Connect with us

Economy

34 Careers for the Environmentally Conscious

Published

on

office worker at desk

Bobbi Peterson is a green living advocate and environmentalist. She’s also a freelance writer and sustainability blogger at Living Life Green.  You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter.

You’re the type of person who likes to make a difference. The kind of person who wanted to be a superhero when you were little just so you could save the world. You care for the earth and your impact on it. You were born to have a green career!

The word “green” isn’t just a buzzword. It’s now almost an entire job category, and there’s plenty of professional opportunities to choose from. Here are 34 unique green jobs that will fuel your love for the environment secure your future career.

Hydrologist

Education: Bachelor’s degree, graduate degree in natural sciences, hydrology concentrations within the engineering, geosciences, or earth sciences
Average Salary (from Payscale):  $62, 261
Demand: Projected to grow 7% over the next 10 years (2014)

Environmental Engineer

Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or related field. Co-op engineering program experience is a plus.
Average Salary (from Payscale): $62,679
Demand: Projected to grow 15% over the next 10 years (2012)

Pest Control Technician

Education: High school diploma/equivalent with training
Average Salary (from Payscale): $31,774
Demand: Projected to grow 20% over 10 years (2012)

Conservation Biologist

Education: Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.
Average Salary (from Indeed): $58,000
Demand: Projected to grow 7% over the next 10 years (2014)

Science Teacher

Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
Average Salary (from Indeed): $51,000
Demand: Projected to grow 6% over the next 10 years (2014)

Toxicologist

Education: Bachelor’s at minimum; graduate degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $79,933
Demand: Projected to grow 13% over the next 10 years (2012)

Pollution Control Technician

Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Chron): $52,510
Demand: Projected to grow 10% over the next 10 years (2014)

Fundraising Director

Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $74,000
Demand: Projected to grow 7% over the next 10 years

Ecologist

Education: Bachelor’s/Master’s degree with fieldwork experience
Average Salary (from Payscale): $52,210
Demand: Projected to grow 11% over the next 10 years (2014)

Camp Counselor

Education: no specific requirements, but CPR and First Aid certification recommended
Average Salary (from Glassdoor): $18,560
Demand: Projected to grow 10% over the next 10 years (2014)

Business Manager

Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $57,683
Demand: Projected to grow 8% over the next 10 years (2014)

Economist

Education: Master’s/Ph.D.
Average Salary (from Payscale): $74,447
Demand: Projected to grow 14% over 10 years (2012)

Forester

Education: Bachelor’s degree, training, exam
Average Salary (from Payscale): $47,548
Demand: Projected to grow 3% over 10 years (2012)

Environmental Attorney

Education: Bachelor’s degree, law school, apprenticeship,
Average Salary (from EnvironmentalScience.org): $113,530
Demand: Projected to grow 6% over the next 10 years (2014)

Community Affairs Manager

 Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $60,204
Demand: Projected to grow 6% over the next 10 years (2014)

Environmental Health and Safety Technician

Education: Bachelor’s degree, certification, internship
Average Salary (from Payscale): $77,946
Demand: Projected to grow 6% over the next 10 years (2014)

Landscape Architect

Education: Bachelor’s degree, graduate school
Average Salary (from Payscale):  $53,394
Demand: Projected to grow 14% over the next 10 years (2012)

Waste Disposal Manager

Education: Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of field experience
Average Salary (from Indeed): $61,000
Demand: Projected to grow 8% over the next 10 years (2014)

Environmental Chemist

Education: Bachelor’s/Master’s degree
Average Salary (from Glassdoor): $49,880
Demand: Projected to grow 3% over the next 10 years (2014)

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Education: Associate’s degree
Average Salary (from BLS): $43,030
Demand: Projected to grow 9% over next 10 years (2014)

Urban and Regional Planner

Education: Master’s Degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $52,410
Demand: Projected to grow 10% over 10 years (2012)

Agricultural Inspector

Education: High school diploma or equivalent
Average Salary (from Learn.org): $43,600
Demand: Projected to fall 6% over the next 10 years (2014), but there are still good job opportunities overall

Wastewater Water Operator

Education: High school diploma or equivalent, some training
Average Salary (from BLS): $44,790
Demand: Projected to grow 6% over the next 10 years (2014)

Wildlife Biologist

Education: Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.
Average Salary (from Payscale): $50,000
Demand: Projected to grow 5% over 10 years (2012)

Air Quality Engineer

Education: Bachelor’s degree, graduate school
Average Salary (from Payscale): $65,000
Demand: Expected to grow 15% faster than all other occupations in 10 years

Organic Farmer

Education: Farming experience, some college, certification
Average Salary (from Payscale): $65,000
Demand: Projected to decline 2% over the next 10 years (2014)

Renewable Energy Engineer

Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $65,000
Demand: N/A

Green Investment Advisor

Education: Bachelor’s/Master’s degree and certification
Average Salary (from Payscale): $65,000
Demand: Projected to grow 30% over the next 10 years (2014)

Landscaper

Education: Associate’s degree or certification
Average Salary (from BLS): $63,810
Demand: Projected to grow 5% over the next 10 years (2014)

Recycler

Education: no specific requirements to a Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from Payscale): $44,000
Demand: N/A

Solar Cell Technician

Education: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary (from EnvironmentalScience.org): $82,000
Demand: Projected to grow 24% over the next 10 years (2014)

Biofueler

Education: Master’s degree
Average Salary (from Chron): $63,530
Demand: N/A

Green Automobile Engineer

Education: Bachelor’s degree, internship, joining a professional association
Average Salary (from Glassdoor): $64,944
Demand: Projected to grow 5% over the next 10 years (2012)

Climatologist

Education: Bachelor’s degree/Ph.D.
Average Salary (from EnvironmentalScience.org): $89,260
Demand: Projected to grow 9% over the next 10 years (2014)

There are so many opportunities for you to show off your passion for the environment. No matter how different your interests may seem, a green career can combine all of them seamlessly. Make a name for yourself and go green!

Economy

Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?

Published

on

self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/zapp2photo

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.

Deadheading

Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

Continue Reading

Economy

New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035

Published

on

renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart / https://www.shutterstock.com/g/adrian825

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Sources: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/green-dream-risks-energy-security-as-kiwis-aim-for-zero-carbon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-hydrocarbons/france-plans-to-end-oil-and-gas-production-by-2040-idUSKCN1BH1AQ

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending