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Written by Lindsay Crowder   
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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Green Careers

What is a "Green Job?"
A green job refers to any profession working to make a positive contribution to the environmental movement. The term "green job" can wear many faces. Because the environmental movement is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement you can find your niche anywhere from advocating for sustainable management of resources to working to protect the natural environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.

What is the benefit of choosing a "Green Job?"

The benefit for you is that the environmental movement is growing at a very fast pace so the demand for jobs in this field is also growing. You have the opportunity to cater your passions in ways that suit you while still making a positive impact on our environment. The benefits for the environment are endless. As we continue to pose threats to our environment, it is necessary to work to protect it.

Where do I begin?
As mentioned above, the job opportunities in the field are very diverse. The first things to consider are:

What are my current qualifications? Note: previous work experience, specialized skills, etc.

What do I want to do? For example: work as a teacher, scientist, researcher, lobbyist, consultant, lawyer, organizer, etc.

Do I need a specific degree? For prospective students there are many college programs that prepare you for a career in the environmental movement. Research programs through your university based on your interests. For existing professionals, there are many opportunities that do not require an educational background in Environmental Science, etc. Degrees may be preferred.

What types of jobs can I expect to find?
Once you decide what you want to do and what you are qualified to do, you can begin to explore your options. Due to the diversity of jobs available, it is up to you to research the specific requirements and training. Princeton University offers a good example of different career choices:
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  • Teacher - secondary school focusing on outdoor/environmental issues through literature, science, history, politics

  • Teacher working at a school with an outdoor program

  • Educator at an Environmental Center

  • Educator at an Outdoor Center

  • Management Consultant focusing on corporate challenge & development

  • Outdoor Trip Leader - Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School, or similar program,

  • Program Director/Manager for outdoor center, environmental center, environmental organization, conservation group

  • Scientist - University setting, private foundation, environmental organization, state or federal government

  • Lobbyist for an environmental organization, conservation group

  • Engineer working for an environmental consulting firm, environmental organization, conservation group, state or federal government

  • Eco-friendly Building and Design through construction, architecture, etc

  • Lawyer working for an environmental consulting firm, environmental organization, conservation group, state or federal government

  • Urban Planner/Architect working on a state or local level

  • Forest Ranger working for state or federal government

  • Fund Raiser for an environmental organization, conservation group, foundation

  • Researcher for an environmental organization, conservation group

For detailed information on the various environmentally focused degrees you may want to consider, check out this resource:

Also,, a website designed for college students or recent graduates, offers these specific career ideas:
  • NJ State Park Ranger

  • Toyota Prius Advertising Associate

  • City Environmental Planner

  • ecoAmerica Project Manager

  • Energy Efficiency Technician - Southern California Edison

  • Marketing Specialist - Honeywell Energy Solutions
You can find these jobs in several different sectors:
  • State and Federal-Department of Environmental Protection, EPA, National Park Service, etc.

  • Environmental Organizations (National, State, and Local)-The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, etc.

  • Outdoor Programs (National, State, and Local)-Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School, etc.

  • Private-research based on your area of interest or expertise
And, according to, you can find green companies and organizations in different industries, such as:
  • Organic foods and consumer products

  • Energy conservation

  • Renewable energy

  • Green building

  • Recycling

  • Environmental cleanup

  • Socially responsible investing

  • Sustainable tourism

  • Non-profit environmental advocacy

How do I find a green job?
There are many resources for searching for a job that works for you. Based on your interests and qualifications, you can begin looking for job postings right away! Some useful websites include: is a free resource that provides information for candidates and employers through a job board and other resources like a "Green Careers Journal" and updated information on employers, the job market, etc. Easy to use.
The online news source for Greener World Media- "the world's first and only mainstream media company focused exclusively on sustainability and the competitive edge it brings to businesses." Easy to use. Good resource for businesses or for general up-to-date environmental news. Includes a link for searching and posting resumes and jobs.
Focuses on all aspects of employment in renewable energy worldwide. Based in CA, includes resources for employers, job seekers, and general information. Easy to use if you are interested or skilled in the field of renewable energy.

An environmental directory with over 8,000 links. Access to search engines with environmental job listings-specifically by industry or region, access to search engines for internships, volunteering, and access to websites of environmental employers. Easy to use for extended searching.
"Covers environmental employment in the USA and Canada, including biology, conservation, nature/naturalists, sustainability, wildlife, consulting/management, science, engineering, government, green/eco and more." Easy to use. Good directory for someone with an environmental education/background.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 March 2013 )