Oregon had an estimated 51,402 green jobs in 2008, according to the new Oregon Employment Department report The Greening of Oregon's Workforce: Jobs, Wages, and Training.
The report, based on a survey of employers, found that green jobs accounted for 3 percent of Oregon's private, state government, and local government employment. Green jobs were reported in all broad industry groups and were spread across 226 occupations.
The survey defines a green job as one that provides a service or produces a product in:
1. Increasing energy efficiency
2. Producing renewable energy
3. Preventing, reducing, or mitigating environmental degradation
4. Cleaning up and restoring the natural environment
5. Providing education, consulting, policy promotion, accreditation, trading and offsets, or similar services supporting categories 1-4
The three industries with the most green jobs were construction, wholesale and retail trade, and administrative and waste services. Combined, these industries accounted for 47 percent of Oregon's green jobs.
The five occupations with the most green jobs were carpenters, farmworkers, truck drivers, hazardous materials removal workers, and landscaping and groundskeeping workers. Together these workers represented 27 percent of Oregon's green jobs.
The average wage for green jobs in 2008 was $22.61 per hour. On average, green jobs tended toward slightly higher wages than jobs across the entire economy. Occupations with higher minimum education requirements generally paid higher wages than occupations with little or no required education.
Minimum education requirements for green jobs closely mirrored requirements for all jobs statewide. Nearly two-thirds of all green jobs require no more than a high school education, seven percent require some college, seven percent require an associate degree, 18 percent require a bachelor's or graduate degree, and four percent required other education. But as is true in the rest of the economy, high-wage green jobs are more likely to require post-secondary education.
Nearly one-third of green jobs required a special license or certificate. The most common special requirements were specific to occupations, such as an electrician's license. Other common requirements were environmental cleanup or abatement certifications, equipment operator licenses and commercial driver's licenses, and prior on-the-job experience.
Employers project the number of green jobs will grow 14 percent between 2008 and 2010. Most growth will likely be in the farming, fishing, and forestry occupations, transportation and material moving occupations, and production occupations.
The report was funded, in part, with Employer Workforce Training Funds administered by the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development.
The full report is available on-line at http://www.qualityinfo.org/pubs/green/greening.pdf. Printed copies will be available soon. To request a printed copy, please e-mail lmipubs.emp.@state.or.us or call phone (503) 947-1204.