The Straight Scoop on Shale

A project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund

Jobs in the Sustainable Economy

Renewable Electricity Generation: Geothermal, Wind, Water, Solar

Wind Technician: “Install, inspect, maintain, operate and repair wind turbines”. Entry level; preceded by two-year technician training program. (1)

Land Acquisition Specialist: “Help developers and project owners obtain land for new wind development, and administer the land after it has been purchased or leased. Coordinate with permitting specialists, lawyers, engineers and scientists to ensure that the wind farm is built on time and within budget.”

Mid-level/Advanced. Bachelor’s degree or higher in business, real estate, law. (1)

Aerospace engineers “design, test, and supervise the manufacture of turbine blades and rotors, and conduct aerodynamics assessments. They are frequently involved in site selection, working closely with meteorologists to determine the optimal configuration of turbines at a wind farm site.” $94,780 median wage.

Energy-Saving Homes, Buildings, and Manufacturing:

Manufacturing/Government Energy Management

Energy Auditor: “Weatherization of a home, commercial, or other building is the process of improving the energy efficiency and health and safety of the structure through targeted retrofit measures. A trained energy auditor performs a comprehensive, computerized evaluation of the building and recommends various improvements based on testing and visual inspection. These improvements may include air sealing and insulating, duct sealing, heating and cooling system improvements, installation of energy efficient appliances and lighting, and various health and safety measures.”
Also, Installer; Crew Leader.

Weatherization Training Centers “are specialized training organizations that focus on teaching whole-house building science to an on-the-ground workforce that can immediately put training into practice. Weatherization Training Centers are located around the country. Many centers travel to deliver training to areas without a local center.”

Sustainable Transportation: Vehicles, BioEnergy, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY CAREERS: “Widespread adoption of fuel cells could create 180,000 new jobs in the United States by 2020, and 675,000 jobs by 2035”. Mechanical engineers, Chemists, Chemical engineers, Electrical engineers, Materials scientists, Laboratory technicians, Factory workers, Machinists. Industrial engineers. Power plant operators, Power plant maintenance staff, Bus, truck and other fleet drivers, Vehicle technicians, Fueling infrastructure installers, Hydrogen production technicians, Trainers, Educators, Insurers.

BIOENERGY: “Abundant, renewable bioenergy can contribute to a more secure, sustainable, and economically-sound future by providing domestic clean energy sources, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil,  generate U.S. jobs, and revitalize rural America.”

Feedstocks: Farmers, Seasonal workers, Mechanical engineers, Harvesting equipment mechanics. Equipment production workers, Chemical engineers, Chemical application specialists, Chemical production workers, Biochemists, Aquaculture technicians, Agricultural engineers, Genetic engineers and scientists, Storage facility operators

Conversion: Microbiologists, Clean room technicians, Industrial engineers, Chemical & mechanical engineers, Plant operators

End Use: Station workers, Construction workers, Codes & standards developers, Regulation compliance workers, Consultants

Transport of Feedstocks & Biofuels: Truck drivers, Truck filling station workers. Pipeline operators, Barge operators, Railcar & Train station operators.

“ALL ABOUT THE JOBS: A broad coalition of clean energy groups launched a campaign 2/22/17  to highlight the three million jobs their industries support nationwide. Those figures, cited from DOE’s U.S. Energy and Employment Report , mean American clean energy jobs are equivalent to employment opportunities in retail stores and represent more than double the number of building construction jobs. Among those involved in the campaign: Advanced Energy Economy, American Council on Renewable Energy, AJW, Alliance to Save Energy, American Wind Energy Association, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Energy Storage Association and Solar Energy Industries Association. Environmental Entrepreneurs also released a fact sheet about the three million jobs.”


Vertical Farmer

Herbal Medicine practitioner

Natural Products

Home Textiles Retail Store Owner, selling products made of natural fibers

Green Chemistry

Potato starch cutlery distributor

Owner of mushroom-based packaging manufacturing company  


Eco-tour Operator

Trail construction and maintenance

Native Gardens Landscape Architect

And many more types of jobs….

Sources include: (1)

Compiled by League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, 2017