Being passionate about your job might seem like an unachievable dream. When looking for a new gig or choosing a career path, it’s easy to feel conflicted between your values and your paycheck. For many of us, sustainability has become a huge part of our lives. While our homes, meals, and modes of transportation may be more eco friendly than ever before, switching up our jobs can seem like an impossible challenge. But you don’t have to give up your paycheck to save the planet.
There are more opportunities for eco friendly jobs than you might realize. A few stereotypical careers spring to mind. Working on a sustainable farm can be tough, rewarding work. Holding big companies accountable in court for toxic pollution is vital. But green job opportunities are growing like never before, especially when compared to a generation ago. There are now many ways to make a living while supporting a more sustainable future.
Why eco friendly jobs are growing
These eco friendly job opportunities are expanding for several reasons. In 2015, the United Nations announced a worldwide 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, laying out bold goals for eco friendly communities and businesses. National funding for eco friendly innovation and job growth is on the rise, while there are many opportunities for grants in many industries. Non-profit organizations, like Carbon Fund, are working with corporations to offset their impact on our planet. As climate change becomes a more visible and unavoidable issue every year, eco friendly accountability is more important than ever.
Green solutions are good for business, as they promote longterm thinking, healthy supply chains, and better resource management. Plus, sustainable business practices are becoming the cheapest option for many businesses (even in the coal industry). As companies recognize these upsides, they are investing more and more into eco friendly jobs.
14 eco friendly jobs
There has never been a better time to make a living while also taking care of our planet. Investment in green industries is growing, offering a wide range of possible jobs. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Sustainability specialist
As companies aim to become more eco friendly, there is a rising demand for sustainability specialists. They are responsible for finding green solutions and implementing changes companywide. This would fit good communicators who can encourage eco friendly practices at every level, motivating employees to create lasting change.
2. Agricultural planner
When we use more eco friendly farming practices, like crop rotation and mixing tilled fields and forests, our land can be more productive and healthy. We need agricultural planners to combat over-farming and other harmful strategies. Healthy food chains begin with sustainable farms.
3. Digital marketer for eco brands
Sustainable brands are trying to get their message out there. There are great opportunities here for marketing, web design, and copywriting. Eco friendly/zero waste companies need passionate artists and writers to reach out and connect with customers.
4. Non-profit fundraiser / community organizer
Eco friendly change has been supported by grassroots non-profits and organizations for years. Through outreach and education, they can continue to have a huge impact on our communities. Working for a non-profit or organizing a grassroots push for sustainability can be a rewarding career path.
5. Green construction / building retrofitter
Eco friendly construction projects involve reducing a building’s waste and energy usage. We need skilled workers to create greener new buildings, while also retrofitting our current homes and businesses. By using non-toxic materials and improving access to natural light and cleaner air, eco friendly construction can improve all of our lives while protecting the planet.
6. Electric vehicle engineer / technician
As more cars/trucks become electric, we cut down on emissions and create more sustainable ways to travel and move products. We need engineers to keep improving battery life (and recycling), as well as technicians to build charging stations and repair vehicles.
7. Sustainability content creator / influencer
Good messaging is everything. We need skilled writers, photographers, and artists to encourage eco friendly change. Public opinion is important for shifting our economy and getting sustainable solutions passed into law. While creating engaging content to inspire others, there are also many ways to get paid for it online.
8. Sustainable retailer
Eco friendly stores aim to make shipping, manufacturing, and retail as sustainable as possible. Starting/working for a sustainable retailer offers many opportunities to help people buy greener and waste less.
9. Energy auditor
Energy auditors are a key part in making our living spaces more eco friendly. They conduct inspections to help buildings and homes to be more energy efficient, using extensive data and testing. As our homes become more sustainable, it can lower our personal carbon footprint significantly.
10. Urban planner
Urban planners focused on sustainability can improve air and water quality, protect green spaces, and promote eco friendly construction. The design of our communities and cities has a massive impact on the natural world. Being a part of that process can be a creative and rewarding job.
11. Solar engineer / installer
The solar power industry is booming. There are many opportunities to earn a good paycheck while making our energy sector more eco friendly. Solar power projects, whether for private homeowners or massive retail stores, need experts to design and maintain these sustainable systems.
12. Environmental lawyer
As we push for laws to make our governments and companies more eco friendly, we need lawyers to fight for renewable technology, cleaner air and water, and protected land (among so many other issues). This career path is tough but rewarding, empowering clients to fight back and create lasting change.
13. Automation engineer
As we try to lessen the environmental impact of manufacturing, automation is a key step. Automation engineers work to make eco friendly clothing and product manufacturing greener, cutting out unnecessary steps and conserving energy.
14. Ecotourism guide or host
An ecotourism guide organizes travel and adventure with sustainability in mind. Travel organizations, especially when dealing with local ecological and economic issues, need passionate guides to foster eco friendly tourism. As more and more people travel, we need experts to help and promote our natural world.
Getting paid for what you care about
As our impact on our world becomes more obvious, communities and businesses will have to shift away from their unsustainable practices. However, this provides opportunities to innovate and implement creative solutions. We need problem solvers and communicators who will work hard for a cause they believe in. The good news is you can find a career and get paid at the same time.