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.
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:
EcoJobs.com is a database from Environmental Career Opportunities that links to environmentally-related jobs in a wide range of categories.
GreenJobs.net 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 and Tacoma 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. These sites have a wealth of local information, including jobs.
Student Conservation Association (SCA): "The SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land." Start with an SCA internship, and use the opportunity to build your network and explore the career field.
Sustainable Business: The Green Dream Jobs section of sustainablebusiness.com posts jobs from across the country in a wide range of fields.
Search for "environmental," "sustainable," and "green" job postings using our other Job Search Links.