As the green economy grows, more businesses value the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profits. For today's college student this means that there are more opportunities to find meaningful work; and you could be at the forefront of a new wave of careers that don't yet exist.
"The environmental movement is dynamic and robust--constantly evolving and engendering spirited discussion. An environmental career can accommodate varied philosophies, goals and beliefs. In a field where a passion to conserve, preserve, protect and restore the environment is crucial, there are numerous options of where and how to apply that passion. People working for the environment inhabit many careers across many industries. Each type of career differs in approach, goals, training and skills needed. Environmental careers can be found in government, industry, nonprofit organizations, academia and science."
Because there are so many varied paths to green careers, it doesn't matter what you major in, only what you're passionate about. Consider the skills you have and the topics that move you, be it climate control or community gardens, and find a way to put those skills to use. There are roles for those with the science and technical skills to develop new technology; the business skills to market and invest in it; and the verbal skills to educate and motivate others to actions that help restore and protect the plant. This guide will help you explore the varied avenues that currently exist and find job opportunities.
Explore the websites of these organizations to get an idea of where you might fit in to the green workforce:
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies: From Sustainable Agriculture to Zero-Waste Manufacturing BALLE provides tools and resources for small businesses intent on improving their local communities.
Green Energy Career Guide provides an overview of the possibilities working with renewable energy; the Green Energy Career Guide can open your eyes to an array of options, including non-technical careers.
Northwest Association of Environmental Professionals: Professional organizations provide an insight into local and regional issues, and often post jobs. NWAEP is an example of one such local organization.
Social Venture Network's People section features 20 Ideas Profiles that demonstrate the broad ways to play a part in the green economy.
Sustainable Seattle is an example of a local organization focused on improving the community through sustainability. Look for one in your hometown!
U.S. Green Building Council: Leaders in the field of sustainable building practices, USGBC provides information about Green Building as well as training opportunities at a discounted student rate.
Visit the following web sites for listings of green career opportunities:
Association for Experiential Education: Post your resume or view jobs in programs ranging from Environmental Education, to Outdoor & Adventure, to Therapeutic at parks, camps, and universities.
Association for Sustainability in Higher Education: Have you served on the Sustainability Advisory Committee? Lived in the Green House? Been a leader in Students for a Sustainable Campus? AASHE posts job listings for sustainability positions in higher education. Take the knowledge and skills gained from your Puget Sound experience and apply it at college campuses across the country.
EcoJobs.com is a database from Environmental Career Opportunities that links to environmentally-related jobs in a wide range of categories.
Green Jobs.com features national and international jobs in the renewable energy industries.
OutdoorEd.com lists seasonal jobs that involve trip leading, wilderness instruction, and program administration.
Seattle GreenDrinks: Connect with people around the world who share a common interest in the environment through social networking organizations. GreenDrinks is an example of one such organization. The Seattle site has a wealth of local information, including jobs.
Sustainable Business: The Green Dream Jobs section of sustainablebusiness.com posts jobs from across the country in a wide range of fields.
Jobs4theenvironment blog was created with the goal of connecting entry-level through mid-level professionals with environmental jobs.
Search for "environmental," "sustainable," and "green" job postings using our other Job Search Links.