Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Analytical Economics

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Robert Mohr


As the United States continues to adopt sustainable practices and policies to combat climate change, it is important to consider how these green changes affect the workforce. The term ‘Green Jobs’ has become the colloquial term to refer to sustainable occupations, and despite its popularity in the literature, it often has different meanings in different settings. Our first goal was to explore these definitions and establish one to contextualize our research. We used data from the Occupational Information Network, and used their green job definition, which classifies jobs as green if, and how, they are impacted by the greening economy. Next, we investigated how green jobs compare to non-green jobs. Understanding the different levels of education, experience and training required for the different types of jobs could be useful for policymakers hoping to increase green job counts in their area. We found that directly green jobs tend to need more experience and training than non-green jobs, while indirectly green jobs need less education. This suggests that green jobs are often more specialized than non-green jobs. Finally, we explored the distribution of green jobs across states. We found that political affiliation and oil reserves have the strongest correlation to green jobs. Our research supports previous findings about the differences between green and non-green jobs and extends prior research by describing the characteristics of states that are related to green job levels. It also provides policymakers with an idea of how the greening economy might affect their workers. We propose that further investigation could find which specific green jobs are driving these differences and could establish stronger links between state characteristics and green job levels.