The idea of living “green” or an environmentally friendly lifestyle is becoming more and more popular these days. With many ways to live a sustainable lifestyle, shouldn’t your job be a part of that too?
There are actually lots of “green” jobs out there, and many of them don’t require more than a Bachelor’s degree, meaning, the education won’t send you into a world of debt.
The Environmental Industry
The environmental industry is made up of labor that develops services and goods to correct, reduce, and/or prevent environmental damage. This includes damage to air, water, and soil, dealing with air pollution, and land and water waste. Jobs related to this field include environmental engineer, environmental compliance inspector, green building consultant, occupational health and safety specialist, recycling coordinator, toxicologist, urban planner, water quality manager, and many more.
Here are some of the highest-paying jobs related to the environmental industry. It’s important to note that the annual salaries listed are the median salaries (half of the workers in the field earn more than this, while the other half earn less), and the average growth rate for jobs is 7% (as of 2019).
The main responsibility of a sustainability officer is to make sure that a business is operating in the most sustainable way, across all platforms (i.e., environmentally, socially, etc.). They create and help maintain a sustainability strategy for major and minor companies. If a business wants to go green and ensure that they are following the most sustainable practices, then this is the person they hire to help ensure sustainability. Sustainability efforts include, but are not limited to recycling, waste management, and conservation efforts.
- Median Salary: $104,000 per year
- Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree (business, engineering, or science)
- Job Outlook: 4% growth
A geoscientist studies all physical characteristics of the Earth and environment. They’re responsible for providing geological advice, scientific data, statistical methods, and help environmental scientists maintain a sustainable environment. This may sound like a difficult job, but if you’re a math wiz and have a love for science and the environment, this could be a good career option for you.
- Median Salary: $92,000 per year
- Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Geology or a related field
- Job Outlook: 5% growth
Environmental engineers are responsible for tackling pollution and public health issues, which include things like wastewater management. They review environmental regulations and water management practices, design air quality management systems, report environmental incidents, and come up with solutions to improve the environment. They can also oversee the transport of recyclable materials to recycling facilities, with the help of transportation services, such as fleet truck rental services that provide vehicles for business.
- Median Salary: $87,000 per year
- Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering
- Job Outlook: 8% growth
Environmental scientists analyze environmental hazards and work to decrease these hazards in order to protect the environment. They conduct fieldwork related to soil and water sources in order to research the effects that people have had on the environment. They can also assist businesses in becoming more environmentally friendly.
- Median Salary: $71,000 per year
- Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in natural science
- Job Outlook: 8% growth
This is a relatively new career field in which a vacant lot or even a rooftop is converted into a large garden to grow and produce food within and for a heavily populated area. Because this is a new industry, not much is known about the salary or the job outlook. However, the median salary for a regular farmer is about $71,000 per year, but the job growth rate is at -6%. Fortunately, with more people moving towards buying locally grown produce, it’s likely that this could be a reasonably profitable career.
- Median Salary: N/A
- Education Requirements: High school diploma/GED
- Job Outlook: N/A
There are many other “green” careers to look into that will complement your green lifestyle. You can even be creative and come up with your own sustainable ideas that can turn a profit