08/07/2011 12:18 am ET Updated Oct 06, 2011

Green Jobs And Where To Find Them (PHOTOS)

Even though the U.S. unemployment rate remains high and job concerns are on the minds of many Americans, some sectors, including many green jobs, may have an optimistic future.

A recent study by the Brookings Institute found that the growth of green jobs may have even accelerated during the recent global recession, and industries "ranging from wind and solar energy to smart grid applications and professional energy services -- grew twice as fast as the rest of the economy.” However, according to HuffPost blogger Mark Muro, green jobs are still more of an “appropriate ambition than a large source of near-term employment.”

For environmental supporters and proponents of green-collar jobs, some of the expected budget cuts from the recently passed debt limit bill are alarming. The extent of cuts won't be decided until later this year, but the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department may lose funding to a number of their programs, reports The Week. Many worry what will happen to green industries if lawmakers “gut the EPA.” According to Ben Schreiber, a tax analyst with Friends of the Earth, “the clean-energy revolution" will become "a casualty of these cuts.”

Despite this, there are green jobs available and efforts are being taken to connect underprivileged jobseekers with them. California currently leads the nation in green jobs with over 300,000 currently employed in green industries.

There is little question that green jobs do exist, but it is still unclear what actually constitutes a green job. According to TIME, this ambiguity means that “advocates on both sides of the issue can run wild.”

For workers who hold one of America's 2.7 million “clean” jobs, their paychecks may be larger than those in other sectors, a Brookings study recent found. For those looking to become a part of the emerging green economy, check out this list of some green jobs and online resources that could help you find them:

Green Jobs

Want to see more? Check out this Fast Company map to see where many of the nation's green jobs are located.