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Analysis of green O*NET-SOC clusters

June 29, 2009 by Joshua Wright

A couple of weeks ago we linked to a neat report put out by the O*NET Resource Center, called “Greening the World of Work.” The report used O*NET codes to establish a starting point for understanding green jobs.

o-net-cover.jpgIn order to run labor market analysis, link to staffing industries, and establish trends over time, we have translated the coding over to the Standard Occupational Classification system, or SOC codes. Because O*NET allows for further detail not captured with SOC codes, there will be occasional instances where there is not an exact one-to-one correspondence between the two datasets. For instance, O*NET coding for Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers, (49-9021.01) and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (49-9021.02) are lumped together under the SOC code of 49-9021, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers. These overlaps are rare, but should be noted when trying to assess regional growth or demand.

Click on the links below for cluster analysis using national county-level data. Also, check out this post to learn how the clusters can be used in the application process for the recently announced DOL-ETA job training grants.

The first table (1-A) deals with “green increased demand” occupations, as classified by O*NET, for the Renewable Energy Generation cluster; the second table (1-B) relates to “green enhanced skills” occupations for the same cluster.

Click on the tables for a full-sized image




  • While overall there’s been a loss of nearly 120,000 jobs in this cluster from 2007-2009, there are a several occupations showing positive growth. The largest, when new and replacement jobs are factored in, is Geological and petroleum technicians (15%).
  • A general rule of thumb is that the more education a worker has, the better chance he or she will have landing a job. However, that’s not always the case with this cluster. Most engineering occupations are showing negative or small growth, while Geological and petroleum technicians (which requires an Associate’s degree on average) and Service unit operators (moderate on-the-job training) have been growing at a good pace. Both are middle-skill occupations.
  • Meanwhile, educational attainment is tied to increased wages in this example. Most of these occupations that pay $30 per hour or more require lots of experience or a Bachelor’s degree.

For sector 2 data, click here

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