The Best Environmental Jobs

Fri, Feb 10, 2012

6. Misc.

We are living in a generation where the catchphrase “Going Green” is about as popular as the classic yellow smiley face that we were introduced to in the 60s. In the effort to preserve our environment, recycling is encouraged, making cleaning supplies are researched and there are even discounts at many retailers for not using paper or plastic, but bringing your own reusable bag to carry out your items.

So, it would make sense that more and more people would be looking into getting an environmental job. After all, they are working positions that are also considered to be environmentally-friendly. The kind of jobs in the field are endless ranging anywhere from being an archeologist or working in forestry to becoming a meteorologist or zoo keeper. If you’ve ever been curious about some of the best environmental jobs, based on pay and/or growth potential, here are some that help the earth and provide for a pretty comfortable way of life.

Environmental Engineer

This job is a good way to use virtually any kind of natural sciences degree to combat environmental challenges like waste and pollution. Although the title seems simple, it’s very much like a doctor in the sense that there are many different kinds of environmental engineers. Some are the designers of water and sewage plants. Others help to create the regulations in regards to handling hazardous materials. Some specialize in the environmental safety of people or animals; others focus on plants and buildings. The pay averages at about $80,000 and over the next decade, it’s expected to increasing become one of the most in-demand occupations.

Urban Planner

Consistently considered as one of the best careers to have, partially due to its ever-increasing need, urban planners are the people who look at their city and help to decide what it needs to grow. It may be a new stadium or theme park. It may be restoring a historical landmark or updating the community’s methods of transportation. A housing development may need to be renovated. A community park may need to be built. Yes, their responsibilities are vast, but the impact that they make on their community is everlasting. An entry-level job usually requires a master’s degree in planning. It’s even better if you’ve taken classes focusing on civil engineering, economics and architecture. With about eight years of experience, you can make between $50,000-80,000.

Environmental Science Technician

This job is mostly about testing pollution. As a supportive aid to an environmental science, many days are spent testing collected samples of water or soil for contamination. Now that there is such an interest in pollution control, this is another field that is becoming more and more sought after. You definitely need to not mind staying on your toes. Whether in a lab or outside, you’re moving around quite a bit. With an associate’s degree or even a certificate in applied science can get your foot in the door. Math, science and computer skills are a must. The low salary end is around $27,000. The high is about $65,000.


Listed as one of the best jobs in 2011 on CNBC.com, biologists basically are responsible for studying plant and animal life. They don’t just look at the origin of living things, but also their relationships, functions and development. A lot of a biologist’s time is spent gathering data whether it’s in a laboratory or on-site. For instance, a wildlife biologist may have to travel overseas to gather information on a certain kind of animal. Now that the subject of biological terrorism is becoming more and more of a concern, many more biologists are needed. A four-year degree, preferably in biology, is definitely required; however, a Ph.D is strongly preferred, especially if you desire to work in research and development. Average salary is around $74,000.


This one actually has more volunteers working than jobs available, but some of its mission still makes it worth a very honorable mention. Suppose you have graduation from a top online masters in human resources program, but you’re not sure what to do with it yet? How about taking a year off and joining up with Greenpeace? Aside from being to help out the environment, it’s a powerful way to use your degree, travel the world and gain a greater clarity on what part of the environment you’d like to professionally work in. Maybe it’s global warming, protecting forests or perhaps saving the sea’s wildlife. Sometimes the only way to know is to go out and see. You must be at least 14 to sign up. For more information visit Greenpeace.org.

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