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The Ultimate Guide to Jobs that Help People and Planet

June 12, 2023
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Are you looking for a career that not only benefits people but the environment as well? Then environmental careers might be perfect for you. Green jobs are one of the largest categories of jobs that help people and involve direct contact with individuals, advising them, and installing solutions to help companies change for the better. In this guide, we'll explore different types of environmental careers, required skills and steps to enter these fields. Join us on this journey towards making a positive impact on our planet while building a fulfilling career.

What are Environmental Careers?

Environmental careers are job opportunities that focus on protecting, preserving, and restoring the natural environment. These jobs aim to reduce negative impacts on the environment by adopting sustainable practices and promoting environmental awareness. Environmental careers are not only beneficial for nature but also help people by providing clean air, water and a healthy ecosystem.

Environmental careers focus on protecting the natural environment and promoting environmental awareness, while also helping vulnerable communities affected by climate change through charity work and assistance programs.

Many environmental career paths involve caring for others through charity work or assistance programs that aid vulnerable communities affected by climate change. For instance, some professionals work in disaster management to provide immediate relief assistance during natural calamities caused due to ecological imbalances. Other examples of environmentally focused careers include renewable energy specialists who explore alternative energy solutions or wildlife conservationists who protect endangered species from extinction.


Environmental careers refer to jobs that aim to protect, preserve and improve the environment. These types of jobs can vary greatly and include roles such as environmental scientist, sustainability coordinator, renewable energy specialist, conservationist and many more. The importance of these careers has become increasingly apparent in today's world as the need for aid in preserving our planet becomes more urgent.

The different types of jobs falling under environmental careers provide assistance through various means such as researching ways to decrease pollution levels or understanding how we can implement better recycling practices. They also involve caring for natural habitats by developing plans to conserve wildlife areas or planting trees in urban environments. Environmental careers are vital not only because they help protect nature but also because they assist people with adopting sustainable lifestyles that promote charity work towards future generations' well-being.

Importance of Environmental Careers

Environmental careers are crucial to the betterment of society as a whole. These jobs impact society by improving the quality of life for all individuals, not just those directly involved in environmental aid or assistance. They play a leading role in sustainable development and offer opportunities to create positive change on both a local and global level.

Statistics show that green jobs are projected to continue growing at an exponential rate, creating demand for skilled workers who can help build more resilient communities. Pursuing a career in this field means contributing to the greater good while also fulfilling personal aspirations towards caring for our planet. Ultimately, environmental careers offer meaningful work that makes a real difference in people's lives and helps build stronger communities for everyone.

Types of Environmental Careers

Renewable energy careers are an increasingly popular choice for those interested in environmental jobs that also help people. These careers involve developing and implementing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro power to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. From engineers to project managers, there are a variety of roles available in this field with potential for career growth.

Green building careers focus on designing and constructing buildings that are environmentally sustainable. This includes using non-toxic materials, improving energy efficiency, and reducing waste during construction. Architectural professionals or construction workers who specialize in green building can make a positive impact by creating healthier living spaces while also reducing the carbon footprint of our built environment.

Renewable Energy Careers

Solar power technicians are responsible for installing and maintaining solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. These professionals play a critical role in promoting renewable energy and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. The job requires technical skills as well as an understanding of environmental science and sustainable practices.

Wind turbine engineers design, install, and maintain wind turbines that generate electricity from wind power. With the increasing demand for clean energy sources, this career is becoming more important than ever before. A degree in engineering or related field is typically required to become a wind turbine engineer.

Geothermal system installers are responsible for designing and installing geothermal heating systems. This involves drilling deep into the ground to access geothermal heat sources that can be used to provide heating or cooling in residential or commercial buildings. As society becomes increasingly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, careers like this will continue to grow in importance.

Green Building Careers

LEED Accredited Professionals are in high demand in the green building industry. As a LEED AP, you will be responsible for ensuring that buildings meet sustainable standards and certification requirements set by the USGBC. This job requires knowledge of sustainable design principles, construction processes, and project management skills.

Green Building Project Managers oversee all aspects of green building projects from conception to completion. They ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and according to sustainability standards. A Green Building Project Manager must have excellent communication skills to work with architects, contractors, and vendors.

Sustainable Design Architects specialize in designing buildings that minimize their environmental impact while maximizing energy efficiency. Their designs incorporate sustainable materials and renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. Sustainable Design Architects should have experience with technical drawings software like AutoCAD or SketchUp along with a deep understanding of sustainable technologies available today.

Sustainability Careers

Corporate Sustainability Specialists work with businesses to develop sustainable practices, reduce their environmental impact and improve social responsibility. They help companies identify opportunities for improvement and implement strategies that can save them money while benefitting the environment.

Sustainability Consultants provide advice to organizations on how they can become more environmentally friendly and socially responsible. They help their clients understand the benefits of sustainability initiatives, assess their current performance, set goals, develop plans and monitor progress towards a more sustainable future.

Recycling Coordinators are responsible for managing recycling programs in communities or organizations. They oversee waste reduction efforts by identifying materials that can be recycled, developing education programs for residents or employees about proper disposal methods and coordinating with vendors to collect recyclables efficiently. By promoting better waste management practices, Recycling Coordinators play an essential role in reducing landfill use and preserving natural resources.

Environmental Science Careers

Environmental Science Careers offer a diverse range of job opportunities that allow individuals to work towards protecting and preserving the environment. Environmental Scientists, Wetland Scientists, and Climatologists are some examples of such careers.

  • Environmental Scientist:
  • an individual who analyzes environmental problems, conducts research, develops solutions to environmental issues.
  • Wetland Scientist:
  • an individual who studies wetlands' ecosystem services and biodiversity for land use planning purposes.
  • Climatologist:
  • an individual who examines historical weather data or climate patterns to understand how they may be changing over time.

These jobs will help people in countless ways by promoting sustainability practices and ensuring the protection of our planet's natural resources. If you're interested in pursuing a career that helps both people and the environment, consider exploring these fields further.

Benefits of Environmental Careers

Environmental careers offer numerous benefits, including the satisfaction of making a positive impact on both people and the planet. By working in an environmental field, you have the opportunity to use your skills and knowledge to create solutions that address pressing environmental challenges while also improving human health and well-being.

Additionally, job security and growth are significant advantages of pursuing an environmental career. With increasing demand for sustainable practices across industries, there is a growing need for professionals who can develop innovative solutions to complex problems. As such, individuals with expertise in areas such as renewable energy or sustainable agriculture are likely to be highly sought after by employers now and in the future.

Helping People and the Environment

Environmental careers offer a diverse range of job opportunities for those looking to make a positive impact on both people and the environment. Below we have listed some of the most impactful career paths within conservation, as well as green jobs for life science enthusiasts.

  • Overview of Environmental Careers

Environmental Scientist

Sustainability Specialist

Renewable Energy Analyst

Green Building Engineer

  • Impactful Careers in Conservation

Wildlife Biologist


Marine Biologist

  • Green Jobs for Life Science Enthusiasts




Job Security and Growth

The demand for sustainability professionals is on the rise, making it a promising career path. Sustainability professionals work in various industries and are responsible for implementing environmentally friendly practices that reduce waste and energy consumption. This role not only helps the environment but also increases efficiency and saves companies money, making it a valuable skillset for any organization.

The renewable energy sector offers numerous career opportunities as well. With an increasing focus on reducing carbon emissions, there is a high demand for skilled workers who can design, install and maintain renewable energy systems such as solar panels or wind turbines. As this industry continues to grow, so do the job prospects for those interested in this field.

Finally, green transportation is becoming increasingly popular with people opting to use more sustainable means of travel such as electric vehicles or biking. The growth of this industry translates into more job opportunities in areas like manufacturing electric cars or building bike lanes infrastructure - all while promoting cleaner air quality by decreasing harmful emissions from traditional transportation methods.

Competitive Salaries and Benefits

High-paying career options in sustainable agriculture provide a unique blend of social responsibility and financial rewards. With growing demand for organic, local, and regenerative farming practices, farmers who prioritize environmental stewardship are finding lucrative opportunities. Non-profit organizations offer several financial incentives to their employees through benefits such as tax-exempt status and loan forgiveness programs. As a result, job seekers interested in working for NGOs can enjoy competitive salaries while contributing to meaningful causes.

Government jobs with a focus on environmental protection also come with an impressive array of benefits that make them both financially appealing and personally rewarding. Some of these benefits include excellent healthcare coverage, retirement plans, flexible schedules, paid time off for community service work or training programs related to the environment. In addition to these perks is the opportunity to work on projects that positively impact communities by promoting conservation efforts and reducing carbon emissions at scale.

Skills Needed for Environmental Careers

Technical Skills are crucial for anyone considering a career in the environmental sector. Some of these skills include data analysis, GIS mapping, technical writing, and programming. Knowledge of water management systems, waste management practices, renewable energy sources is also important.

Soft Skills such as communication skills, problem-solving abilities and adaptability are essential for success in environmental careers. The ability to work well with others, manage projects efficiently while being able to lead teams effectively is equally important. A passion for sustainability combined with strong analytical thinking will help you succeed in the field of environment and sustainability.

Technical Skills

Understanding environmental regulations and policies is essential for anyone looking to start a career in the environment. It's important to know how laws impact businesses, public health and natural resources. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and remote sensing technologies are also valuable skills that enable you to analyze data geospatially, providing insights into physical features of the environment.

Proficiency in data analysis tools like Excel, R or Python can help you interpret large datasets more efficiently. By having these technical skills under your belt, you will be better equipped to evaluate environmental problems and contribute innovative solutions.

  • Understanding environmental regulations
  • Knowledge of GIS and remote sensing technologies
  • Proficiency in data analysis tools such as Excel, R or Python

Soft Skills

Communication skills are essential for anyone working in environmental careers. It is crucial to convey complex information to stakeholders, such as government officials and community members, in a way that they can understand. Being able to communicate the potential benefits of sustainable practices effectively is vital.

Collaboration skills are also critical because many environmental problems require interdisciplinary solutions. As an environmental professional, you will need to work with scientists, engineers, policymakers, and other experts from different fields. By developing your collaboration skills, you can bring together diverse perspectives and create innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Finally, problem-solving skills are necessary for anyone working in an environmental career. The ability to identify problems and develop creative solutions is key when dealing with issues such as climate change or pollution. By using critical thinking and analytical techniques like life cycle analysis or risk assessment tools effectively, environmental professionals can help solve some of the world's most significant challenges while helping people at the same time.

Steps to Enter Environmental Careers

The first step to enter environmental careers is obtaining the necessary education and training. Most entry-level positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in environmental science, biology, or related fields. However, some jobs may require advanced degrees such as master's or Ph.D.'s. It is also important to gain practical experience through internships and volunteer work in relevant organizations to enhance your resume.

Networking and gaining experience are equally essential steps when entering environmental careers. Attend industry conferences, seminars, and workshops that provide opportunities for networking with professionals in the field. Joining professional associations can also be beneficial for career development by providing access to job postings and educational resources.

In addition to education and networking, obtaining certifications or licenses can increase your chances of landing your dream job. Certifications such as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation show employers that you have specialized knowledge within the field of sustainability.

Overall, pursuing an environmental career requires dedication towards continuous learning through education and networking while gaining practical experience along the way. Obtaining certifications further demonstrates expertise within specific areas of sustainability giving you a competitive edge during job searches.

Education and Training

Research different environmental career paths to determine the required education level. Start by identifying your interests and skills, then research different job descriptions within the field of environmental studies. Look for universities or institutions that offer degrees in environmental studies, sustainability, or related fields to meet these requirements.

Consider pursuing a graduate degree in a specialized field such as environmental law or policy if you want to advance further in your career path. These programs can provide you with deeper knowledge on specific aspects of environmentally friendly practices, which will give you an advantage over other candidates when applying for jobs. Remember that education is key to achieving success in any industry; take the time and effort needed to invest in yourself so that you may achieve your goals!

Networking and Experience

Joining professional organizations related to your desired career path is a great way to network and gain experience in the field of environmental careers. These organizations offer opportunities for networking with professionals, staying updated on industry trends, and accessing resources that can help you advance in your career.

Attending conferences and events is another excellent way to meet professionals in the environmental field while learning about the latest trends and developments. Many of these events also provide opportunities for volunteer work or internships that can give you valuable hands-on experience.

Finally, volunteering with local organizations that focus on environmental issues is a great way to build connections with like-minded individuals while gaining real-world experience working towards positive change. Not only does this type of volunteer work look impressive on a resume, but it can also open doors to job opportunities within these organizations or others within the same industry.

Certifications and Licenses

Research specific certifications relevant to your desired career path. Many environmental careers require specialized knowledge and skills that can be demonstrated through industry-recognized certifications. For example, if you're interested in a career as an environmental engineer, consider obtaining the Professional Engineer (PE) license or the Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) certification.

Determine if any licenses are necessary for the job you want to pursue. Depending on your role and industry, certain licenses may be required by law. For instance, many states require individuals who work with hazardous materials to hold a Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification.

Consider getting LEED certification in sustainable building practices. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized rating system for green buildings that focuses on sustainability across all aspects of design, construction, operations and maintenance processes. Obtaining this certification could set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs related to sustainable building practices.

Top Environmental Careers

Environmental careers offer excellent job opportunities for people who want to make a positive impact on the environment and society. The top environmental careers include Environmental Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Green Building Architect, Sustainability Specialist, and Renewable Energy Specialist. These jobs provide a chance to work with individuals and companies to develop sustainable solutions that benefit both people and the planet. A career in any of these fields can be rewarding both professionally and personally as it allows you to contribute towards protecting our environment from harmful activities while helping communities thrive economically.

Environmental Engineer

As an environmental engineer, you will be responsible for designing and implementing sustainable infrastructure that not only meets the needs of society but also minimizes its impact on the environment. This involves analyzing data, conducting feasibility studies, and developing innovative solutions that reduce waste and promote sustainability.

In addition to design work, an environmental engineer must conduct thorough environmental impact assessments before projects can move forward. By identifying potential risks to public health and natural resources early in the planning process, engineers can develop effective strategies for managing these impacts over time.

Another critical responsibility of an environmental engineer is developing comprehensive waste management plans that minimize pollution while maximizing resource recovery. As companies seek more sustainable business practices, they rely on experts with a deep understanding of waste reduction strategies to help them achieve their goals.

Environmental Scientist

As an environmental scientist, you will play a crucial role in identifying and solving environmental problems. Here are some of the key responsibilities you can expect to have:

  • Analyze data related to environmental issues:
  • You will need to collect and analyze data from various sources, including field studies and laboratory experiments. This data will be used to identify trends and patterns that can help us understand how human activities impact the environment.
  • Conduct research on potential solutions to environmental problems:
  • With your analytical skills, you will conduct research on potential solutions that could help mitigate or solve environmental issues. This may involve studying new technologies or finding ways to improve existing ones.
  • Provide advice on the interpretation of complex scientific information:
  • As an expert in your field, you may be called upon to provide guidance on how scientific findings should be interpreted by policymakers, businesses, or other stakeholders. Clear communication is essential here so everyone understands what actions they should take next.

Overall, as an Environmental Scientist it's important that you have strong analytical skills combined with a passion for protecting our planet!

Green Building Architect

As a Green Building Architect, you will play a crucial role in designing buildings that minimize energy consumption and reduce carbon footprints. This involves evaluating and selecting eco-friendly materials for construction projects. However, your role extends beyond just design as you'll be required to collaborate with engineers, clients, and contractors to ensure sustainability goals are met. By using sustainable building practices throughout the entire project lifecycle, such as incorporating renewable energy sources like solar power or wind turbines into the design phase, you can help create healthier environments for people to live and work in while also reducing their impact on the environment.

Your expertise in green architecture can also extend beyond individual buildings by working on projects that focus on creating sustainable cities or even repurposing existing infrastructure into new eco-friendly spaces. As a green building architect, you have an opportunity to make positive changes towards a more sustainable future which directly benefits both humans and our planet's health.

Sustainability Specialist

Developing sustainability policies is a key responsibility for Sustainability Specialists. They work with organizations and communities to create plans that promote environmentally-friendly practices while also maintaining economic viability. Additionally, they advise businesses on how to reduce their ecological footprint without sacrificing profitability, identifying opportunities for cost savings through conservation measures.

Sustainability Specialists play an essential role in helping companies and communities become more sustainable. By developing effective policies and advising on eco-friendly business practices, they can help create a healthier environment while still promoting economic growth. Identifying opportunities for cost savings through conservation measures is particularly important as it allows businesses to become more sustainable without taking on additional costs. Overall, the role of Sustainability Specialist offers many rewarding career opportunities for those looking to make a real difference in the world by helping people and the environment.

Renewable Energy Specialist

Assessing the feasibility of renewable energy projects and designing systems that capture these sources efficiently are key tasks for a Renewable Energy Specialist. In this role, you will collaborate with stakeholders such as utility companies or government agencies to ensure successful implementation. Some specific responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting site surveys to determine the viability of different renewable energy options
  • Developing detailed project plans and specifications
  • Analyzing data related to energy usage, cost savings, and environmental impact
  • Managing construction processes and overseeing quality assurance
  • Providing ongoing support for installed systems

As a Renewable Energy Specialist, your work directly impacts both people and the environment by promoting sustainable solutions that reduce carbon emissions while providing reliable power sources.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash