Four awesome green jobs
With more and more news about the disastrous effects of climate change, ocean plastic and pollution, a growing number of people are becoming concerned about the environment.
According to Parker, Graf, and Igielnik in their article “Generation Z Looks a Lot Like Millennials on Key Social and Political Issues” for the Pew Research Center, approximately 50 percent of all Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X believe that human activity is to blame for climate change. In addition, as Joseph Coughlin reports in his article “Greener Than You: Boomers, Gen X & Millennials Score Themselves on the Environment” for Forbes, 59 percent of Millennials believe they’re more concerned about protecting the environment than people in their sixties, and almost 50 percent believe they take more actions to protect the environment.
The good news is that it’s becoming easier to earn a living while at the same time helping the environment. Check out these four awesome green jobs:
- Chief sustainability officer: A chief sustainability officer — or CSO — creates and implements an organization’s policies regarding how its operations impact the environment. He or she is responsible for ensuring the company is in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations while using efficient, often innovative tools to reach its objectives. To become a CSO, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, sustainability, environmental economics, or a related field. In general, a CSO earns $100,000 or more per year depending on the company.
- Recycler: A recycler — or reclamation worker — removes hazardous materials and sorts materials so they can be recycled. This can involve dismantling cell phones, computers, and large appliances. To become a recycler, you’ll need a GED or high school degree, as well as on the job training. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, you can also earn accreditation, for example the Responsible Recycling Standard for Electronics Recyclers. A recycler earns between $24,000 and $63,000 per year depending on location and seniority.
- LEED-accredited designer: With the rising demand for green buildings, there’s a growing need for engineers, architects, and designers who know how to incorporate plants, sustainable systems, and eco-friendly materials into buildings. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — or LEED — certification. On average, you can earn between $50,000 and $120,000 depending on experience and specific job title.
- Water quality technician: A water quality technician determines if potable, recreational, and waste water meets EPA standards by testing it for chemical contaminants and microbes. You’ll need an associate or bachelor’s degree in environmental science, as well as one or two years of experience. On average, water quality technicians earn approximately $40,500 per year.
In addition to these jobs, there are many others — including jobs in sustainable energy and green manufacturing. So if the health of the planet matters to you and you want to make a positive impact with your work, spend some time researching what your options are.
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