Home / Economy / Articles / How many energy jobs are there in the US?

The energy sector is a critical part of the US economy, offering employment opportunities across industries.

In 2022, 8.12 million people had energy-related jobs, a substantial contribution to the national employment landscape — roughly 5% of all jobs in 2022[1], and exceeded the number of people employed by federal and all state governments combined.

This figure includes people in a spectrum of roles across electric power generation, transmission, distribution, storage, fuels, energy efficiency, and motor vehicles. As of 2022, the energy sector has recovered 71% of the jobs lost in 2020’s pandemic-driven economic downturn.

Approximately 38% of these positions, or 3.1 million, are classified as clean energy jobs by the Department of Energy (DOE). These jobs focus on energy conservation, alternative energy development, pollution reduction, or recycling.

Energy jobs occupy an increasingly important role in the nation’s energy transition, as the US works toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Which states have the most energy jobs?

Texas leads the nation in energy jobs, employing over 936,000 individuals in the energy sector, roughly five out of every 100 working-age people. Oil and natural gas production alone employed more than 280,000 people.

California comes next at over 911,000 energy jobs, with just shy of four out of every 100 people working in the energy sector. Driven by its renewable energy commitment, California leads all states in energy efficiency jobs – which focus on reducing energy use and costs, and enhancing sustainability – with nearly 80% more of these jobs than any other state.

Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio have high job numbers in car manufacturing and maintenance, employing over 600,000 people and accounting for almost a quarter of all car-related energy jobs in the country.

Wyoming, North Dakota, and West Virginia have large oil, natural gas, coal, and energy distribution/storage industries. They led the country in jobs per capita, with fewer energy jobs than other states but larger percentages of their workforces employed in the energy sector.

Which industries have the most energy jobs?

The energy sector workforce is distributed across technologies. From largest to smallest share of nationwide energy employment, they are:

  • Motor vehicles (32.2%)
  • Energy efficiency (27.3%)
  • Transmission, distribution, and storage (16.9%)
  • Fuels (12.7%)
  • Electric power generation (10.9%)

Each of these sectors includes other industries defined by the DOE. For example, the election power generation sector includes jobs in traditional fossil fuel and solar and wind energy production. Similarly, the motor vehicles sector has separate categories for gas and diesel vehicles instead of hybrid and electric cars.

The largest contributor to energy jobs is gasoline and diesel vehicle manufacturing and maintenance, which employ over 2 million people — just under 25% of all energy jobs nationwide. This includes manufacturing (vehicles and parts), design, shipping, and repair.

How have energy jobs grown over time?

Between 2016 and 2022, total energy jobs grew by 3.1% overall (though that number might have been higher if not for the sudden loss of energy jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic).

The number of US energy sector jobs grew 3.8% from 2021 to 2022, outpacing overall US employment, which increased 3.1% in the same period.

Electric vehicle manufacturing has grown faster than any energy sector, increasing by 219% since 2016. In 2022, it employed over 134,000 people, compared to just under 42,000 in 2016.

Embed on your website

In the electric vehicle sector, the number of jobs focused on battery-powered electric vehicles increased by 28,366 (27%) from 2021 to 2022, the fastest growth of any energy technology, almost 17 times faster than gasoline and diesel vehicle employment. Clean vehicles accounted for 59% of all net new jobs in motor vehicles.

Embed on your website

Renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind have also experienced substantial growth, playing a key role in job creation. The solar industry employs 346,143 individuals, while the wind sector supports 125,580 jobs.

Clean energy technology jobs, including solar and wind power, accounted for nearly 87% of net new power-generation jobs in 2022. As the economic impact of renewables increases, the evolution of the US energy landscape becomes clearer.

How many renewable energy jobs are there?

In 2022, there were 3.1 million clean energy jobs across the country. This is an increase of more than 114,000 since 2021, or growth of 3.9%.

Clean energy jobs are found in sectors that may support the transition towards a "net-zero" future.

How is the government creating clean energy jobs?

Clean energy jobs include roles in renewable energy, grid technologies, energy storage, traditional electricity transmission and distribution, nuclear energy, energy efficiency, biofuels, and electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and their components. These jobs made up more than 40% of total energy jobs in 2022.

Over the last several years, the federal government has passed bills to expedite the growth of renewable energy jobs to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

In November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act dedicated $1.2 trillion to various infrastructure projects, with over $75 billion aimed at clean energy initiatives. This funding is allocated for electric vehicle charging infrastructure ($7.5 billion) and DOE projects ($62 billion) to enhance domestic supply chains, promote energy efficiency, and support clean energy development.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act committed around $370 billion to clean energy and climate efforts over the next decade. This act introduced tax credits for new clean energy projects, including investments in advanced vehicle production ($2 billion), industrial emission reductions ($5.8 billion), home energy efficiency rebates ($9 billion), the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund ($27 billion), and clean energy loans ($40 billion).

The same year, the CHIPS and Science Act authorized $67 billion for semiconductor production, clean energy research, and infrastructure improvements at National Labs.

These laws attempt to update the US electrical grid, enhance manufacturing, support STEM careers, increase clean energy access, address pollution, and generate jobs nationwide.

Where does this data come from?

Data for this article comes from the US Energy and Employment Jobs Report (USEER). Launched in 2016, the USEER provides an annual snapshot of employment trends across the US energy sector. It compiles comprehensive data on jobs within various energy industries and technologies, including insights into unionization rates, demographics, and employer growth perspectives.

By merging extensive employer surveys with public labor data, the USEER delivers detailed national and state-level employment statistics, highlighting the energy sector's growth compared to the broader US workforce.

Learn more about where emissions in the US come from, and get data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

United States Energy and Employment Report Main Page
United States Energy and Employment Report 2023
United States Energy and Employment Report 2017

Among those in the labor force who worked that year.