Get Matched With Environmental Science Programs

Green jobs in some sectors are expected to grow as much as 106% by 2026, according to the BLS, which is dramatically more than the 6.5% average job growth rate predicted for all US jobs. Additionally, 53% of consumers across the globe will buy a product from a company who is known to have environmentally-friendly practices over a competitor who does not, even if it costs more, as reflected in a recent consumer survey by Tandberg. Green, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable: these are all terminologies used today to refer to careers that center around doing right by the planet and the health of its occupants. It is becoming more common for all businesses in all industries to have a green-focused position or two, regardless of the size of the organization. You can expect this trend to continue until green jobs become the standard rather than a specialization.

Green Career Paths

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What Can You Do with a Green Degree?

If your passion is making a positive environmental impact in both your personal and professional life, you can find a green job working in nearly any industry. Some industries are going to have a greater demand than others such as construction, energy, aviation, and automobiles. However, you can also work to make any job and organization more green, regardless of your title. Green jobs are all about leadership and making a change for the better.

The types of companies you can work for to gain a green position will likely be centered around specific sectors of industry as previously mentioned, as well as government and corporations. To begin a green career, you might have to work entry-level green careers. These green careers come in the form of technician and specialist jobs. You will often be required to work up to five years in non-managerial roles before you can seek out advancement opportunities. Experience can also come in the form of training, apprenticeships, and internships.

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For individuals who are in search of more advanced professional roles, you will require a certain amount of experience and perhaps a higher degree. These jobs come with greater responsibility and higher pay. Whether you wish to become a green C-level executive or a project manager, you’ll likely require a master’s degree today. If you are going to work with research or other science-based green careers, you might require a PhD.

And don’t forget about the importance of green careers that focus on waste elimination. Individuals from all backgrounds and education levels are required in these areas. Green professionals are needed in product development, engineering, and policymaking to prevent the continued sales of single-use items that are then immediately discarded into the trash or hazardous waste receptacles. You could even focus on any position that works with reducing, reusing, or recycling.

If you are in search of green careers, you should initially search for degrees that will lead to a green profession. Today, more and more colleges and universities are offering green-based degree programs at all levels. You can start with various green certifications that will allow you to work as a technician. An associate degree in environmental science will also help with technician jobs. You can continue your education while you work to complete a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. This will help you secure managerial and specialist green careers.

Skills Gained and Learned

The skills you require to become a successful environmental science professional will be similar to those in other professions. The level of skill importance will vary based on the position and the organization. For example, if you are working in green finance or green policies, you must have strong negotiating and persuasive capabilities. If you are working in clean energy, analytical and research skills might be of greater importance. Regardless of the position you are in, soft skills are equally as important as education and hard skills.

  • Communication

    Communication is important in all jobs; however, it is particularly important in green careers. Professionals in green industries are often fighting against stereotypes and resistance to change for any number of reasons. While you may be passionate, other people are not. As such, you must remain professional and calm at all times, even during times when people become highly emotional and heated, as well as when dealing with people who do not regard green policies well. You cannot allow your passion to interfere with your overall objectives. Instead, use them as motivation and use your communication skills as an asset.

  • Critical Thinking

    Critical thinking is also an advantageous skill to have while working in the green sector. You will have to objectively review countless studies and research to determine facts from fiction. It is also important to be able to analyze points made by individuals with differing viewpoints and to be able to develop solutions to seemingly impossible problems.

  • Positive Attitude

    A positive attitude in green careers is essential. You will face skeptics and financial pressure to accomplish your tasks. The green industry as a whole welcomes, embraces, and encourages fresh perspectives and, more importantly, places high importance on a positive attitude to overcome challenging obstacles at nearly every turn.

  • Self-Motivation

    Many people who work in green careers work independently without any, or very little, supervision. You have to possess the self-motivation and self-determination to complete tasks on time and within budget. You should not require a micromanager to do your job or to constantly have someone follow up with your progress.

  • Leadership

    People who work on green initiatives should be leaders. You must spend your day leading by example and inspiring others to follow. If you are not a natural leader, you should work on improving this skill, as it will be seen as an attribute most employers cannot overlook if it is lacking.

Careers in Conservation

Conservation careers are vital to the health and safety of our planet. You can find green careers working with nearly any type of natural resource. Some green careers will work to fight against archaic, damaging agricultural practices or communities that are not working to protect local water resources. Some green careers will be centered around research. These might exist to demonstrate the negative impacts of existing methodologies of various industries, and sectors within specific industries. Other green careers will be used to provide viable solutions to existing problems. Many conservation careers will work to create and implement new strategies, practices, and policies for businesses, government, and individuals.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation

Constantly increasing momentum is being made to protect the earth’s finite natural resources and to implement protective agricultural production methodologies. As a result, more and more careers exist today for agriculture and natural resource conservation than ever before. You can choose careers that work to protect the soil for long-term and sustainable farming or you can focus on alternative and progressive agricultural techniques such as hydroponic farming and aquafarming. It is also possible to pursue a career in natural resource protection. This might include finding ways to reduce the amount of natural resources required to complete certain tasks or to find entirely new ways to produce goods and services, without using precious metals or other natural resources. It is possible to find research jobs in any field of conservation, as well as to become a conservation scientist. You can even work in a nature center as a conservationist professional. The end goal of all conservationist green careers is to reduce the impact and damage to the planet. Some assistant green careers may only require an associate degree, but most conservation green careers will require a bachelor’s degree; many management and science-based careers are likely to require a master’s degree, if not a PhD.

Pollution Prevention and Environmental Cleanup

Pollution prevention and environmental cleanup green careers are essential to the health of the planet. These green careers are also referred to as environmental remediation. Generally speaking, these careers are dedicated to reversing decades of environmental damage from various practices and industrial impacts such as water pollution, chemical leaks or dumps, accidents, equipment breakdowns, hazardous waste, industrial activity, the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and much more. These jobs exist all over the US in both rural and metro regions. You could work with land remediation or water remediation provided by various servicers. A large sector in this field work with modern technologies as a more efficient and impactful way to improve environmental conditions. All of these jobs will directly improve the health of local and global residents along with the environment. Green careers include project management, environmental business specialist, public relations, cartographer, photogrammetrist, green construction worker, machine operator, researcher, technology expert, engineer, consultant, environmental scientist, manager, and much more. You could work for environmental cleanup companies, government entities, engineering and architecture firms, and more. To work in pollution prevention and environmental cleanup, you will require an advanced degree for some green careers and no more than a high school diploma for others. It is important to note that, even if you do not require a degree, you will likely require various certifications to work with or near potentially hazardous materials. These certifications can typically be completed at technical or vocational schools, as well as community colleges.

Precision Agriculture Technicians

A precision agriculture technician is also referred to by many other titles such as agronomy consultant, nutrient management specialist, agronomist, crop specialist, or county extension agent. These green professionals often work with geospatial technologies, analyze mapping, compare topography with various data elements, and more. You will work with many geospatial instruments including GPS, surveying equipment, GIS, and agricultural tools and equipment. As a precision agriculture technician, you will also have management duties: budgeting, time management, deadlines, and overseeing staff activities. Some additional tasks might include regulations applications, yield mapping, collecting field data, advising on public policy, pest scouting, and variable-rate irrigation planning. You should anticipate spending time outdoors for these jobs. You will be required to complete documents pertaining to your findings and collaborate with other individuals in the agriculture industry to complete your job successfully. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree for an applicant to be considered as a candidate for a precision agriculture position. Though, it is possible to find a position that only requires some college or a certificate in some communities.

Climate Change Analysts

A climate change analyst is a critical career, in a vital position to convey the facts of current climate data. As a climate change professional, you should be prepared to be an advocate for the protection of the planet; however, you must present any and all findings as they are without manipulation or misleading. You will work with mathematical models, may get the chance to testify before Congress, and will create projections of physical and economic impacts in order to educate the public. Some climate change analysts will have more of a hands-on role in the gathering of data, research, and evaluation than others; you might also be responsible for coming up with ideas for solutions to existing problems. These jobs require a balance of understanding of both policy and science. It is possible that you might work with policymakers to create new practices and expectations throughout various industries. You can expect this job to be highly sedentary apart from when you are required to give presentations. Climate change analysts require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but if you wish to work more with the math and science sides of this position, you will likely require a master’s degree or a PhD. You might consider degrees and courses in environmental science, computer science, physics, math, statistics, and resource conservation.

Environmental Restoration Planners

An environmental restoration planner will often work in environmental recovery programs, conservation, biology, project management, endangered species, scientific data analysis, strategy development, hazardous materials, generating reports, and much more. Many planners should expect to work outdoors. You will be required to develop solutions to environmental issues under your management. You should be prepared to work in the field, as well as to spend a significant amount of time in an office setting. The amount of time you spend outdoors will depend entirely on the job and the employer. You will also require the ability to think critically and be an active listener. To become an environmental restoration planner, you are most likely going to require a master’s degree, though some green careers with less responsibility may only require a bachelor’s degree. The most desired degrees and majors include environmental studies, environmental science, marine science, environmental health, chemistry, geosciences, engineering, physics, or environmental chemistry. You will require at least five years of experience before you are eligible for this position.

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Water/Wastewater Resource Specialists/Engineers

Water and wastewater resource specialists and engineers are increasingly in demand due to the growing concerns and issues with water all over the world. You will be working to improve the overall well-being and public health of all residents from a water-safety and production perspective. It will be essential to be an expert in water management and hydrology. You might work with drinking water, ocean water, river water, water tables, water conservation, water runoff, and more. You will be required to develop and manage various water programs at the local, state, or federal level. You must create water resource teaching programs, examine origins of water quality issues, launch water conservation initiatives, oversee water safety, and implement standards and best practices. Keep in mind that, along with utilizing your analytical and critical thinking skills, you will likely have to work in the field from time to time. You may also be responsible for giving presentations and conducting research. Many people in this position will work for research firms, utility companies, the government, or environmental consulting agencies. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most of these positions, but if you wish to secure promotions and greater pay, you should complete a master’s degree. In some green careers, a master’s degree will be the standard requirement. You might complete degrees in environmental science, engineering, hydrology, geology, or similar fields.

Professional Organizations

The American Society of Adaptation Professionals
The American Society of Adaptation Professionals centers around climate change preparation, networking, developing best practices, and innovation.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society
The Soil and Water Conservation Society is dedicated to natural resource conservation professionals with an emphasis on water and land sustainability.

Careers in New Green Products

Individuals who pursue careers in new green products could have a profound impact on the planet for decades to come. You might even help discover or develop the ideal replacement for oil and plastic in consumer goods and fuels. The impact these careers could have on the future of the planet is monumental. You can work in ensuring that buildings have zero waste or that cars have no emissions. You might be the person that engineers a way for batteries to be made without any precious metals or other non-renewable materials. Individuals who work to develop new green products are critical to the long-term health of the planet and the individuals who reside here.

Clean Transportation and Fuels

A career in clean transportation and fuels can lead you in a wide range of directions. You might focus on science-based solutions to existing fuel and transportation issues, such as to create new, green fuel sources. It is possible to pursue engineering careers to help develop clean transportation alternatives. Many people also focus on research and technology careers in clean transportation and fuels. You could work to improve supply chains, reduce traffic congestion, minimize the need for oil, and implement programs to promote walking, cycling, and using public transportation. It is even possible to work with electric vehicles or shared transportation efforts and many people work to raise capital and funding to support such initiatives. The careers in these areas are nearly endless. You might work for non-profit organizations, corporations, governments, consulting firms, and more. To become a clean transportation and fuel professional, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you are going to be working with science and mathematics, you may require a master’s degree or a PhD.

Green Buildings/Construction

Green building and green construction careers are in high demand. Each year, more buildings are commissioned to meet the highest of green standards through design, sourced materials, techniques, and more. The overall goal of these careers is to minimize environmental impact as much as possible. You might work as a purchasing manager, sourcing director, or supply chain specialist of green materials to be used in construction, or you could design or engineer the building. You can also work to incorporate new building techniques into the industry so that a building can be constructed in a more efficient and green way. This can include improving the indoor air quality, reducing the need for electricity, and conserving water. If you have a variety of skills, you might start a new contractor company that specializes in green homes. If you work in these careers, you can expect to work with time and budget constraints, project management, overseeing progress, drafting reports, analyzing best practices and systems, and much more. Your education and training requirements will vary greatly based on your actual job title. Some people may only require a high school diploma or its equivalent to be a part of the actual construction of the project, but most of these positions will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. More technical green careers will require a master’s degree and may also require various certifications.

Green Automotive Engineers

Green automotive engineering careers are back and better than ever after the supposed movement to kill the electric car the first time around in the mid-1990s. You can find jobs that cover nearly every aspect of automotive engineering. Many jobs are centered around electric vehicles. You might work on the batteries, engines, parts, body, materials, etc. It is also possible that you might be responsible for testing your designs or the designs of others in search of flaws or improvements. You might work to design new automobiles fueled by alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, or you might work solely in scientific research. To become a green automotive engineer, you will likely require a master’s degree; although, some green careers might accept a bachelor’s degree. If you have an engineering degree that is not based around green automotive technologies, you might require additional certification and training. And you may require state licensure only required by completing a competency examination. Most employers will require some experience, which may be in the form of an internship.

Professional Organizations

International Council on Clean Transportation
The International Council on Clean Transportation is a non-profit organization based on research and scientific and technical analyses of an unbiased nature.

American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
The American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists is a non-profit organization serving the field with a high standard of Board Certification, training, seminars, resources, networking, and more.

Careers in Green Energy

The push for green energy continues as current methodologies are proving to be quite toxic to the planet as evidenced by wildfires, toxic algae blooms, and more. In a career focused on green energy, you can work to make alternative energy sources more accessible to the everyday person, as well as to small and medium-sized businesses. You can work in this industry at all levels from manufacturing and technicians, to engineers, managers, and researchers. This career has a lot of potential for career advancement. You can also work in nearly any type of alternative energy, including wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal. These green careers are available in every state to some extent; however, some states have more jobs available than others based on how hard the push for green energy is from the population.

Renewable Energy Production and Energy Efficiency

Renewable energy production and energy efficiency careers continue to grow and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Most people will work in construction, professional services, or manufacturing within this green career sector. You might work with buildings, vehicles, appliances, or equipment, all of which are energy efficient and incorporate green technologies and practices. You might even work with the distribution and storage of alternative energy sources or with smart and microgrids, public transportation, renewable cooling and heating, efficient lighting, nuclear energy, hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal technologies, or other new and exciting energy production methods. You have a variety of options if you wish to establish a career in renewable energy production and energy efficiency. You could begin as a technician, which only requires certification or an associate degree. In some green careers, you may only need a high school diploma or the equivalent, but if you plan to work in more strategic, managerial, or scientific roles, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree if not a master’s or a PhD.

Energy Auditor

Energy auditing is a hot career at the moment. These green professionals work to make existing buildings, facilities, and homes more energy efficient. The primary goal is to improve energy efficiency in any feasible manner. Buildings and homes often waste heating and cooling through a wide variety of sources. Energy auditors will evaluate a structure to determine the sources of waste and inefficiency and they provide reasonable solutions to prevent such waste. These individuals might work as consultants, for utility companies, or independently. The growing demand for these careers is primarily due to the fact that they save customers thousands of dollars each year, and even more if it’s a commercial building. To become an energy auditor, you will likely require certification or at least some courses in energy auditing from a community or technical college. The level of education you require will vary based on the state and employer if you are not self-employed.

Solar Photovoltaic Installers/Technicians/Engineers

Solar photovoltaic installers, technicians, and engineers are in great demand throughout the country. Each state continues to increase the use of solar energy on an annual basis. As the demand grows, the greater the need for qualified professionals will be. You might pursue green careers that focus more on the hands-on installation portion of the process; these individuals typically require a high school diploma or certification from technical or community colleges. You will also require training: technicians require a bit more education and training as they are required to repair damaged or non-functioning solar photovoltaic devices, equipment, and tools. If you only want to work as a technician, a relatively well-paying career, you might require an associate or bachelor’s degree. If you wish to become an engineer to design new uses for solar energy, you will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and most employers today prefer a master’s. It is important to note that solar photovoltaic careers extend well beyond solar panels on houses. Solar is used on so much more today including charging devices, kitchen appliances, agricultural machines, heating pools, boat operations, camping equipment, public transportation, street signs, and wearables. You could work in any sector of the solar photovoltaic industry as a solar photovoltaic installer, technician, or engineer.

Geothermal Production Technicians/Managers

Geothermal production technicians and managers represent another field of growing careers that did not exist all that long ago. Geothermal energy is an alternative energy industry that derives heat from beneath the ground as a sustainable and clean energy source. Geothermal technicians work at power plants founded on geothermal heat. These green professionals are responsible for making various adjustments and monitoring geothermal operations on a daily basis. You might have to manage tools and equipment, instruments, controls, and electrical systems. Some technicians will work with commercial or residential structures; installation geothermal systems, providing maintenance, and testing functionality and efficiency when necessary. As a geothermal production manager, your tasks will often be less hands-on. You will manage projects, create and adhere to budgets, forecast demand and financials, oversee energy distribution, meet deadlines, order equipment, oversee sourcing, and much more. Geothermal technicians require a minimum of a high school diploma with vocational or on-the-job training. Depending on the employer, you may also be required to have some previous experience in a related field, or you may be required to have an associate degree, specifically in geothermal heating and cooling and various certifications to work with groundwater and electrical grids. If you are a manager in geothermal production, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree, though many employers prefer a master’s and various certifications for those who work in management.

Hydroelectric Plant Technicians/Managers

Hydroelectric plants are another area growing in popularity as green energy careers become more and more common. Hydroelectric plant technicians are primarily responsible for the monitoring of systems and equipment used to produce hydroelectricity. As this type of green technician, you will likely operate various plant equipment and tools, identify issues, prevent problems, establish solutions, and make repairs. As a hydroelectric plant manager, you will be in charge of technicians as they work to resolve problems, draft reports to share with higher-ups regarding plant status, manage plant team members, work with budgets and deadlines, forecast demand and output, direct hydroelectricity distribution, oversee machine breakdowns and repairs, discipline and reward employees, and much more. A hydroelectric technician will typically require an associate degree and/or various certifications. You must also have some computer and analytical skills. Some plants might require a bachelor’s degree and if you wish to become a hydroelectric plant manager, you will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and many employers require a master’s. It is possible managers will require specific certifications, as well.

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Wind Energy Engineers/Project Managers/Service Technicians/Operations Managers

Wind energy careers are quite extensive these days including engineers, project managers, service technicians, and operations managers. All individuals who work with wind power will likely have to spend at least some time in the field, though some wind energy professionals work outdoors more than others. These careers vary greatly in their responsibilities. Engineers, for example, could work with either project development or manufacturing. Others work solely in maintenance and operations, such as service technicians. Operations managers and project managers work in project development, maintenance, operation, and manufacturing. Some careers provide the labor to make wind turbines more effective and efficient, while others work to transport the actual windmills all over the country, and some spend their days monitoring the operational functionality of each turbine. You can even start as a technician and work your way up to managerial green careers, though you should keep in mind that each position will have unique educational requirements. Technicians will often require an associate degree along with the completion of an apprenticeship and may require specific certifications. Engineers will require an engineering degree and perhaps some certifications. Managers of any kind will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s in some situations.

Professional Organizations

American Council on Renewable Energy
The American Council on Renewable Energy is a non-profit organization committed to generating a strong renewable energy community and economy through technology, policy, and finance.

United States Renewable Energy Association
The United States Renewable Energy Association aims to become the leading renewable energy organization in the US by providing attractive membership support to businesses and schools.

Careers in Green Government and Administration

If you want to make an impact that will shape the future direction of all organizations today and tomorrow, you should consider work in green government, administration, and policy. Individuals in green careers make it so that everyone is headed in the same direction regarding green standards and practices. To work in these green professions, you have to enjoy a challenge and be willing to fight for your beliefs. You will face strong resistance from many directions, particularly when a law or policy might cost more money than the existing inefficient one. Be prepared to fight, and to still remain professional at all times. You might also have to spend time finding ways to cut costs and save money to be able to accomplish your goals in the end.

Green Policy and Direction

A career in green policy and direction is demanding and also in demand. Consumers, constituents, students, parents, and more are requiring businesses and governments at all levels to contribute more impactfully toward environmental initiatives. If you wish to work in green policy and green direction, you should expect an uphill battle. Despite the demand for green policy and direction, you may face resistance from your employer because of costs and from the same people driving changes if it affects their wallet. In this position, it’s your job to be an advocate for the future, the children, the health of the planet, and the health of all humanity. You will do so by developing policies, legislations, business practices, and more. You might work for private corporations, non-profit organizations, politicians, or governmental agencies at the local, state, or federal level. Most of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as environmental studies, economics, or political science. You might also require some work experience or to complete an internship. For career advancement, most employers will require a master’s degree.

Chief Sustainability Officers

A chief sustainability officer (CSO) is one of the more recent C-suite titles created to manage the carbon footprint of organizations. With consumers caring more and more about the environmental practices of a company, in addition to product quality and price, a CSO has become equally as important as any other C-level executive. As a CSO, you will focus on compliance initiatives to ensure your company follows regulations at all levels and in each country in which you do business. You will focus on sustainability and efficiency through the reduction of emissions, energy, water use, and waste. You will also be responsible for creating innovative concepts and practices in regard to the business model. This might affect any business practice, from the way the business manufactures products to shipment consolidation. Most CSOs also create environmental policies on how the company can contribute positively to the community. To become a CSO, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree, though most C-suite employees are required to have a master’s degree. You might also consider joining various professional organizations and completing strategic certifications to increase your chances of landing a coveted CSO position.

Compliance Managers

Compliance managers exist in every industry as a way to ensure that companies are following the laws and regulations stipulated by governments, industries, and professional organizations. These jobs might also be referred to as regulatory affairs specialists or regulatory affairs managers. It is the job of these green professionals to ensure an organization remains up-to-date with current changes, additions, and eliminations of various aspects of regulations and laws. You might have to train everyone in the organization, from the executives to the production team, regarding new updates on a regular basis. You will be responsible for helping to create new policies and practices, as well as to find ways to generate efficiency and save money. Compliance managers are often responsible for both safety and environmental compliance. A bachelor’s degree will be required to be considered as a candidate by most employers. You might work for private companies, public companies, school districts, hospitals, manufacturing companies, local government, or others. If you wish to receive top jobs and promotions, you will require a master’s degree and various certifications throughout your career. It would also be beneficial to have some legal background, education, or training; you might consider business law courses.

Professional Organizations

National Association of Environmental Professionals
The National Association of Environmental Professionals is dedicated to high ethical standards and excellence throughout the careers of all environment professionals.

National Association for Environmental Management
The National Association for Environmental Management centers around green business practices and a healthy work environment for all while offering access to a national network for members.

Careers in Green Finance

Green finance is growing in popularity as consumer preferences are shifting from the cheapest products to the most environmentally-friendly business practices. You might work in an area that seeks to fund green startups or you could work in stocks and trade that only deal with green businesses. It is also possible to work for an investment firm that will only contribute capital to businesses or non-profits that plan to focus on new green practices. In green finance, you will work with green businesses that are making a positive impact on humankind. This often requires a different approach than working with traditional for-profit organizations.

Green Funding

With each passing year, a number of new green funding opportunities exist. These funding opportunities are all dedicated to various causes, organizations, startups, and more, as long as they meet the established requirements of the green fund. These funds require a wide variety of green professionals. You might be hired to manage the finances and accounting of the fund or foundation, you could be nominated to the board of directors as someone who participates in making the decisions of the overall direction of the funds, you might be responsible for seeking out more capital to grow the fund, or it’s even possible that you might have the role of managing all of the applications of individuals, groups, etc. in search of green funding. To work within the green funding sector, you will require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some organizations might require a master’s degree, particularly as the interest in green jobs continues to grow.

Investment Underwriters

An investment underwriter career is available in nearly any industry, including green finance. These green professionals often work for investment banks as full-time employees. The role of investment underwriters is to work directly with companies that have the intention of going public. You will assist with the transition of such companies from a private entity to a public entity that will be able to sell shares of company stock and to assist with their IPO. As an investment underwriter, you will determine the price of an IPO stock and offer a guarantee that any surplus stock will be purchased by the investment bank, and you will ensure that these companies meet the regulatory requirements. You can also expect to work with a wide variety of finance professionals. Most insurance underwriters will require a bachelor’s degree in related fields such as economics, accounting, or finance. The top employers might require an MBA or a relevant master’s degree with several years of experience.

Securities and Commodities Traders

Green securities and commodities traders buy and sell in the financial market. In this case, the commodities and securities being traded are all based on environmentally friendly, green, sustainable initiatives. You work on behalf of clients and establish buying and selling price points. You might make offers or bids to buy or sell. You will spend time analyzing investment opportunities and various companies to make the most informed decisions possible. You will work with other financial sector professionals, such as trade managers. You will find new opportunities and constantly expand your network and it will be your job to ensure your customers are excessively happy. To become a securities and commodities trader you will require a bachelor’s degree and possibly state licensure. These requirements will vary from state to state but the best employers will require an MBA or a related master’s degree.

Environmental Economists

An environmental economist studies the manner in which natural resources are being utilized and distributed. As an environmental economist, you will closely observe various economic trends and gather data regarding inflation, interest rates, energy costs, and more. You will create forecasts to aid in environmental protection, be responsible for various reports and presentations based on detailed analyses and findings, you might be involved with grant and research work to secure funding, and you will evaluate economic policies, environmental studies, and environmental impacts of remediation efforts. To become an environmental economist, you will likely require either a master’s degree or a PhD. Some entry-level green careers may only require a bachelor’s degree. Your studies should be centered around the environment, businesses, and economics. Keep in mind you will likely work with several types of engineers in a variety of capacities. As such, it might be a good idea to have some understanding of environmental engineering.

Professional Organizations

Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network
The Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network is centered around sustainable finance and investing opportunities for all Columbia alumni and graduate students.

Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is a non-profit organization dedicated to responsible, sustainable, and impactful investing for positive environmental and social influence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Advancing From Here

What is a green economy?

A green economy aims to reduce ecological scarcities and environmental risks. The purpose of a green economy is to make sustainable development without creating any environmental issues. A green economy is resource efficient, low carbon, and socially inclusive.

What are green jobs?

Green jobs are jobs that produce services or goods that conserve natural resources or benefit the environment.

Where can you work with a degree in environmental science?

With a degree in environmental science you can work for government agencies, schools, hospitals, and private companies.

What is civil engineering?

Civil engineering involves supervising, designing, and building infrastructure systems and projects.

What are some common environmental issues?

Some of the key environmental issues include:

  • Pollution
  • Waste disposal
  • Ocean acidification
  • Global warming
  • Overpopulation
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Deforestation
  • Ozone layer depletion

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