Clean energy jobs paid 25% more than the national median wage in 2019 and were more likely to include health care and retirement benefits, according to an analysis of federal occupational wage and benefits data. The data, prepared for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy, and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute by BW Research Partnership, also showed that median wages in solar, wind and grid modernization projects were higher than jobs in coal, natural gas and petroleum fuels.
According to the Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a media hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019, compared with the national media wage of $19.14. Energy efficiency, the largest employer in the nation’s energy sector, pays a median hourly wage about 28% above the national median. There was a particular disparity when it comes to entry level wages, according to the report.
Specifically, the report shows that:
- Energy efficiency supports a media hourly wage of $24.44;
- Solar energy workers earn an average of $24.48 an hour;
- Wind and grid modernization jobs pay more than $25 an hour on average;
- Jobs in coal, natural gas and petroleum fuels paid $24.37 an hour.
Clean energy industries in six states paid wages at least 20% higher than the statewide median, led by California (29.2%), Texas (27.6%) and Louisiana (24.9%). Six states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) had median hourly wages above $25 an hour in clean energy, led by Massachusetts ($29.80), DC ($27.60) and California ($27.50).
E2, the American Council on Renewable Energy and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute contend that the findings underscore the opportunity to advance smart clean energy policies that create higher-wage opportunities, putting Americans back to work quickly and rebuilding a cleaner, more resilient and more equitable economy.
The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector, according to the organizations involved.