To the traditional job-class divisions of white, blue and even pink collar, add a new one: green collar.

Don’t laugh. Green-collar jobs –  i.e. jobs in environmental areas – may be where major job growth lies ahead in the United States, according to the outplacement consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The firm’s predicting a growth rate of 1.3 million jobs a year through 2030 in engineering, architecture and a host of other fields. Jobs in alternative energy and energy-efficient industries created nearly 8.5 million jobs in 2006 when “indirect jobs” like accounting and truck driving are taken into account, according to Challenger. That number will swell to 40.5 million by 2030, the company predicted.

And, yes, there are already several job sites specifically aimed at jobs and the environment, Challenger reported. For instance, Green Dream Jobs ( had 380 job postings recently. Traditional job sites like,, and Yahoo include many more green-collar jobs, Challenger added.

Lack of qualified job candidates could be a hurdle for growth in the field, the company said. But it pointed out that colleges and universities already are offering degrees ranging from a J.D. in environmental law to an MBA in sustainable enterprise.