Careers in sustainability

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

There are some misconceptions about what it means to be sustainable. For green entrepreneurs, this means that the choice of business area and sustainability are embedded in every company element and are a decisive factor in decision-making. But even if they do, most green jobs do not specialize in sustainability.

There is a growing realization that it takes more than just changing light bulbs and recycling to run a sustainable business. It has never been clearer that sustainability jobs are growing and necessary. There has been a visible shift to incorporate sustainability into many different career types. This is probably an indication that sustainability will be more equated with job descriptions and business types in the future. The more practical knowledge and experience green entrepreneurs have with sustainability and how they can be integrated into a company, the better.

Sustainability careers exist in several industries that offer hope for a promising future for the environment. As the population continues to grow and companies and organizations look for ways to expand, build, and use fuel and resources for sustainable applications, the prospects for sustainability careers will continue to grow.

The challenge is to find professionals with the right skills and experience. Organizations need professionals who can develop and implement sustainability strategies that lead to results. There is evidence that the integration and implementation of sustainability principles is strategic and profitable for companies.

Professionals entrusted with leading sustainable business initiatives assume sustainability roles across companies, in addition to functions that do not have “sustainability” in the title. This includes entry-level positions such as Sustainability Officer, Sustainability Specialist, Sustainability Coordinator, senior positions such as Head of Sustainability, and more.

Careers in sustainability exist in a variety of industries and specializations. The following options are just some of the areas where young graduates and experienced sustainability experts can find work. Remember that no employer can work with multiple industries simultaneously, which provides sustainability experts with various ways to make a positive impact. [Sources: 3]

Sustainability means avoiding the depletion of natural resources and maintaining the ecological balance of the environment. A career in sustainability offers innovative ways to address concerns about the earth’s environmental balance and sustainability. This career requires a bachelor’s degree in this area before entering the industry.

There are many different roles in the sustainability sector. An urban planner’s primary task is to support companies and organizations with developing plans for the use of land. Municipalities, road systems, parks, and the city’s overall design are priorities for urban planners.

Essential tasks and responsibilities include developing systems, processes, and equipment to control water, air, and soil quality, advising governments and businesses on the remediation of contaminated sites, and working with other scientists and experts in various fields to address environmental issues. Technical expertise in sustainability areas such as energy, marine protection, and land restoration is particularly interested in allies and experience. People who have studied management, finance, and economics can benefit from understanding how companies operate in other related areas such as human resources, finance, and marketing.


Anyone with a strong interest and entrepreneurial inclination can become self-employed or work as an environmental or agricultural consultant. You can design residential buildings, offices, commercial buildings, unique function rooms, and other structures. Those who become green can obtain a degree in sustainable agriculture or related fields and enjoy a wide range of career opportunities in areas such as soil protection, agriculture, business administration, nursery and greenhouse management, landscape planning and management, research, and education.    

A Bachelor in Sustainability– The Bachelor in Sustainability prepares graduates for many green jobs in engineering, organizational consulting, policy analysis, and research. Courses at all levels discuss topics such as water management, environmental, economic, and energy issues, and sustainable community planning.  

Sustainability specialists are part of the growing need for state and corporate sustainability. They have the potential to save millions in operating costs by reorganizing supply and promoting best practices. Their job is to find practical ways to save money and propose programs to move an organization toward its green credentials. They could be responsible for procurement or suggest replacing a fleet of vehicles with electric models.  

The San Mateos County Sustainability Office often looks for qualified candidates for the position of Sustainability Program Manager for Energy and Water to lead the Energy and Water team. The team is responsible for protecting and conserving San Mateo County’s water and energy resources, implementing the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, County Energy Watch, rainwater compliance, green infrastructure programs, and leading climate change initiatives.     

In this role, you will be responsible for developing and scaling sustainable transportation solutions for Amazon Air and working with sustainability experts across the company. This role requires the ability to think big and implement quickly to create scalable solutions across Amazon’s logistics network.         

Preparing for a successful career in sustainability is more than just a university degree. In fact, it is crucial to think ahead and take the time to try things to help you choose the right program and find the job you love. Whether you’re interested in environmentally friendly construction, sustainable clothing production, economics, or climate change, here’s a three-step plan to get you on the right path to a green career.

Once you have decided where to invest your time and money, you need to get your hands dirty and learn as much as you want. In my case, I realized that I am a generalist, so choosing a technical niche like forest management limits my future options.

To participate in most of the programs, you need to research the specific program, school, prestige, and money in your area of interest. This is a great all-purpose option for those who want to develop and enter the field of sustainability. Still, it is also suitable for those who do not have good environmental credentials beyond their below-average education and work experience.

There is an endless list of professions that can be identified as green jobs: environmental engineers, solar energy technicians, recycling engineers, and sustainable architects, to name a few. As time progresses and the need for greater energy efficiency and resource sustainability increases, the boundaries between green and regular jobs will begin to dissolve.  























JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter


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