Would you like to put your passion into your daily routine and not only earn money but feel a sense of pride and personal satisfaction while doing so? Then perhaps a green career is for you.
With or without government support, numerous socially conscious job seekers are moving into green careers. “People are motivated because they want to align their values with their work,” says Marie Kerpan, founder of the San Francisco-based company Green Careers.
“More and more people have values that deal with environmental and social sustainability. This came into prominence because of the growing awareness of global warming, caused largely by human behavior,” explains Kerpan, adding that finding solutions and ways to mitigate this problem and convert current energy sources to renewable sources of energy has led to numerous new career opportunities. Businesses at all levels will need skilled individuals to create, oversee, and monitor such companywide green programs.
Green building design and technology are shifting toward the use of renewable sources of energy and this leads to a long chain of job possibilities, from the actual green architects and designers, to the sales, production, and marketing people. Transportation is growing as well as we move toward hybrid cars, also opening up various career options.
“Organics is also huge. There is a growing recognition of environmental pollution and health issues,” adds Kerpan of the new careers, which have expanded from the scientific, engineering, and technical to product and marketing redesign for numerous products including body lotions, hair products, and perfumes.
“It’s not a niche anymore,” says Kerpan of the green industries and subsequent careers. “It’s a paradigm shift on a global level.”
At every level there are opportunities to move into greener pastures careerwise. Here are just a few of the numerous green career possibilities:
- Climatology: Study long-term trends in the climate and weather conditions over a period of time. This is a branch of the atmospheric sciences.
- Environmental Education: This can range from teaching visitors at parks, nature centers, and wildlife conservatories to leading tours or hiking expeditions or conducting classroom education for the government at schools or businesses. In the media there are increasing opportunities for people to present ideas on sustainability in broadcasting, print, or the Internet.
- Environmental Engineers: These are engineers who seek out answers and solutions to problems in the environment. This can include water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. Other tasks may include researching everything from how to better protect wildlife to cutting down automobile emissions. Conducting hazardous waste management studies and determining the impact of construction projects on the environment may also be part of this broad field.
- Environmental Researchers: More and more businesses will need researchers to look for sustainable solutions and find answers to environmental concerns.
- Land Conservation Specialists: These are specialists who research, analyze, and negotiate with diverse interest groups to develop viable options for conserving biodiversity, while providing education, recommendations, and initiating programs to facilitate on-the-ground conservation.
- Natural Resource Manager: You can manage public lands, forests, fisheries, and more. Resources that fall under the jurisdiction of natural resource managers also include timber, minerals, game populations, and wildlife refuges.
GreenBiz.com and Green Career Central are Web sites where you can look for green career opportunities. As the interest in green careers grows, all industries will be affected, so your options will continue to increase.