Over the course of the past few decades, the world has become increasingly aware that the time to ignore potential environmental threats has passed. From climate change to air and water pollution, environmental issues are now receiving far more attention than ever before. About damned time.
Fortunately, so are solutions such as renewable energy and environmental regulations. As we transition toward a green economy, the growing demand for environmental jobs is also ushering in plenty of opportunities for economic growth.
Linkedin’s Global Green Skills Report 2022 shows that green talent has experienced a growth rate of 38.5% from 2015 to 2022. The report also revealed that at least 10% of the jobs posted on Linkedin now require at least one eco-friendly skill.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) supports these findings as well, projecting a rise in green careers related to everything from environmental health to energy efficiency. Consumers are not only becoming increasingly eager to do their part to ensure a sustainable future, but they are also demanding that major corporations do so as well.
If you’re interested in contributing to the future of human health and the environment alike, then there’s never been a better time to pursue one of the many green jobs now available. Join us for a look at some of the top in-demand green jobs on the market.
Table of Contents
- The Best Green Jobs for Environmental Health Advocates
- 1. Wind Turbine Service Technicians
- 2. Solar Photovoltaic Installers
- 3. Air Quality Engineers
- 4. Conservation Scientists and Foresters
- 5. Chief Sustainability Officer
- 6. Environmental Consultants
- 7. Food Scientists
- 8. Renewable Energy Consultants
- 9. Environmental Project Managers
- 10. Natural Resources Specialist
- 11. Environmental Lawyers
- 12. Hydrologists
- 13. Geoscientists
- 14. Environmental Compliance Officer
- 15. Sustainable Marketers
The Best Green Jobs for Environmental Health Advocates
From government agencies to the private sector, plenty of organizations are looking for employees who want to help solve problems related to environmental issues. Whether your focus is the conservation of natural resources, increasing air quality, or agricultural science, you’ll discover plenty of employers who would welcome your skills.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the best green jobs in plenty of different fields. Rest assured that we’ve made an effort to include green careers for employees with a variety of educational backgrounds.
Some of the jobs you’ll find here require only an associate degree or technical training. Others outline opportunities for candidates with a master’s degree or highly specialized industry skills. Jobs sites like ZipRecruiter now lost millions of green jobs that pay anywhere from $37k to well over $100k.
Flexjobs is a great resource for remote or hybrid green careers, while SolidGigs offers opportunities for freelancers. No matter where you choose to find your next green job, here are some of the top careers worth looking into.
1. Wind Turbine Service Technicians
According to the BLS, wind turbines will create one of the most in-demand jobs in the renewable energy sector. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau predicts a 68% increase in demand for wind turbine service technicians.
Wind turbines use the natural power of the wind to spin generators which then create electricity. As these turbines become more advanced, many companies are now realizing that they offer huge potential for creating energy with no negative effects on the environment.
With an average salary of over $56k a year, becoming a wind turbine technician is an excellent way to start a green career without an advanced degree, and still get reasonably well paid. Many technicians either attend a trade school or receive ongoing on-the-job training from their employers.
What Do Wind Turbine Service Technicians Do?
- Inspect and service wind turbines and their underground operating systems
- Troubleshoot any mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic issues wind turbines may experience
- Perform routine maintenance and replace any worn components
- Collect data for analysis purposes
2. Solar Photovoltaic Installers
The use of solar panels is on the rise, as more consumers join the race to conserve natural resources. Solar panels have come a long way in the last decade and now offer both businesses and individuals a solid means of creating energy using natural sunlight.
Consequently, solar panel manufacturers are now hiring more employees to help with solar installation. That’s why it’s no surprise that the BLS predicts a 52% increase in demand for solar photovoltaic installers from 2020 to 2030.
Becoming a solar panel installer is another great way to contribute to the green economy without an advanced degree, all while earning an average salary of over $47k. While most solar PV installers will need a high school diploma, many pursue additional training through community college, technical schools, apprenticeships, or on-the-job training.
What Do Solar PV Installers Do?
- Plan and execute the installation of solar panel systems for clients
- Ensure that the PV system complies with building codes
- Activate, test, and perform maintenance on PV systems
See Related: Best Sustainable Business Examples to Follow
3. Air Quality Engineers
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of people on the planet now breathe air “that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health.” Considering the staggering environmental impact of air pollution, thousands of cities in over 115 countries are now counting on environmental engineers to help reverse the damage.
Air quality engineers will enjoy choosing from a wide range of different employers. Some help businesses such as factories minimize their air pollution output, while others work for governments or environmental agencies.
Becoming an air quality specialist requires a bachelor’s degree at the least (usually with a focus such as environmental engineering). Still, you may also want to pursue a master’s degree to compete for top positions. ZipRecruiter reveals that this tends to be a very high-paying career with an average salary of over $92k.
What Do Air Quality Engineers Do?
This particular job can vary greatly depending on the employer. Here are just a few of the duties an air quality engineer might perform:
- Collect, analyze, and monitor the air for pollutants and other environmental hazards
- Help design a plan to minimize air pollution
- Ensure regulatory compliance with environmental laws
See Related: Best Social Impact Careers to Pursue
4. Conservation Scientists and Foresters
If you love to work outdoors and are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as forestry, agricultural sciences, or natural resources, then this may be a great career choice for you. Conservation scientists tend to work with both governments and landowners to find ways to maximize agricultural conditions while protecting the environment.
Foresters are conservation scientists who focus specifically on maintaining the environmental quality of woodland areas. Both types of conservation technicians focus on ensuring the responsible use of land as a natural resource.
Whether you’re interested in working in the agricultural industry or forest conservation, you’ll find a range of environmental careers available in this field. With median salaries of over $60k, it pays to help conserve land for future generations.
What Do Conversation Scientists and Foresters Do?
- Act as environmental specialists who promote the conservation of forests, agricultural lands, and other sites
- Ensure compliance with applicable laws throughout the areas they oversee
- Promote the sustainable use of natural resources
5. Chief Sustainability Officer
You’ve likely heard of CEOs and CFOs, or even CCOs, but these days many corporations have also started employing Chief Sustainability Officers or CSOs. While this is an executive-level career, it can also be one of the highest-paying green jobs out there, especially if you get a job at a big company.
As more consumers are beginning to scrutinize companies in terms of everything from waste management to conservation efforts, the CSO’s role has become incredibly vital.
CSOs oversee the sustainability efforts of their entire company, which comes with a great deal of responsibility. While this is no entry-level position, it’s one worth setting your sites on in the long run.
What Does a Chief Sustainability Officer Do?
- Act as sustainability specialists in terms of overseeing a company or organization’s environmental impact
- Oversees the development and execution of a company’s environmental sustainability plan
- Addresses customers and shareholders regarding the company’s sustainability efforts
- Oversees everything from recycling, pollution reduction, and energy efficiency to the use of green technology in building designs
6. Environmental Consultants
Environmental consultants enjoy a great deal of flexibility due to the fact that they can work in a number of different fields. Entry-level jobs often require a bachelor’s degree in an environmental science-related field, while larger employers may look for an advanced degree.
If you tend to be a jack of all trades, then you may enjoy putting your knowledge of different environmental sciences to good use through the wide range of opportunities that consulting tends to offer.
Due to the large range of green careers available to environmental consultants, salaries can vary widely, from $50K to over $100k, none of which is too shabby.
What Do Environmental Consultants Do?
- Diagnose environmental problems such as water, land, or air pollution
- Assist in environmental remediation caused by hazardous waste, contamination, or excessive energy consumption
- Combine knowledge of environmental science, safety regulations, and environmental laws to safeguard human health and environmental sustainability
7. Food Scientists
Food scientists work in a number of different environmental careers related to agriculture and livestock. Some may work as soil and plant scientists while others focus on animals or agricultural technology.
Some food scientists focus on a particular specialty such as soil or livestock, while others are experts in both of these categories and more. The latter are more likely to earn larger salaries.
Speaking of which, the BLS reveals that food scientists earn a variety of different salaries based on specialties as well as their employers, with the average being around $78k. If you’re interested in environmental jobs in the agricultural industry, then food science offers plenty of different opportunities.
What Do Food Scientists Do?
- Soil and plant scientists conduct research to help insure the sustainability of farms and the crops they produce
- Conduct experiments to determine the best ways to enhance sustainable food production
- Offer their findings on the best ways to sustainably process and package food for consumption
8. Renewable Energy Consultants
If you want to help the world transition to renewable energy, then there are plenty of great environmental jobs available in the consulting field. Renewable energy consultants are environmental engineers who usually hold a bachelor’s degree.
Some consultants may also have a technical degree along with several years of consulting experience. Either way, they should be very familiar with environmental regulations, finances, and renewable energy sources.
Salaries vary widely depending on experience, but Glassdoor reports that some of the most successful consultants enjoy fat salaries of over $100k.
What Do renewable Energy Consultants Do?
- Educate clients about various renewable energy solutions
- Implement energy auditing to develop renewable energy plans that make financial sense for each client
- Help clients stay up to speed on the latest energy sector rules and regulations
See Related: What is the Role of an ESG Analyst?
9. Environmental Project Managers
If you’re interested in civil engineering, construction, or environmental engineering, then this may be the green job for you. Environmental project managers make an average of over $72k/year by overseeing the ecological impact of various construction, engineering, and waste management projects.
As more companies begin to embrace green architecture, environmental managers are playing an increasingly vital role in the architecture industry. Due to the increasing number of projects available, they also enjoy regular opportunities for work.
Environmental engineering project management usually requires a bachelor’s degree at the least in environmental science, environmental management, or a related field.
What Do Environmental Project Managers Do?
- Use their scientific knowledge as environmental engineers to advise clients on the ecological impact of construction or engineering projects
- Help civil engineers determine the most eco-friendly designs and practices for a given project
- Ensure that projects are conducted in compliance with both environmental and safety regulations
10. Natural Resources Specialist
A natural resources specialist enjoys plenty of opportunities in one of the most in-demand green jobs in the environmental science field. This is another job that offers a great deal of flexibility, as it covers a range of different specialties.
Natural resources specialists work in a number of different environmental careers. Some work as fire management officers, biologists, recreation managers, and geospatial information systems specialists.
Not only does this career track involve the study and conservation of habitats, but also the development of health and safety policies designed to protect against fires and other environmental problems. These conservation technicians can find work with a large number of government agencies and universities. In order to pursue this career path, you’ll usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, or a related field.
What Do Natural Resources Specialists Do?
- These specialists work in a wide number of environmental careers, many of which involve implementing or developing environmental policies
- Oversee the health and safety of residents and land by developing fire prevention and detection programs
- Determine the best ways to balance the needs of people, animals, and plants in a particular habitat
11. Environmental Lawyers
Even if embracing a job as an environmental scientist doesn’t feel like the right path for you, you can still have a huge impact by pursuing a career in environmental law. Environmental lawyers play a vital role in the enforcement of legislation designed to have a positive impact on people and the environment.
These lawyers represent clients whose rights may have been violated by air or water pollution. They may also prosecute companies that have violated laws related to climate change, sustainability, or the misuse of water or other resources.
Aside from CSOs, environmental lawyers can enjoy one of the highest-paying salary averages in the green economy. That said, this field also requires a great deal of expensive education, including a bachelor’s degree and a Julius Doctor (JD) degree from a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association. It’s also worth noting that entry-level pay for lawyers of all stripes, especially environmental lawyers, is typically pretty modest.
What Does an Environmental Lawyer Do?
- Represent clients whose environmental rights have been violated
- Block companies from pursuing actions or policies that are not in line with environmental law
- Analyze evidence, consult with environmental scientists, and present cases in court
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Few jobs in the world of environmental science are quite as important as ensuring the integrity of the world’s water supplies. Hydrologists do just that by studying not only bodies of water, but also the way that precipitation, evaporation, and other environmental considerations impact them.
They also study water quality as well as the effects that various bodies of water have on the surrounding habitat. Becoming a hydrologist typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position, though some employers require that candidates have post-graduate degrees. Hydrology can be a very lucrative field, as average salaries range around $84k.
What Do Hydrologists Do?
- Collect and analyze water samples to determine the quality of water from various sources
- Utilize soil science and other conservation techniques to study the effect of a body of water on its surrounding habitat and vice versa
- Develop plans to maximize water quality and illuminate factors such as pollution, erosion, and drought
Geoscientists split their time between performing outdoor fieldwork and conducting experiments in the laboratory. While soil scientists focus on sustainably cultivating land at a micro level, Geoscientists look at that big picture of the Earth’s composition to learn about how it’s been impacted over time.
Many are skilled conservation scientists who hold at least a bachelor’s degree if not an advanced degree in their field. If you’re a conservation scientist looking for a solid career path, then geoscience could be the ticket, with average salaries above $80k.
What Do Geoscientists Do?
- Analyze soil samples, aerial photographs, and detailed geological logs
- Locate natural resources and determine their size
- Create lab reports, scientific studies, maps, and charts
14. Environmental Compliance Officer
No matter how many new laws or pieces of environmental legislation are enacted, we won’t get very far unless there’s someone to make sure that they are actually enforced. That’s where compliance officers come in!
Becoming a compliance officer usually requires a bachelor’s degree or other industry certification, but can pay off with an average salary of over $70k. Additionally, you’ll discover that compliance officers enjoy plenty of work opportunities with research firms, government agencies, and other environmental organizations.
What Do Ecological Compliance Officers Do?
- Conduct field research to determine the environmental impact of various industries, organizations, or communities
- Help clients ensure that they are operating in compliance with laws surrounding water, oil, energy production, or other natural resources
- Report organizations or companies that are acting outside the bounds of environmental laws
15. Sustainable Marketers
As it turns out, you don’t have to be a food scientist or an eco-friendly architect to make a great living in the green economy. As companies begin to embrace more ecologically and socially responsible products, they need someone to help get the word out about them.
It’s no secret that marketing campaigns can make or break the future of a product or even an entire social movement. Social marketers help get the word out about which companies are upping their efforts when it comes to recycling, using sustainable packaging, or releasing products that are designed to help the world transition toward a more sustainable future.
Becoming a sustainable marketer usually requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing and/or a great deal of experience in marketing, public relations, environmental science, or a related field. But if you play your cards right, you could enjoy earning an average salary of $99k according to GlassDoor.
What Do Sustainable Marketers Do?
- Help clients promote their efforts surrounding eco-friendly practices or products
- Work with designers to create print, digital, and social media advertising campaigns
- Produce product packaging copy designed to enhance awareness of a company’s eco-friendly efforts
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Kyle Kroeger, esteemed Purdue University alum and accomplished finance professional, brings a decade of invaluable experience from diverse finance roles in both small and large firms. An astute investor himself, Kyle adeptly navigates the spheres of corporate and client-side finance, always guiding with a principal investor’s sharp acumen.
Hailing from a lineage of industrious Midwestern entrepreneurs and creatives, his business instincts are deeply ingrained. This background fuels his entrepreneurial spirit and underpins his commitment to responsible investment. As the Founder and Owner of The Impact Investor, Kyle fervently advocates for increased awareness of ethically invested funds, empowering individuals to make judicious investment decisions.
Striving to marry financial prudence with positive societal impact, Kyle imparts practical strategies for saving and investing, underlined by a robust ethos of conscientious capitalism. His ambition transcends personal gain, aiming instead to spark transformative global change through the power of responsible investment.
When not immersed in the world of finance, he’s continually captivated by the cultural richness of new cities, relishing the opportunity to learn from diverse societies. This passion for travel is eloquently documented on his site, ViaTravelers.com, where you can delve into his unique experiences via his author profile.