government, and local government combined. Green jobs also constituted 3 percent of the state's workforce in 2008.
The construction industry reported the largest number (9,912) and highest share (23%) of green jobs in Oregon (Graph 1). About one-fourth of all green jobs statewide were found in construction. This industry also reported the largest number of green jobs statewide in 2008. Four other industries accounted for at least 10 percent of all green jobs in 2010. Natural resources and mining reported 8,014 green jobs (19%), followed by 5,738 in state and local government (13%), 5,313 in manufacturing (12%), and 4,876 in professional and technical services (11%). Together these five industries accounted for more than three-fourths of all green jobs.
As with the industry numbers, most green jobs in 2010 were found in relatively few occupational groups. The top four occupational groups with green jobs made up more than half (55%) of the statewide total (Table 1). Construction and extraction occupations accounted for the largest number and share (6,839 or 16%) of all green jobs. The next largest occupational groups for green jobs include: farming, fishing, and forestry (5,857, 14%); life, physical, and social science (5,609, 13%); and installation, maintenance, and repair (5,254, 12%).
Although construction topped both the industry and occupational employment numbers in 2010, the number of green jobs in the construction and extraction occupational group sits well below the construction industry total. Employer survey responses indicate that roughly 31 percent of green jobs in the construction industry can be attributed to workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Two examples of green jobs in the installation, maintenance, and repair occupational group employed in the construction industry include some HVAC mechanics and installers and wind turbine service technicians.
|Green Jobs by Occupational Group, Oregon Statewide, 2010|
|Occupational Group||Green Jobs||Share of All Green Jobs|
|Construction and Extraction||6,839||16%|
|Farming, Fishing, and Forestry||5,857||14%|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science||5,609||13%|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair||5,254||12%|
|Transportation and Material Moving||3,732||9%|
|Architecture and Engineering||2,698||6%|
|Business and Financial Operations||2,582||6%|
|Office and Administrative Support||958||2%|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance||954||2%|
|Education, Training, and Library||384||1%|
|Sales and Related||376||1%|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media||311||1%|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related||291||1%|
|Computer and Mathematical||188||less than 1%|
|Health Care Practitioners and Technical||119||less than 1%|
|Community and Social Service||54||less than 1%|
|Personal Care and Service||13||less than 1%|
|Legal||11||less than 1%|
|Top Occupations in Oregon With Green Jobs, 2010|
|Occupational Title||Green Jobs|
|Forest and Conservation Workers||2,786|
|Business Operations Specialists, All Other||2,251|
|Forest and Conservation Technicians||1,989|
|Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse||1,853|
|Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall||1,542|
|Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC) Mechanics and Installers||1,441|
|Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand||1,087|
|Architects, Except Landscape and Naval||1,007|
The split dynamic between green jobs that require no degree and those that require postsecondary education is associated with the concentrations of green jobs by industry and occupations in Oregon. Two of the top five green-job industries tend towards related work experience as the competitive requirement for job candidates, while two others favored higher education. Roughly one-half of all green jobs in construction and natural resources and mining require related work experience. Meanwhile, about three-fourths of professional and technical services green jobs require a bachelor's or advanced degree. In state and local government, more than one-half of all green jobs reported have baccalaureate or advanced degree requirements. Manufacturing employers reported somewhat more mixed educational requirements.
The statewide median wage in 2010 was $16.31 per hour, meaning half of all jobs statewide earned above this high-wage threshold. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of all green jobs paid more than $15.00 per hour, and 53 percent paid at least $20.00. Therefore green jobs were slightly more likely to fall into the high-wage category than non-green jobs.
Wages in green jobs, as with all jobs, differ by occupation. Generally, green jobs that require postsecondary education pay higher wages (Graph 3). About four-fifths of all green jobs with a competitive education requirement of a bachelor's or advanced degree paid $25.00 per hour or more, along with roughly two-fifths of all green jobs that require some college, an associate degree, or a vocational certificate. By comparison, one-fifth of green jobs requiring related work experience and no degree paid at least $25.00 per hour, and 3 percent of green jobs with no educational requirement earned an hourly wage at or above $25.00.
Most jobs in the wind turbine service technician and solar panel installer occupations required education beyond high school. Eighty-one percent of wind service turbine technician jobs reported and 64 percent of solar panel installers required some level of education beyond high school to be competitive for positions. Wind turbine service technicians earned an average hourly wage of $26.21 in 2010, above the average of $23.07 for all green jobs. The average for solar panel installers was $17.63.
By occupational group, employers anticipate the largest reductions between 2010 and 2012 (Graph 4) in farming, fishing, and forestry (-530 green jobs); life, physical, and social science (-528); and installation maintenance and repair (-504). The biggest gains in green jobs are expected in management (482), production (259), building and grounds cleaning and maintenance (211), and protective service occupations (210).
For more information on green jobs in Oregon, visit our Green Info page at www.QualityInfo.org/Green.