JOBS IN ENVIRONMENT
'Environmental' jobs tends to focus on advocacy, activism or regulation, while the 'Natural Resource' jobs are typically 'field' and outdoor disciplines. Job terminology for environmental/resource occupations varies widely state to state.
In one state you might find the term 'environment' applied to occupations involving regulatory agencies such as waste water management (as in environmental engineers). In another state the term 'environment' might be used to describe a job with a conservation group, natural resources or urban forestry. If you are looking for work in another state, be sure you understand the terminologies used to describe jobs in your field.
Finding work in environmental occupations can be a challenge both with and without a degree. If you are a person who enjoys being outdoors daily, you may find that outdoor work is only available as a 'blue collar' occupation or what is called a 'tech' position, meaning a four year college degree is not required to do the work. Tech work might involve GIS, geology, tree planting, trails constuction, power line clearance, and a multitude of physical outdoor activities. Yes, you can get paid to hike though the woods, just not a huge salary.
Environmental careers requiring specific college degrees are increasingly becoming 'indoor' jobs with heavy use of computer models to predict environmental events. This is a distinct change from 20-40 years ago where the professional went into the field daily and supervised tech field staff. Now an environmental professional seldom escapes from the office and does a lot of the 'field work' with aerial photos, computer generated maps, and a ton of paperwork. It all needs to be done to make the world a better place, but an environmental degree is no longer a straight path to the great outdoors.
Salaries tend to be lower among outdoor jobs, and higher in degreed positions. Don't let this deter you from following your dream, but be realistic. You won't get rich working in an outdoor occupation, so plan your lifestyle goals accordingly. The pay is higher for occupations requiring degrees and there is more opportunity for advancement or career change. If you are considering a career with an agency, check out Pay and Leave and check Salaries and Wages.
Private sector jobs and working for nonprofit groups can pay more or less than government jobs. The main difference is in the benefits packages that might be available. You might not deem this important if you are young and single, but think ahead - what if you marry, have children, or need to provide for a family? If you are planning for a lifelong career in an environmental occupation, you should take into account both your present and future plans.
If all of this is new to you, you might find Green Careers Resource Guide by Jim Cassio to be a great introduction to green careers.
MORE SOURCES FOR JOBS IN ENVIRONMENT
- Ecological Society of America - ESA
- Check out the 'Career and Certification' section for jobs, internships, fellowships and grants. there is also some information for high school students, too.
- California Environmental Health Association posts vacancies in this discipline. Most of the positions are in California with city or county government with very good salaries. There may also be volunteer opportunities.
- Environmental Education
- Do a multi-site search for environmental education employment opportunities. This is also an excellent site for information on environmental education grants.
- Naturalist Jobs
- The job board and job search site for qualified naturalist job candidates.
- Environmental Career Opportunities
- Numerous vacancies in the environmental field can be found and used for your job hunt on this excellent job site, but you can receive up announcements more quickly through a subscription, which you can receive at a password protected website or in print for a modest fee.
- Juju Job Search Engine
- Their search engine indexes thousands of corporate, academic, and governmental job sites and allows users to search them all simultaneously to make job hunting faster, easier, and more productive. Although they don't specialize in environmental jobs, they regularly have thousands of listings in the 'environment' field.
- Environmental-Jobs-Online.com is a gateway to help job seekers find environmental career openings.
- Green Career Central
- Green Career Central takes the mystery out of finding a green career. It's an online career center for people who want to switch to a greener career or find a green job. It's not directly a source for jobs, but anyone considering a career change may find it helpful.
- Great Green Careers
- Jobs in solar, wind, renewable energy, green construction, environmental nonprofits and lots more.
- USA Green Jobs Now
- Connecting Talented Job Seekers to Employment in Renewable Energy Industries.
- Solpower Jobs
- According to this jobsite, Socially Responsible Jobs are Green jobs, Health care jobs, Renewable energy jobs, Educational jobs, Environmental jobs, and Non profit jobs. Check it out.
- Green Corps
- Green Corps is the non-profit Field School for Environmental Organizing, a one-year paid program that includes intensive classroom training in grassroots organizing and hands-on experience running urgent environmental campaigns.
- ICF International
- Are you interested in having the power to impact society in a 'for-profit' environment? Then they have the right career perspective for you.
- Green Jobs
- Job listings from across the country, targeting employment opportunities that enhance sustainability, though not necessarily in natural resources. Think solar, wind, net-zero construction, etc.
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Nature Conservancy has projects in 30 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Jobs may report directly to the Worldwide Office, one of eight conservation regions, or a conservation strategic group.
- Tree Hugger
- TreeHugger is dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.Thus their job listings are a very mixed bag - and one that may be just what you are looking for.
- Find a great career in wildlife, renewable energy, environmental compliance, sustainability, EHS, air quality, green buildings, hydrogeology, engineering, environmental policy, and more!
- Now an expanded jobs board - you might find some excellent opportunities here.
- Jobs from around the world in energy, geoscience, seismology, environmental science, remediation, agriculture, forestry, ecology, plant science, meteorology, oceanography, soil science, GIS, and related subjects.
- This newer job search engine does a very good job of targeting desirable vacancy announcements using search terms like 'conservation' but you may want to use additional keywords to narrow the search. Very good for a defined search!
- Scan down to the jobs section. Roughly 1500 position announcements in a variety of environmental regulatory occupations, including air quality, environmental management, soils and groundwater.
- The Women's Environmental Council (WEC) is a non-profit association of women professionals in various environmental fields. Jobs posted are mostly in western states and southern California.
- The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is a six state association of grassroots groups in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. WORC is also has a new resource council in eastern Oregon. Jobs are related to community organizing and advocacy and are limited in number.
- High County News Job Listings
- A few great jobs in mountain states - mostly with nonprofit organizations. High Country news is one of the most interesting and influential western states news sources.
- Green Dream Jobs
- If you have business skills and want to work for a sustainable business or nonprofit, you've come to the right place! From recycling to green building, from renewable energy to organic products, from social investing to certified forestry, find a Green Dream Job.
- GreenBiz Jobs
- There are all sorts of jobs listed, from Head Gardener to Resrouce Conservation Manager, to Environmental Engineer.
- Society for Ecological Restoration International
- SER has a career section under 'Resources', with professional employment listings, internships and volunteer opportunities.
- Practical information for Environmental Professionals in the Southeast U.S., the site has jobs in their 'Classifieds' section. Most job openings are in Florida.
- Land Trust Alliance
- Job openings with Land Trusts tend to be administrative management positions with a few field jobs. This is a growing field of work.
- National Registry of Environmental Professionals Job Bank
- A professional registry with news and list of credentialed professionals. The Job Bank offers a variety of opportunities to NREP-certified professionals and the people who want to hire them.
- A key feature of this site is the extensive list of private sector companies which may be helpful to job seekers in identifying future employers. Covers environmental employment in the USA and Canada, including natural, green and science listings.
- They have a limited number of jobs in agriculture and environmental categories. Your search terms are important to get good results.
- School for Field Studies
- This unique school offers opportunities to be involved with an environmentally focused, community oriented, and results driven organization. Both academic and nonacademic position job openings in US and abroad and some internships are available, but limited.
- Harvard Center for the Environment
- Harvard's Center for the Environment now posts fellowship and grant opportunities.
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