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10 Green Economy Jobs That Don't Require a 4-Year Degree

Last updated June 4, 2021

As the world learns more about climate change and its potential impacts, more corporations have begun to search for new and innovative ways to implement sustainable and eco-friendly practices into their work. This has created many new jobs in the “green economy”- an economy that seeks to reduce ecological risks and combat climate change. Green economy jobs are great for people that enjoy technology, design, math, and can think critically to solve both small and large-scale problems that arise in their work. If you’re curious about career opportunities in the green economy but aren't sure where to start, we got you covered. Here are 10 jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree.

1. Agricultural Technician

Agricultural Technicians play an important role in bringing the best food to our grocery stores and tables. They assist scientists in their experimentation and data collection on different plants and crops. They also run lab tests, keep records, and study diseases in animals. They typically work on farms or in laboratories. Agricultural Technicians typically need an Associate’s degree. Their average salary is $41,230 per year.

2. Power Plant Operator

Power Plant Operators control the systems that give electricity to homes and businesses. They are good troubleshooters, and have the necessary knowledge and training to fix electrical problems as they arise. Power Plant Operators usually only need a High School diploma, and receive extensive training to do their job effectively. The average salary for this position is $81,990 annually.

3. Stationary Engineer

Stationary Engineers control the stationary equipment that provides utilities to buildings. They clean, fix, and maintain essential equipment, such as boilers, motors, and generators. They typically work on their feet, and must take extra safety precautions when dealing with hazardous materials. $62,150 is the average annual salary of Stationary Engineers, and they typically only need a High School diploma.

4. Environmental Science and Protection Technician

Working to protect public health, Environmental Science and Protection Technicians study external causes of pollution. They often work for large companies, assisting them in abiding by Environmental Protection Agency regulations and standards. Regardless of where they work, Environmental Science Protection Technicians discover innovative ways to reduce pollution to keep the public safe and healthy. $46,540 is the annual salary for this position, and employees typically have an Associate’s Degree.

5. Forest and Conservation Technician

Forest and Conservation Technicians study environmental resources like land, water, and soil. They collect samples of these resources to study them, run tests on them, and to come up with innovative new ways to grow things while protecting natural resources, wildlife, and the environment. Forest and Conservation Technicians usually have Associate’s Degrees and earn an average salary of $45,500 per year.

6. Chemical Technician

Chemical Technicians use science and research to make quality consumer products, like potato chips, body wash, and medicine. They work in laboratories to test chemical products and processes, assisting chemical engineers in creating products for public use and consumption. Chemical Technicians earn around $49,260 per year and typically only need an Associate’s Degree.

7. Robotics Technician

Robotics Technicians operate heavy machinery to build, install, and test robotic equipment and automatic systems. They have good problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and are knowledgeable of math. They work across a variety of different industries- typically in energy or plastics. Robotics Technicians make an annual average salary of $58,350.

8. Solar Thermal Technician

The work of Solar Thermal Technicians is essential in reducing costs and energy usage for families and businesses. They install and maintain solar panels, and educate users about how they work and how to operate them. Solar Thermal Technicians typically only have an Associate’s Degree, but receive extensive on-the-job training. They make an average salary of $55,160.

9. Electrical Engineering Technologist

Using their mathematical and design skills, Electrical Engineering Technologists assist engineers in designing and building pieces of electronic equipment. They are good problem-solvers, identifying design flaws and fixing them efficiently. They typically work in factories or laboratories. Electrical Engineering Technologists usually have an Associate’s Degree, and make an average salary of $65,260.

10. Wind Turbine Service Technician

Wind Turbine Service Technicians troubleshoot and resolve any problems that arise with wind turbines. They have great problem solving skills and are cool under pressure (and don’t mind heights). Wind Turbine Service Technicians don’t need a degree, but usually need a certificate in wind energy from a technical school or community college. The average annual salary for this position is $52,910. 

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