University of Vermont

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Green Jobs: What are they and how can you find one?

The workforce is changing dramatically due to unprecedented circumstances defining the 21st century. As society witnesses the impacts of climate change, organizations from different sectors have started to change their focus toward sustainable practices. This change in focus encourages employers to look for a different set of skills from potential employees, especially individuals entering the workforce for the first time.

According to a 2013 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93% of employers surveyed said a “demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than (a candidate’s) undergraduate major.” Furthermore, 95% of employers said it is important for candidates to “demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.”

Employers are increasingly understanding that “business as usual” will inevitably need to change due to changing environmental conditions. Much of this needed change is a reflection of an increased awareness of the interconnected nature of the planet. Businesses across most industries and sectors are increasingly requiring skillsand abilities to: innovate and adapt, analyze challenges from a systems perspective, collaborate with those with different perspectives/views, and see the “big picture” goals of a business. As the philosophies guiding this diverse plethora of jobs and careers develop towards a focus on responsible and ethical resource use, the market for “green” and/or “sustainable” jobs and careers is on the rise.

Generally when people hear the term ‘green jobs’, they think of career paths limited for those who study environmental studies or sciences. Usually these perceptions consist of installing solar panels or working in local government to promote sustainable policies; however, the scope of a green  or sustainability job expands far beyond these occupations for direct environmental action. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs as those that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or use fewer natural resources. In other words, a green job is one in which people incorporate knowledge of the resources consumed in any given operation and make decisions about what resources to use.  Green jobs are a subcategory of sustainability jobs. A sustainability job or career involves implementation of the “triple bottom line” or the “three Es” - environment, economy, equity-  in making decisions to improve ecosystem health, quality of life, and create a thriving economy.

Interested in joining the green workforce? Wondering where you can find information on such opportunities?

Three networks, the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC), the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability, and the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development have worked with a number of HEASC Sustainability Fellows in order to create an effective, easy-to-use resource in this task. They have organized a regularly updated listing of over sixty sources of information for use on campuses across the United States in the search for green and sustainability jobs, located here

The Sustainability Journal of Record reviewed more than 60 listings of sustainability career resources for current and future green job seekers and narrowed it down to this following list of 14 resources based on usefulness:

Organization                            Description


TreeHugger Jobs

TreeHugger is a major media outlet in driving sustainability mainstream. Blogs, weekly and daily newsletters, twice-monthly radio interviews, and regularly updated Twitter and Facebook pages are consistently published. Job listings are exclusively green and are of a wide variety of fields.

Environmental Protection Agency

Consistently ranked as one of the top federal agencies in which to work, the EPA offers many benefits to students and professionals alike. It’s mission is is dedicated to safeguarding natural resources and human health

GreenBiz.com

 

GreenBiz.com’s mission is to provide accurate and balanced information, resources, and learning opportunities to help all types of companies integrate environmental responsibility in a profitable business practice. Job listings are international and varied, categorized by job type, location, and experience level.

SustainableBusiness.com

SustainableBusiness.com has been the leading green job service on the web since 1996. A great resource for environmental related jobs, green business associated with this site include renewable energy jobs, green building, organic jobs, sustainable nonprofit jobs, and government agencies. The comprehensive listing of green businesses provided are also good for networking and industrial growth purposes.

Net Impact

Job listings on this site range from work with nonprofits and government agencies to corporate responsibility roles. Over 50,000 student and professional leaders from over 300 volunteer-led chapters across the globe are at the heart of this community.

GoodWork Canada

GoodWork helps organizations of all kinds to find environmentally minded staff, managers, consultants, board members, interns, and volunteers. With over 12,000 postings available to navigate through, this organization is a go-to resource for green work in Canada.

EHSCareers.com

Created in 2003, this site has been a leading source for jobs and career information in the Environmental, Health & Safety profession. Partnerships with environmental, occupational health and safety professional associations and a unique network of over 115,000 EH&S professionals offer employment and networking opportunities for those in the field.

EcoClub Ecotourism

A great resource for finding opportunities in the Ecotourism spectrum, this site offers access to information to jobs, including full-time and part-time, paid internships, consultancies, and other business or academic opportunities. Fields of work include ecotourism, responsible tourism, adventure travel, wildlife Conservation Protected Areas Management, Field Biology, Environmental Management, and more.

EnergyVortex

 

This site offers news, info, case studies, e-books, energy training, and green jobs covering the energy management industry. It has been built for the purposes of the exchange of idea, the connection of buyers and sellers, and for professional career advancement.

Ecojobs

 

This resource offers a deep and varied selection of job postings across the environmental career spectrum. Recent postings include Wildlife Biologists; Environmental Restoration Team Members – Field Supervisors and Research Associates. Many of the site’s employer advertisers rely on ECO alone to fill their job openings, as it is such a reliable employer-to employee connecting resource.

Environmental Expert

 

Environmental Expert connects over 1,000,000 global environmental professionals from industry, government, and research and development sectors to more than 32,000 environmental companies and organizations. This site provides a wealth of environmental industry information and resources like publications, events, articles, job postings, news, and more.

CleanTechies

 

CleanTechies was recognizes as a Best Business Blog by the Weblog Awards in 2009. This resource offers relevant career services and provides industry-specific resources, including hundreds of user-submitted jobs and events. It provides a wide array of job listings and solid job-searching tips.

National Audubon Society

 

This site offers postings exclusively geared towards wildlife protection across the US and Americas. It focuses on a combination of science, education, and policy expertise to protect and restore local habitats. Recent postings include Development and Marketing Manager; Director of Policy; and Center Director.

American Forests

This organization advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forest, having planted more than 45 million trees since 1990. The postings are specific to forest ecosystem reforestation, education on responsible forest stewardship and work with policy makers on a national level.