Yesterday,  Clean Edge, Inc., a clean-tech research and publishing firm, released Clean Tech Job Trends 2009. The report provides an investigation of how clean-tech jobs in the U.S. and globally are changing the face of industry, where the hotbeds of growth exist, and whether current clean-tech salaries are living up to their ‘green-over blue-collar’ promise.

The report provides the following  information:

  • US manufacturing jobs in transition with old-line losses replaced by new clean-tech manufacturing gains
  • Leading clean-tech companies around the globe
  • The top five clean-tech job sectors
  • A study of median clean-tech compensation levels
  • Five trends reshaping clean tech
  • Emerging models for financing clean-tech growth

According to Clean Edge research, the top 15 metro areas in the U.S. for clean-tech job activity, based on an analysis of job postings, investment and patent activity, and other data, are as follows:

1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
2. Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA
3. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA
4. Boston-Worcester-Lawrence-Lowell-Brockton, MA-NH
5. Washington, Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV
6. Denver-Boulder-Greenley, CO
7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA
8. Portland-Salem, OR
9. Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI
10. Sacramento-Yolo County, CA
11. San Diego, CA
12. Austin-San Marcos, TX
13. Pheonix, AZ
14, Detroit-Ann Arbor, MI
15. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX

“Unlike the early days of computers and IT, the clean-tech economy is a highly dispersed phenomenon, with no single place, industry, or professional demographic controlling the sector,” said Ron Pernick, co-founder and managing director of Clean Edge and co-author, The Clean Tech Revolution. “This is apparent in the famerly shuttered manufacturing facilities, often in hard-hit industrial areas, that are now opening their doors to make products like wind turbines and electric vehicle batteries. Similarly, clean-tech deployment and growth has become an economic cornerstone for nations looking to innovate and compete in the 21st century– from the likely suspects of Japan, Germany, and the U.S. to emerging powerhouses such as China, South Korea, and even oil-rich Abu Dhabi.”

Five Trends Reshaping Clean Tech

1.  Energy efficiency companies are hiring. Despite the bleak job market,energy efficiency companies are hiring.  The trend is driven by volatile energy costs and an abundance of stimulus money.    More jobs are being created via building retrofits per million dollar investment, than jobs created in coal, wind, or solar.

2.  The utility industry is facing widespread retirements and the need to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by clean technologies. The utility industry is facing a labor shortage that will likely force them to intensify hiring and training efforts.

3. Clean-tech educational initiatives are rapidly sprouting up and expanding. With government making the investment, universities, community colleges, trade groups, companies and students are all taking advantage of the stimulus funds being made available to retrain a new workforce for the clean tech sector.

4. Localization is driving clean tech manufacturing. Shipping costs, financial incentives, carbon constraints, and other factors, along with regional market demand and government support are playing strong roles in clean tech manafacturing localization and the creation of clean-tech manufacturing jobs.

5. The Grid is The Next Big Thing in IT Jobs. Deployment of the upgrades to electrical grids with required a great deal of manpower for not only traditional grid workers, but also IT professionals. IT verterans of leaving traditional industry positions to take on roles at smart grid start-ups and some ares launching their own companies.

The Top Five Sectors for Clean-Tech Job Activity In The United States

1. Solar
2, Biofuels & Biomaterials
3. Conservation and Efficiency
4.  Smart Grid
5.  Wind Power

Are Clean-Tech Professionals Getting Paid?

Clean Tech Job Trends 2009, coproduced by Payscale, a provider of employee compensation data, also provides the first comprehensive look into clean-tech compensation. The report provides a range of positions and their median pay levels worldwide, from mid-level LEED-certified architect ($58,700) and smart grid hardware design engineer ($87,700) to entry-level wind turbine technician ($52,600) and solar energy system installer ($40,000). From an entry level energy field auditor($48,500) and an entry-level molecular biology research associate ($46,600), to a mid-level accountant working in the renewable energy sector($46,400) and an an entry level mechanical engineer ($63,600).  The survey is a coproduction of Clean Edge and PayScale (,  To take the ongoing job survey or to access more detailed clean-tech compensation reports, visit

“Clean-energy jobs are already growing faster than other sectors, but it is forecasted that we are just at the beginning of the clean-tech job creation era,” says Clean Edge contributing editor Clint Wilder. “This is the greatest opportunity for wealth, job creation, and global economic competitiveness in a generation — but we need vision, intelligence, and resources to guide our course in expanding this sector.”

Download the full Clean Tech Job Trends 2009 report

Recommended Green Career Resources:

SIX STRATEGIES TO FIND YOUR GREEN CAREER – This free ebook by Carol McClelland PhD is a step-by-step process helping green career seekers use their passions, interests, experience, and training to plug into the green economy.

THE COMPLETE GREEN JOB GUIDE 2009: SECRETS FOR GETTING THE JOB YOUR WANT – Discover How To Unlock The Booming Green Economy For Your Job Search And Future Financial Security with the 10 Breakthrough Steps You Need To Know To Find And Land A Green Job Quickly.

CLEANTECHIES RESUME AND COVER LETTER WRITING SERVICE – Cleantechies help job seekers ease the transition from mainstream to Cleantech. Learn More!

UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies The UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies helps students gain an understanding of the theory and practice of sustainability. This program is available for both full time students and working professionals. Sustainability Studies looks to discover and examine humanity’s philosophies and practices, past and present, as they relate to the natural and social world, and consider what new or alternative philosophies and practices might be capable of providing a sustainable, balanced, and ethical future for the planet and its inhabitants. Click here, for more information about the UMassOnline Certificate in Sustainability Studies.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • David Bourbon

    Glad to hear this are improving somewhere. As a consultant looking for green design and remodel projects in the North Texas residential market, pickings have been slim.