Do you have a passion for sustainability and the environment? Imagine being able to turn that into a career! If you’re already established in a field but looking to make a transition into a career that can benefit the planet, or if you are currently attending university and deciding on a major, we’ve got you covered in this post.
Whether you want to promote renewable energy, save an endangered species from extinction, or help preserve Earth’s precious natural resources, jobs focused on green living are on the rise these days, and the demand for specialists in the sustainability sector is growing. There is a huge opportunity for a budding and fulfilling career in the sustainability sector, even if you are currently in the work field and don’t want to go back to college.
Environmental careers that are in high demand are available to students with diverse backgrounds and levels of education. Environmental science and engineering careers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but there are plenty of jobs in the renewable energy industry that require only an associate’s degree. Additionally, jobs in environmental advocacy are also an area where individuals with different backgrounds (including communication, policy, and journalism) can thrive.
Keep reading below to learn about some of the top jobs that benefit the environment.
If you live in a city, have a green thumb, and enjoy growing your own food, you can turn your passion into a rewarding career. Urban farmers leverage existing green space in backyards, vacant lots, and even rooftops to grow crops and plants. Providing city dwellers and grocers the option of fresh, local food will help promote a sustainable community and lower your city’s carbon footprint. Urban farmers earn an average of $71,160 per year and do not require a university diploma.
Environmental Scientist and Protection Technician
If the idea of sitting behind a desk eight hours a day, five days a week makes you cringe, then you may want to consider working as an environmental science and protection technician. Not only does this career offer plenty of opportunities for fieldwork and flexibility, but the ultimate goal of an environmental scientist and protection technician is to protect people and the environment. What’s better than that? Tasks often include investigating potentially problematic locations to identify and test what kinds of chemicals and pollution may be plaguing the location and its surrounding areas. Salaries for environmental science and protection technicians vary anywhere between $26,330 up to $68,620 per year.
Hydrologists study both water availability and quality. They collect data and use it to create plans to improve resources. This is another role that is far different from your average 9-5 and is great for people who love getting their hands dirty. Hydrologists usually split their days between the office (reviewing findings and such) and the field—which for a hydrologist, often means waist-deep in rivers, streams, and lakes. To work as a hydrologist, you’ll more than likely require a Bachelor’s degree and can expect to earn around $80,000 per year.
Renewable Energy Jobs
As we’ve talked about on our blog, the renewable energy industry is booming, and in turn, so are renewable energy jobs. In fact, green jobs in the solar, hydroelectric, and wind energy sectors are growing four times faster than the average job in the United States. There is a multitude of different career paths you can take in the renewable energy sector:
- Solar PV workers assemble, install, and/or maintain solar panel systems. This job requires a high school diploma and either a one-year apprenticeship with your employer or training from a technical school or community college. Solar PV installers earn an average of $39,240 per year.
- Similarly, wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. This job requires an associate’s degree or a wind energy technology certificate and earns an average of $54,730 per year
- Mechanical engineers can apply their expertise to the development and construction of different types of power plants. Most mechanical engineers have an associate’s degree and earn an average of $42,680 per year.
- Civil engineers design, build, operate, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems, like electricity plants and hydroelectric dams. Civil Engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and earn an average of $86,640 per year.
We hope that if you’re truly passionate about turning your love for the environment into a career, this post has inspired you to learn more about this significant opportunity. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other green jobs we didn’t talk about, so if none of these jobs seem like the right fit, keep looking!
If you’re an Earth lover, then be sure to stay up to speed on the Spring Power & Gas blog for more green living ideas and sustainability tips.