Top jobs in sustainability and green energy in the United States
Sustainability and green jobs is a growing industry taking the country by storm. This industry has a diverse workforce that performs a variety of different functions, ranging from engineering to industrial management. However, all of these careers focus on providing sufficient amounts of energy for today’s world without damaging environmental integrity or depleting future resources. The highest paying jobs in this industry are environmental science careers.
Environmental sciences bring together the fields of ecology, biology, zoology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, soil sciences, geology, chemistry, etc. in an interdisciplinary study of how natural and man-made processes interact with each other and ultimately affect different biomes on Earth. Environmental science jobs can be found online using job search engines. There are many specific jobs in this field mentioned by Lensaas well as other similar sites.
Before you begin, it’s important to understand that while these jobs pay well, they’re not for everyone. There are millions of careers in the world, and if your main career goal is to protect the environment, I guarantee there are thousands of jobs outside of these you will find plenty of satisfaction.
That being said, let’s review high paying environmental science jobs, the highest paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree, and environmental science jobs that may require a bit more specialization. Some might even call these jobs the best environmental science jobs, although, as mentioned above, money doesn’t equate to employee satisfaction.
Director of Sustainable Development
The highest paying position in environmental science is that of director of sustainability. The director of sustainable development is one of the senior executives of a company. You have probably heard of a CEO (Chief Executive Officer), this position is similar as they are the top executives of a company or business. As the world becomes increasingly green and sustainable, these jobs have started to appear. There is now room on an executive table for a director of sustainability.
Just like other senior executives in a business or corporation, sustainability managers are highly involved in overall project coordination for a company’s environmental and sustainability efforts. They are responsible for providing an ongoing assessment of company profits, personnel, environmental outlook and other factors that affect company performance. This is a strongly business-oriented environmental job, and you need to have strong business acumen and excellent leadership skills to fill this kind of role.
This position is not as environmentally focused as some of the other careers that will be mentioned, but it is the most profitable. There aren’t many jobs that have that kind of title because it’s a whole new type of job, and the best paying jobs are definitely going to be big business, but in the future as the pressure continues to grow to become more green and sustainable, more positions like this will be available.
There has been a dramatic increase in hiring for the position of chief sustainability officer (CSO) among Fortune 500 companies, with the demand for CSOs increasing by 228% in corporate America over the past decade.
Education for this type of position usually requires a business degree. In addition, a degree in an environment-related field is necessary because it is very important to have a good understanding of environmental principles before embarking on a job like this. The average salary for this position is $184,460 per year, depending on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Next on our list is an environmental lawyer. Environmental law is a burgeoning area of law at a time of concern about the “footprint” humans leave on our planet. It covers various areas such as climate control, energy sources, pollution and corporate social responsibility. When groups or individuals believe that someone has misused or misused natural resources to the point of endangering people, wildlife, or the resources themselves, they hire environmental lawyers to argue their case.
Environmental lawyers know the ins and outs of environmental policy and law, so they can help clients with issues related to air and water quality, hazardous waste, to sustainability or perhaps to endangered species. They may work for local, state, or federal government, or they may work for private or nonprofit organizations. Government agencies like the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state departments of environmental protection often hire environmental attorneys. Additionally, many large corporations will also hire environmental lawyers.
The most popular areas in this field are pollution, wildlife, conservation, and climate change. Employment demand for lawyers specializing in environmental law is expected to increase by 9% over the next ten years.
The education required for an environmental lawyer includes a bachelor’s degree and then a Juris Doctor to earn your law degree. Often, if you specialize in environmental law, you need a specialization degree afterwards (additional master’s degree in conservation and sustainability). The average salary for environmental lawyers is $120,910 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A geoscientist is a scientist who studies the structure and composition of the Earth. Geoscientists are often involved in the discovery and development of commercially viable and exploitable reserves of natural resources, such as oil, gas, minerals, and water. Others work in fields such as seismology, volcanology, environmental protection, land reclamation or oceanography. Whatever field you work in, you will study the physical structure of the earth – how it was formed, the processes involved and how it evolves.
A big part of what geoscientists will do is collect data and analyze it in the lab. They might collect data by going to the field, taking samples and bringing them back to the lab, or they might work with aerial photographs or satellite images to find where specific structures or compositions are.
Employment demand for geoscientists is expected to increase by 7% over the next ten years. The growing demand for environmental resources and improved extraction technologies are increasing the demand for this profession, as well as the design and construction of alternative energy deposits.
The typical education required for this type of career is usually a bachelor’s degree, but some jobs may require a master’s degree in a specialized field. The average salary for a geoscientist is $93,580 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Environmental engineering focuses on protecting the environment by reducing waste and pollution. They optimize the use of natural resources, contribute to the development of renewable energy resources and maximize the use of existing materials. Environmental engineers advise government and private companies on the best ways to minimize the environmental impact of projects, structures, and buildings. They also design technologies and processes that control pollution and clean up contamination.
Examples of things environmental engineers might work on are recycling programs, sewage treatment, or waste management facilities. They could also work on solar power or wind power. Many people may not know that an environmental engineer really needs to understand and be comfortable with math and physics. For this career, mathematics and physics are paramount to understanding the environment.
The reason it is so important to get comfortable with these topics first is that when working with high stakes structures and very large objects and machinery (like a windmill) that could eventually fall and hurt someone, it is paramount that they are properly constructed. So physics and math first, then environmental education. Job demand for environmental engineers is expected to increase by 3% over the next ten years.
The level of education required for this type of job is usually just a bachelor’s degree, although some people will go as far as doing a master’s degree if they want a little more specialization. The average salary for an environmental engineer is $87,620 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In recent years, there has been growing concern about the well-being of our planet and how we can improve our environment. It’s crucial to stay on top of things and try to make our world a better place. Sustainability and conservation jobs make this possible. Now you know that the opportunities for environmentally friendly jobs are on the rise and that it is entirely possible to earn a comfortable living while promoting a healthy and clean environment. Environmental scientists have rewarding, challenging, and well-paying careers that offer excellent opportunities for growth and advancement.