As renewable energy sources like solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind power become more ubiquitous, the industry needs an increasing number of skilled workers to manage these new technologies. Various job types are opening up, requiring candidates with a unique set of skills and a strong background in sustainability to handle evolving responsibilities.
Here are some of the top growing jobs in sustainability to keep an eye out for in 2023 and beyond.
1. Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)
Many corporations are hiring chief sustainability officers (CSOs). A major trend in business right now is environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) initiatives. As these missions enter the spotlight, more companies will need to hire CSOs to manage them.
Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever, meaning they’ll only take their business to companies with environmentally responsible practices and policies. A CSO’s median salary is around $110,000 annually.
2. Solar Consultant/Installer
Solar consultants and installers are in high demand, especially since average consumers need to be educated about the benefits of installing solar on their homes. More and more solar companies are emerging due to rapid growth in both commercial and residential buildings.
Consultants are essentially sales representatives for solar companies, while installers are the technicians placing solar PV panels on people’s roofs and performing maintenance if necessary. Consultants make around $120,000 per year and solar installers earn around $67,000.
3. Environmental Specialists
Another growing role in the sustainability field is the environmental specialist, and in particular environmental health and safety specialists. These professionals are responsible for regulating and enforcing various guidelines set forth by major governing bodies like the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Environmental specialists often work in dynamic environmental conditions for companies specializing in air sampling and air quality assessments, food handling, sanitizing, waste management and disposal, commercial pollution, and more. Environmental specialists can earn around $85,000 annually.
4. Civil Engineer
Civil engineers will also be in high demand in the sustainability field in the coming years. These engineers often require a bachelor’s degree and end up working in a variety of locations and conditions.
A civil engineer works to build, design, maintain, and update critical infrastructure such as water supplies, bridges, airports, tunnels, dams, roads, and more. Civil engineers often work on every stage of a project, including the researching and planning, designing, building, and education phases. The average salary for a civil engineer is just under $84,000 per year.
The fifth top fastest-growing job in sustainability is forester. Foresters must manage both public and private lands, and focus on three core areas: Economic development, recreation, and conservation. Here are some of the common duties a forester has:
- Make timber appraisals
- Maintain inventories
- Write procurement contracts
- Determine how to conserve wildlife habitats and other natural resources
- Environmental regulation compliance
Other job duties include finding the optimal harvesting season, devising plans to grow new trees, and monitoring the health of the forest. Foresters make almost $68,000 per year.
The Future of the Sustainable Job Market
Because more consumers, businesses, and government agencies are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability, these five jobs and others will continue to grow in the next few years.
In order to make the clean energy transition, clean up the environment, and combat climate change, the world needs more professionals to fill these types of roles. Keep an eye out for job market growth in the future as sustainability becomes more of a priority.
See more posts from Jane Marsh at environment.co
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