Green jobs are available in nearly every industry. And they often pay more than other occupations.1
We talked to young professionals about how they got these five fabulous planet-saving careers and what you need to know to get one.
1. Sustainability analyst
The job: Sustainability analysts examine a company’s practices across a variety of different areas — including how much energy it uses and how much waste it creates — and proposes more climate friendly ways to do business. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in sustainability, environmental science, mathematics or a related field.
The role model: Dawnielle Tellez works in the clothing retail industry, which is not known for being climate friendly. The textile industry emits 1.2 billion tons of carbon a year.
2. Environmental photojournalist
The job: Environmental photojournalists document the effects of climate change and other environmental dangers on nature, wildlife and people, helping others visualize — and connect to — these important stories. To break into photojournalism, you’ll typically need a college degree in photography.
The median pay: $41,280 a year, with the number of photographer jobs projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030.
The role model: A few years ago, Pete Muller became fascinated by the emotional ways climate change is affecting people. As a National Geographic photographer, he spent two years traveling the world to document it, photographing wildfire survivors, people losing their homes to sea level rise and others experiencing climate change in real-life ways.
3. Environmental, social and governance analysts
The job: Environmental, social and governance — or ESG — is a hot trend in investing, as more investors want investments that align with their values (think clean energy versus fossil fuels). Analysts in this field consider how companies measure on a variety of environmental, social and governance factors. You’ll need a college degree in business or finance.
The role model: As head of ESG at Ares Management Corp., an investment management company, Adam Heltzer makes the business case that doing the right thing by the planet is profitable, from reducing carbon emissions to using less water.
4. Climate entrepreneur
The job: Rebuilding a better, more sustainable and more equitable future will need the innovative ideas and passion of young people ready to turn vision into reality. Climate entrepreneurs use their skills from a variety of backgrounds to create companies and organizations that tackle environmental issues.
The median pay: $51,816, according to the Small Business Administration's profile of small businesses [PDF].
The role model: Steph Speirs is on a quest to move our energy economy away from fossil fuels and into systems that are clean, equitable and renewable. She’s the CEO and co-founder of Solstice, a dynamic startup that’s bringing solar energy to the 80% of people in the U.S. who are unable to install solar panels on their roofs.
5. Delivery expert
The job: Delivery experts, or logisticians, analyze and coordinate company supply chains. You may quality for some positions with an associate’s degree, but companies with more complex logistics and bigger supply chains may require at least a bachelor’s degree in logistics, supply chain management, business or a related field.
The role model: Steve Moelk is the guy responsible for bringing electric vehicle home delivery to IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. He says logistics companies need to grapple with the electrification of transportation — now.
1 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics