The Fastest Growing Jobs in SustainabilityAugust 26, 2021
After the whirlwind of COVID-19, the job market is slowly recovering and no sector more so than that of sustainability. As we enter a new era where energy conservation takes center stage, the renewable energy sectors are fast creating new jobs.
According to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, in 2018, “there were 2.4 million jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, compared to half that many in fossil energy.” Renewable energy provides more jobs than the so-called “dirty energy industry,” and this disparity is only expected to increase as more people and corporations make the switch to clean energy sources. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the fastest-growing jobs in sustainability.
Preparing Yourself to Enter the Green Job Market
While some jobs in the sustainability sector only require a high school diploma, others require more extensive education. The range of industries offering careers in sustainability is vast, from urban planners and architectural engineers to sustainability specialists to hydrologists.
Each of these careers requires a distinct skillset and education, but if you’re not sure which area you’d like to specialize in, consider studying for a career in sustainability. From there, you can continue to earn advanced degrees in specialized areas. Alternatively, you can break directly into the job market.
Of course, entering the workforce is no easy task, especially when starting from scratch. To set yourself up for a successful career in sustainability, it’s important to know what to include in your resume. Your resume should include relevant skills and achievements. If you feel your work experience isn’t quite up to par, the field of sustainability offers limitless opportunities for volunteering, where you can boost your resume while giving back to your local community.
Making an Impact as a Student
If you’re still in school or university, you can work within your community to make a positive impact on the environment. Besides volunteering, you can join activist groups, go green, and even work to get college students familiar with green technology education.
At the institutional level, you can encourage university officials to implement renewable energy features like solar panels and turbines. Schools like Colby College in Maine and American University in Washington, D.C., are among the handful of American universities to have achieved carbon neutrality in the past several years.
Fast-Growing Careers in Sustainability
Environmental scientists and specialists seek solutions to environmental issues, including rectifying contaminated air and water supplies. They’re also instrumental in the field of construction, determining what meets environmental standards and what fails to make the cut. Protecting the environment and human health is of utmost importance for environmental scientists.
Environmental engineers combine their skills in biology, soil science, and chemistry to perform their work. The job of environmental engineering technicians is then to put the developed technologies into action, which may involve testing and modifying the equipment in the field.
For technically gifted individuals with an associate’s degree, the career of environmental engineering technician is an excellent choice that will allow you to analyze the input to optimize processes. Specialization in areas like water quality is also a possibility.
There’s a lot of room for improvement in the automotive industry, since as National Geographic puts it, “vehicles are America’s biggest air quality compromisers, producing about one-third of all U.S. air pollution.” And that’s not to mention all the pollution that results from manufacturing new vehicles and improperly disposing of old ones.
Among the unique opportunities available in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell careers, the transportation industry is projected to create lots of green jobs in the years to come. In fact, manufacturing jobs account for around half of jobs in the clean energy industry.
Car engineers attempt to mitigate the impact of vehicles on the environment, while environmental industrial mechanics keep clean vehicles running as long as possible. Mechatronic engineers even work on building robots and automating systems.
Factory Workers, Installers, & Service Technicians
Of course, none of the above technologies would function without a dedicated team of factory workers, installers, and service technicians to handle work on the ground. Solar photovoltaic installation, for instance, is among the fastest-growing green career options and is accessible to any individual who possesses a high school diploma.
States like California, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina have major hydrogen fuel cell programs underway, making them great places to seek work as factory workers, vehicle technicians, and other related jobs.
The Sustainability Sector is Growing
The widespread adoption of fuel cells in the United States could create 675,000 new jobs by 2035, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. And fuel cells represent just one of the sustainable sectors, with solar power, wind turbines, and other renewable energy sources all rising in popularity. To curb mankind’s environmental impact and replace lost fossil fuel jobs, careers in sustainability are bound to become more and more common in the decade to come.