Super Green Careers

By Coach Kristine   With all the talk lately about environmental sustainability, you might be wondering if a “green career” is an option you should consider. Green careers are jobs that preserve and rebuild the natural environment, and they span every field from architecture to finance. The sky is the limit when considering a green career, but you could even study the sky itself!   Last year, President Obama stated that climate change is the greatest danger to our future, and Vice President Biden has mentioned that the United States’ energy infrastructure needs to be modernized. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, energy consumption is expected to grow by 49 percent worldwide from 2007 to 2035. Since we are using more and more energy every year, President Obama created the Clean Power Plan, which calls for the U.S. to use more renewable energy overall by 2030 to help combat this problem. This means that more jobs will be needed to increase the efforts to recycle more products, reduce waste, and end harmful environmental practices. Energy efficiency is known to be good for communities, and creating jobs of any kind, including green ones, is good for the economy.   According to sustainabilitydegrees.com, the best way to be prepared for a green career is to have a broad education in sustainability, which allows for several career options.  Environmental scientists are in demand to help with cleaning up toxic spills, conserving water, and managing climate change. Environmental engineers are needed to help communities use water more efficiently. The push to design and build environmentally-sustainable structures will require architects, engineers, and urban planners who have backgrounds in eco-friendly design. Food scientists help farmers develop new agricultural technologies to feed those lacking a healthy food supply. Water engineers help develop ways to conserve water, and water scientists try to find new water sources and ways to improve water quality. Finally, with so much of our electricity now coming from wind and solar power, careers in these fields are also booming.   If you are interested in a leadership position in one of these fields, your career will most likely require an advanced degree. According to GreenBiz.com, sustainability leadership careers generally fall into one of three categories. The first is education, which includes teachers, researchers, journalists, filmmakers, and professors. They focus on sharing the moral and scientific aspects of sustainability challenges. The second is policy. Policy careers work to change the laws that affect sustaining the environment and help to make them better. The third is business. Green business professionals focus on building companies that solve environmental problems.   You should keep in mind that some green jobs will depend on legislation. According to Fortune.com, job growth is often dependent on factors such as politics and tax credits, which creates a constant tug-of-war over things like the Keystone Pipeline, oil-drilling rights, and emissions standards. Also, some states’ public policies are friendlier toward renewable energy than others, so green job availability will vary by state.   If you are interested in taking an active role in protecting our environment, there are many career options to consider that will require a variety of talents and degrees. Feel free to contact your CAA Coaches if you have any questions about your career options. We’re here to help!

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