'Work Green, Earn Green'

Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman last week released a list of 10 environmental jobs designed to showcase the broad array of "green occupations" available in today's job market.

If you are interested in protecting the environment, a "green" career may be for you.

"You can work green ... and earn green. Environmental jobs are in demand, and with so many different types of jobs, there's one for almost anyone interested in having Mother Earth for a boss," said Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman.

For Earth Day 2000, Herman released "Work Green and Earn Green," a list of 10 environmental jobs designed to showcase the broad array of "green occupations" available in today's job market.

Making the list are jobs that require advanced degrees and jobs that require only a high school diploma and associates degree.

Some of these jobs include biological scientist, chemical engineer, environmental engineer, environmental technician, hazardous materials removal worker, park ranger, soil conservationist and wastewater treatment plant operator.

"It's not enough to love nature and enjoy working outdoors," said Herman. "Today's environmental jobs demand skills -- including good mathematics skills, computer literacy and job specific training."

Besides traditional environmental jobs like biological scientist and environmental engineer, the list also emphasizes jobs that are not typically considered "green," such as chemical engineer and urban planner.

"Some chemical engineers specialize in a particular environmental area, such as pollution control," said Herman. "Urban planners are involved in environmental issues ranging from pollution control to wetland preservation or the location of landfills."

To draw attention to environmental careers, Herman donned a hazardous remediation space suit and got a first-hand look at hazmat skills training.

She learned how to safely and correctly obtain hazardous soil and water samples, as well as search and identify buried drums that contained hazardous materials.

To learn more about these and other green jobs, Herman suggested the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. The 2000-2001 edition is available on-line at stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm.

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