Earning

4 fast-growing green jobs that can pay up to $90,000 a year

Twenty/20

Helping to protect the planet by promoting sustainability can also be good for your bottom line. Many eco-friendly, or green, jobs are expected to grow over the next decade, according to an April 2019 report from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many of them pay well, too.

The BLS identified 10 environmentally focused careers, which, it notes, pay "well above the $38,640 median annual wage for all occupations in 2018." These are hands-on jobs that tend to require specific expertise and training, as well as, at minimum, an associate's or a bachelor's degree. People in these professions tend to work directly with agriculture or natural resources. They may also analyze data in a lab to seek solutions to environmental problems, like water pollution or waste disposal.

Here are four green jobs with high median annual wages in 2018 that will also, BLS predicts, see "rapid employment growth."

Environmental engineering technicians

Twenty/20

Median annual wage: $50,560

After environmental engineers develop devices used to clean up pollution, technicians step in to put them to work. It's also typical for technicians to test, operate, and modify that equipment while analyzing soil or groundwater samples. Although that may include disposing lead, asbestos, and other hazardous material, according to the BLS. On the plus side, an associate degree is all that's needed to enter the field.

Environmental scientist and specialist

Twenty/20

Median annual wage: $71,130

Broadly speaking, environmental scientists and specialists look at the way humans impact the earth. That means they seek out solutions to environmental problems often caused by hazards or pollutants, like contaminated air or water supplies.

They also consult on new developments and construction, providing their expertise to identify if and how a new project poses a threat to the environment, according to the BLS.

"The biggest opportunity in construction [is developing] new forms of concrete that absorb carbon rather than give it out," says Devin Thorpe, an author, educator, and founder of the Your Mark on the World Center, which works on global issues like climate change. Concrete is responsible for 8% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, which can contribute to global warming. A master's degree is preferred for this field.

Hydrologist

Twenty/20

Median annual wage: $79,370

Hydrologists analyze how the movement of water influences the environment. Hydrologists spend time in the field collecting water and soil samples to test pH or pollution levels, and that may require hiking for long distances while carrying necessary equipment, according to the BLS.

Some hydrologists begin their careers with a master's degree. Advanced researchers typically need a Ph.D.

Atmospheric and space scientist

Getty Images

Median annual wage: $94,110

Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate to develop forecasts and tools to collect weather data and advise clients on weather-related risks.

A typical day for a meteorologist includes weather reporting and in some cases, issuing warnings on massive weather events, like hurricanes. Thorpe says big companies will want a meteorologist to manage and assess risks that the climate may pose to their business. Climate research positions need a master's degree at least and usually a Ph.D, according to the BLS.

Green jobs will indeed likely boom over the next decade, agrees Thorpe. And they can also serve as great opportunities for job-seekers: "A lot of us tend to have an altruistic desire to help others do good, and [green jobs] are a way of satisfying that desire while making a living."

More from Grow:

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns

GET STARTED

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.