A sustainability job refers to a career that focuses on the safety of the natural environment. Green jobs are positions that manufacture products and offer services that reduce the use of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions and restore various ecosystems.
A green job, whether on-site or remote, should focus on reducing the company's contribution to global warming by promoting recycling practices, reducing pollution, and promoting renewable energy.
However, a green job could also refer to jobs created by economic sectors dedicated to sustainability1. It should be a decent job that uses environmentally friendly processes to produce eco-friendly products and services. A sustainability job could be in any economic sector if it promotes practices to achieve a sustainable future.
This article explores various green career paths and the benefits of working with a corporate sustainability business or a brand with a sustainable business strategy. It also addresses how to get your green career started.
An environmental sustainability consultant advises on problems like soil contamination, water pollution, and air quality. As an environment and sustainability consultant, you will work with government bodies, corporate clients, and NGOs to determine the impact of their practices, services, and products on the environment.
You're to help them become more sustainably responsible. You will additionally ensure compliance with environmental regulations, proper waste management, and natural resources management.
The job description for a sustainability analyst is similar to that of an environmental and sustainability consultant. As a sustainability analyst, you are to research to identify the patterns in energy consumption and costs.
You're to recommend suitable energy conservation methods to improve your clients' environmental and economic growth. Further responsibilities may include conducting multiple analyses on planning, designing, and implementing programs to promote sustainability in organizations.
Also, analyze environmental data to identify trends and predict future events to take preventative action.
As an environmental scientist, your job is to encourage sustainable development by conducting research, developing policies, and implementing environmental management policies. This green job requires you to use your knowledge of natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.
Sometimes, an environmental scientist also advises law markers and influential people in the policy-making department on actions to take regarding environmental problems. Moreover, you can guide corporations in minimizing their environmental impacts.
Ecologists use their knowledge and understanding of biology, ecology, and environmental science to understand the intricate relationships and interactions between organisms and their environment. As an ecologist, you will study the environmental impact of human activities and solve sustainability issues.
Ecologists are often at the forefront of conservation research and the development of conservation policies. Ecologists can work with organizations like NGOs, government agencies, universities, and private companies.
Environmental geologists study the interaction between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and human activities. They often use advanced equipment, like drones, to take aerial photographs. Geologists can focus on solving surface and groundwater problems or work with soils to further improve sustainable agriculture.
This sustainability job also focuses on natural disasters like earthquakes and landslides. Ecologists often work in environmental consulting firms and government agencies. As an ecologist, you can also work for oil and gas companies.
As an urban planner, you help various organizations develop plans for efficient land use. You'll use your knowledge of land use, zoning laws, transportation systems, and other infrastructure to guide the development of communities.
An urban planner’s tasks include research, data analysis, consulting with stakeholders, developing plans, and ensuring the implementation of those plans.
Urban planners often work with government officials, developers, and community members to address specific problems in urban areas. These issues include affordable housing, transportation infrastructure, and environmental concerns. Furthermore, as an urban planner, you will develop plans to accommodate the growing population.
As an environmental engineer, you can work in the engineering sector of various industries and companies. Environmental engineers create solutions to environmental problems using their understanding of biology, chemistry, engineering, and soil science.
Environmental engineering aims to prevent harmful chemical and biological contaminants from entering the environment. Engineers also detect pollutants in the environment and trace them back to their sources.
Corporate sustainability jobs and companies often require environmental engineering to avoid or reduce the production and release of pollutants. Engineering green jobs require you to conduct technical audits, undertake site assessments, evaluate environmental impacts, and recommend solutions.
Climatologists explore the relationship between the atmosphere, environment, and human beings. They gather data from weather stations and satellites for media outlets. They also research the processes behind weather events.
As a climatologist, you get to apply your knowledge of climate change to problems like global warming, agriculture, and natural disasters. You analyze historical climate information to help predict near-future trends. Consequently, working as a climatologist allows you to mitigate the effects of human activities on climate change.
This sustainability job is in government agencies, private agencies, and NGOs. It can also be in engineering and environmental consulting firms.
A sustainability manager is responsible for implementing sustainable strategies during a construction project and corporate sustainability companies. Sustainability managers help businesses reach their sustainable future by aligning their goals with sustainability practices.
As a sustainability manager, your job is to note areas where businesses could be more sustainable. You undertake assessments to gauge a business’s sustainability performance. Also, you are to ensure legal compliance, research the latest technologies to reduce carbon emissions, and establish relationships with the media to help promote corporate social responsibility projects.
There are various green careers under sustainability engineering. Sustainability engineering is related to environmental engineering. You design and implement engineering solutions to reduce waste, pollution, and natural resource usage.
As a sustainability engineer, you help companies improve their business strategy, making it more sustainable. You will also help them search and use eco-friendly materials for construction and engineering services. There are other green jobs under sustainability engineering. They are:
A renewable engineer creates renewable energy systems. They focus on creating clean energy technology like solar panels and wind turbines. However, a sustainable transportation engineer focuses on developing transportation systems with minimal environmental impact.
An energy-efficient engineer's job is to improve energy efficiency in building structures, manufacturing processes, and transportation. They also monitor energy consumption patterns, identify areas of inefficiency, and provide solutions to reduce/end the inefficiencies.
A sustainable agriculture engineer helps create technologies and practices to promote sustainable agriculture. Accordingly, they aim to reduce the environmental impacts of agricultural practices, save natural resources, and enhance food production with proper resource management and water conservation.
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An agroforest keeper works for the forestry industry. Their work includes conservation, agricultural management, soil science, and forestry management. As an agroforest, you will study wetland areas, observe plants and animals, and collate samples.
This sustainability job involves creating an inventory of plant and animal species, detailed plans for ecological restoration, and preparing reports on research findings. Further, your responsibilities can include writing grants or proposals to get funding for forestry conservation efforts.
A Director of Sustainability, also known as Chief Sustainability Officer, creates business/company policies to improve their environmental sustainability principles. The director's responsibilities focus on reducing the pollution of the company's operations in the environment.
They help increase the sustainability of organizations' processes and operations. They analyze the past and present to predict future practices and watch over environmental impact. However, they are also aware of and adhere to the needs of profitability, ecological performance, and carbon footprint reduction while preserving productivity.
Why should you change your career path to green careers? There are many justifiable reasons and benefits. In the current world, people work without caring about the impact of their operations on the environment. We do any job supporting our needs.
One of the benefits of a green career is a wide-range job market. There are many green jobs across various sectors like communication, management, technology, renewable energy, transportation, etc. Moreover, green jobs offer the opportunity to combine economic growth and environmental sustainability, reducing global warming and financial problems.
With green careers, you get a chance to contribute to the greatest good of the world. Green jobs also contribute to the energy, agric, design, transport, and tourism industries. They minimize waste, pollution, and global warming.
Professional experience, education, and skills are essential for a green job. First, your educational background must be adequate. Some jobs only require a high school diploma, while others require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. So, what do you study to get the green career of your dreams?
Studying environmental science gives you a pass to a large percentage of green jobs available. Other courses you could study are agricultural science, public health, forestry, biology, marine science, land management, and environmental economics. You can apply to any green jobs mentioned above with a bachelor’s degree in any of these courses.
Some job roles in certain businesses require advanced degrees. Generally, these allow you to choose a specific career path. A postgraduate degree in renewable energy, climate, conservation and biodiversity, and various sustainability disciplines will improve your chances of getting a high-value green career.
If you only have a high school certificate and are interested in furthering a green career, you can enroll in specialized sustainability courses. There are adequate sustainability courses on educational platforms like Coursera.
Institutions like MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford also offer online courses on sustainability and the environment. Getting a bachelor’s degree or professional certification from a sustainability program shows you have knowledge that can help you decide on actions to reduce global warming and improve environmental practices.
A sustainability career requires skills like:
You need to have writing skills because many environmental jobs involve writing. It could be grant writing, report writing, or publishing papers. Writing skills enable you to collate research results or solutions to achieving a sustainable future.
It would help if you also could think critically and analytically. A lot of these jobs involve fieldwork, experiments, and research. You need to be able to analyze the data provided to attain a sustainable result soon. It is especially crucial in jobs that require business strategy.
IT skills help you explore your career path efficiently. With these skills, you can operate computer systems and specialized programs and produce computer models to showcase predictions about the near future.
Furthermore, most jobs today require good communication, interpersonal skills, and teamwork. You are not an asset to a business or organization if you can not communicate clearly and work well in a team. Good communication skills also help build a strong work community and consumer relationship.
Lastly, it would be best to adapt quickly to your work environment. Some environmental jobs require fieldwork or temporary locations. It would also help if you had a flexible schedule to attend impromptu appointments and be adaptable enough to get used to the uncomfortable environment.
Environmental and sustainable jobs are an excellent choice for someone looking to start or switch careers. We are responsible for the safety and conservation of the environment, but we often neglect the effects of our jobs on the environment.
Green careers assist us in creating a job industry that is harmless to the environment. There are many other jobs in the green career industry you can explore. They are conservation policy analysts, aquarists, marine biologists, environmental public relations specialists, and sustainability marketers.
Remember that education and experience are crucial to getting a job. You can gain additional certification if your first degree doesn’t align with your sustainability job interest. You will get a green job if you stroke the flames of your passion for nature and improve your skills.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.