If you’re interested in finding a career that matches your values, and you are passionate about sustainable living and fighting for the planet against climate change, then you might be consider a career in sustainability.

There are specific education and degree programs geared toward sustainability career and jobs. For example, you can earn your bachelor’s degree in sustainability, and you might choose to focus on something specific such as entrepreneurship or environmental science, within the framework of the environment.

The following are some things to know if you’re interested in a job relating to or involving sustainability.


What Can You Do In Sustainability?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the actual paths taken may vary, professionals who work in sustainability focus on social responsibility, protecting the environment and also profitability.

If you work in a sustainability field, you might help your employee come up with strategies to conserve retargets and improve their efficiency, or you might work toward the development of innovative new environmental services or products.

Other general roles in sustainability might include educating people about environmental issues, or you could work at the governmental level. You might work for private business or work in clean energy, education, or technology.

If you want to narrow down your options and start cultivating your career, you’re going to have to choose a path.

You’ll also need to find the sector you’d like to work in. For example, are you interested in working in the tech sector and developing innovations to help promote more sustainability?

Since sustainability is such a broad concept, you have to build your career around the job function you want to have.

For example, you could very easily have a career in sustainability by working in public relations, just as you could by focusing on having a career in engineering.

Get the Right Credentials

Along with your formal education, if you want to work in sustainability, you should think about getting your LEED certification, but only if you’re going to be working in environmental design or building.

There are five different LEED certification specialty areas, including building design and construction, interior design and construction, neighborhood development, homes, and operations.

You have to take an exam to be certified.

If you’re not going to work in an area relevant to LEED certification, explore what credentials are available that would be relevant to what you want to do.

Volunteer and Join Sustainability Organizations

Any career field, whether it’s focused on sustainability or not, requires that you network. Networking and joining relevant organizations can help you build your knowledge and meet people who can connect you with available positions.

You can find unique opportunities when you volunteer and also join organizations focused on sustainability.

When you volunteer, not only could you potentially find a job that interests you and gain experience, but it lets you experience a variety of roles and see what works best for you.

As far as associations, there a number you can join.

Some of the largest including the American Sustainable Business Council, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, and the Sierra Club.

Get an Internship

A lot of companies that focus on sustainability offer internships. If you can find an internship opportunity, take it.

They give a way to make sure you’re choosing a path that’s going to work for your skills and interests, and you can build connections and experience.

When you’re looking at internships, aim high.

Try to find programs at companies that you admire and that you would ideally like to work for.

Boost Your Soft Skills

Don’t become so focused on the idea of finding a job in a certain sustainability-related field that you don’t build your other skills.

You should always work on your business skills and your people skills because these tend to be what matters most in any career field.

Learn how to have compelling conversations, and focus on things like understanding people and improving your body language.

A lot of people who are driven by their idealism forget how important these things are.

Just as much as you have to have a passion for what you’re doing, and you need to have goals to protect the environment, you also need to be someone who understands the business world. You want to be able to balance business priorities like profitability with sustainability.

It can be a bit of an experiment to find what you enjoy doing in sustainability, but once you do you can have a career that makes a positive impact not just on your life but on the world.