Career Advice

Best Jobs For the Environment

by CareerFitter

Most In-Demand Green Jobs

You’re looking for a job, and you’re not quite sure where to start your search. Why not look for a career in an emerging field like sustainability?

According to the United Nations, the green economy is expected to create 24 million new green jobs globally by the end of the decade. These jobs are being created by fast-growing tech companies like Tesla and government investment in programs like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

These are some of the most in-demand jobs right now, with their growth projected to increase over the next decade. Below, we’ll dive deeper into green jobs you should keep on your radar and how to find a job in the green economy that’s right for you. 

Green Job #1 Civil Engineer                        

  • Salary up to: $138,690
  • Growth: 5%
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Find your CareerFitter Fit Score for Civil Engineer

civil engineer working on a environmentally friendly job

Civil engineers help design, build, and maintain sustainable urban and rural developments. Their work involves finding creative ways to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures. This can include anything from water conversation to structural design.

To land a green job as a civil engineer, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. It can also help to get a certification to demonstrate knowledge about sustainable construction. Many sustainable building projects also use the LEED certification system to demonstrate alignment with sustainability. Knowledge of this system could help you excel as a civil engineer in the green economy. 

The best personality type for a civil engineer is someone who is naturally inquisitive, looks for solutions, and is passionate about sustainability. Civil engineers have to work with a variety of stakeholders, so you’ll need to be able to work in a team and communicate effectively. Strong attention to detail will help the projects you work on be completed with sustainable values in mind.

Green Job #2 Environmental Scientist and Safety Specialist

  • Salary: $82,690
  • Growth: 5.8%
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree

environmental scientist collecting sample from swamp

If you like keeping tabs on the latest environmental regulations, this job might suit you. Environmental science and safety specialists help make sure workplaces follow environmental, health, and safety regulations. Their goal is to reduce environmental impact, minimize waste, and protect employees from dangers associated with green technologies.

To get started as an environmental scientist and safety specialist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a field like environmental science or occupational health. From there, learning more about local, state, and federal regulations can make you valuable to employers hiring in the green economy.

The best personality for this type of job is someone who is meticulous, analytical, and proactive. You are a strong communicator and have the ability to navigate around different government regulators to get your job done. In the process, you learn more about what goes into keeping the workplace safe, and you’re able to share that with others. 

Green Job #3 Solar Photovoltaic Installer

  • Salary: $63,330
  • Growth: 22.3%
  • Education: High school diploma

solar photovoltaic installer installing solar panels

One of the fast-growing sectors of the green economy is renewable energy. As a solar photovoltaic – or PV – installer, you’ll help install solar panels on private homes, commercial builds, or other areas where solar energy is being harvested. 

If you think becoming a PV installer is the right job for you, all you’ll need is a high school diploma. Experience working with electrical systems might be helpful, but because this is a rapidly growing green job, you’ll get access to on-the-job training to learn everything you need to be successful.

The best type of personality for this type of work is someone who enjoys working with their hands, enjoys being outside, and isn’t afraid of heights. You’ll also need to make sure you're fit for the job, as you’ll be working with heavy equipment in different types of weather conditions.

Green Job #4 Wind Turbine Technician

  • Salary: $80,170
  • Growth: 44.9%
  • Education: Postsecondary nondegree award

wind turbine technician working on enviormentally friendly job

Another critical job in the renewable energy space is wind turbine technicians – or wind techs. They are responsible for installing and repairing wind turbines. These mighty machines are important when it comes to harnessing wind energy to produce electricity with minimal environmental impact.

You won’t need a college degree to get started as a wind turbine tech. All you’ll need is an associate’s degree from a technical college with an understanding of the systems used to harness wind power. Similar to PV installers, this is a rapidly growing green job, which means it will come with a lot of wind and energy education and training programs.

If you like tinkering, this job could be a good fit for you. Someone who would be a good wind tech is detail-oriented and mechanically inclined. You’ll also need to make sure you’re fit for the job too. Wind turbines are massive, which means you might have to climb them to perform maintenance tasks. 

Is There a Demand for Green Jobs?

There is a growing demand for green jobs. According to Fast Company, the green economy is expected to grow by 9% by the end of the decade. Many of these jobs are specialized roles that come with high salaries, too.

If you’re looking for a green job, renewable energy is a good place to start. The vast majority of new green jobs are in the renewable energy sector, with some industries growing by double digits. This is to help keep up the pace of building the infrastructure that will help power a more sustainable energy system of the future. Once solar farms and wind fields are set up, there’ll be a need for workers to maintain and repair green energy systems, too.

While there is definitely a demand for green jobs, employers are struggling to meet demand. There just aren’t enough workers who have the right skills to align with this growing job field. This is great news for workers who are looking for work or are considering a career shift.

a group of people working in green job hiking

Some of the top green skills employers are looking for include:                                 

  • Sustainability Environmental awareness
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Environmental auditing
  • Environmental policy knowledge

It’s important to note the demand extends far beyond green jobs. Many existing jobs – like accounting – may need to incorporate carbon accounting or quantify environmental metrics down the road, too. If you want to stay in your current field but want to level up your skill set, understanding how the green economy will impact your line of work could be a good place to start. 

How Do I Start Looking for a Green Job?

If you think a green job could be right for you, here are a few steps you can take to get started:

  • Look on green job boards. One of the best places to find a job could be a specialized job board. For the green economy, this includes Green Job Search, Climatebase, and Idealist.
  • Learn more about getting certified. It’s clear employers are looking for green talent. The easiest way to enter the green talent pool is by getting trained and certified in a skill employers are looking for.
  • Add a volunteer opportunity to your resume. One of the best ways to get green job experience on your resume is to volunteer. You can do this locally with an organization like the Sierra Club, or you can join a national Job Corps program like AmeriCorps. These opportunities can provide valuable insights into the green economy and help open the door for paid job opportunities down the road.
  • Go on informational interviews. If you’re serious about joining the green economy one of the best things you can do is to start talking to people who are already in it. Connect with green professionals on LinkedIn and set up informational coffee dates. Whether these are in person or on Zoom, professionals in the green economy can give you better insights into where new opportunities lie.

two men with hard hats discussing environmentally friendly job

Which Environmental Career is Right for Me?

Many sustainable jobs offer promising growth potential and on-the-job training that can set you up for success in the future. Before diving into a green job, you’ll first want to figure out which environmental career is right for you. 

An assessment of your personality type when you are working, and learning about your aptitude for work environments is a good place to start. While being a wind tech might seem like a cool job, if you’re afraid of heights, it might not be the best for you. There are many ways to uncover the best careers that fit who you are.  Consider career assessments and career tests to discover your work personality strengths and if you have what it takes to be a part of the green economy of the future.


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