Environmental Careers Examined: A Gamut of Choices from Lobbyist to Financial Analyst

Published: Feb 02, 2010

Topics: CSR       

Today, some of the fastest-growing occupations are in the environmental sector. And add to this the allocation of billions of dollars by the federal government to implement its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which includes funding for green technology and practices, and is intended to stoke the creation of green jobs and one hot growing sector.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

While there is a lot being written about the sector of green jobs as a whole and the many millions of new jobs being created, there isn't a lot of specific info available on the many different roles one can choose from within the environmental field; what kind of educational background is required for them; and what past experience and skills can be applied to these roles. Whether your aptitude lies in finance, consulting, law, marketing, lobbying or the outdoors, the environmental space has lucrative and satisfying career options that fit all these skills.

There are many positions available with private companies that are required to meet the new, more stringent state and federal environmental standards. Some important things to consider when seeking an environmental job are whether you want to work as a consultant (Read what a typical day in the life of a Sustainability Consultant involves), if you prefer a job that takes you outdoors (Read what is involved in being a National Park Ranger), and whether you like the idea of working for a small, local nonprofit organization (A regional planner at a New York-based nonprofit discusses her role), a large, national organization or the federal government (See what the job of a Policy Analyst at the EPA involves).

You might want to ask yourself what environmental issues you're particularly passionate about and what skills you have that may be applicable to those issues. Are you interested in cleanup work, policy, research or teaching? Another consideration is what type of education and background is required for various positions.

Below are some of the different roles offered within the environmental space. Click through to read in-depth descriptions, a day in the life and much more!

Environmental Engineers

Conservation Biologists

Environmental Analysts

Industrial Ecologists

Hydrologists -- Water and Wastewater Experts

Environmental Monitoring Experts

Environmental Attorneys

Environmental Policy Lobbyists and Advocates

Environmental Educators

Executive Directors and Fund Raisers

Environmental Interns

Electrical (Environmental) Engineers

Environmental Justice Workers

Researchers on Local Sustainability Practices

Environmental Jobs in National Parks (E.g.: Rangers)

Environmental Planners—at the Local and National Level

Strategic Sustainability Consultants

Food and Agriculture Specialists

(Green) Finance and Economics Experts

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