Do you want to save the planet and earn a living while doing it? Maybe it's time to consider a career change to one of these dreamy green jobs. Here's something for every interest, skill set, and educational background. Best of all, many of these green jobs pay quite well.
01 Sustainability Director
A relatively new position, CEOs of Sustainability serve as corporate advocates for companies' environmental efforts. "Companies are monitoring the impact they are having on the environment and society, and the appointment of the OSC reflects the underlying need for companies to not only monitor but also improve their performance," said Harvard Associate Professor Business School, George Serafeim.
02 LEED Accredited Design Professional
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the gold standard for environmental engineering and construction. Architects, engineers, designers, and other professionals can take professional LEED exams and become certified.
03 Environmental Lawyer
Environmental attorneys advise clients on issues related to air and water quality, hazardous waste, sustainability, and more. Environmentalscience.org predicts that this profession will continue to grow as climate change affects the earth.
Some states require a license for this work, which involves studying the composition of the earth, history, and natural resources. Geoscientists can work with environmental scientists and do their work both indoors (in offices and labs) and outdoors (in the field). Travel is typically required on this job, which can take workers into hot and cold climates.
05 Environmental Engineer
Environmental engineers advise governments and private companies on the best ways to minimize the environmental impact of their projects. They could work on recycling programs, public health policies, or plans to reduce air and water pollution.
Hydrologists study the availability and quality of water, collecting data and using it to formulate plans to improve resources. They may work for government agencies or private companies, and they tend to split their time between office and field, which for a hydrologist can mean waist-deep in lakes, rivers, and streams.
07 Environmental scientist
Environmental scientists work for government agencies, consulting firms, or other private companies, using their knowledge of the natural sciences to inform policies that protect humans, animals, and the environment. Like many science careers, this one requires workers to divide their time between the office and the field.
08 urban farmer
You love growing your own food, but can't imagine leaving city life behind? Combine your passions with this dreamy green job. Urban farmers use (or create) green space on vacant lots, backyards, even on rooftops. Statistics on urban farmers are hard to come by, but anecdotal evidence suggests that this occupation is becoming more popular. In recent years, some condo developments have even hired their own urban farmer on staff to attract potential buyers.
09 Conservation Scientist
Analyze data to help manage parks and forests and protect the environment. They work with governments and landowners to improve land use without negatively impacting soil and water.
10 Urban planner
Urban planners often plan land use programs to help create and expand communities. This is an important role, especially in cities and towns that are experiencing high population growth.
By Jen Hubley Luckwaldt