Your days as a student are behind you and now it is time to enter the “real world.” It is your turn to get a green job and start making a difference. You probably feel eager to put your hard-earned knowledge in sustainability, efficiency, and renewability towards economic growth and a greener world. But where to start?
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the move to a greener economy could create 24 million new jobs around the world by 2030. With the increasing number of companies and organizations that are adopting sustainable practices, your job opportunities are expanding.
However, before you get into an extensive job search, you should know what you are looking for. Find a role that will encourage your passions and help you contribute to a greener economy. Of course, your beginnings can hardly be in the position of a manager or CEO, but there are plenty of entry-level jobs that can lead you in the right direction.
Here are some entry-level green jobs that recent graduates can consider.
Solar Energy Systems Engineer
Solar energy systems engineers are in charge of designing, developing, and implementing solar energy projects. They can manage a variety of projects from home roof installments to municipal projects.
With the popularization and encouragement of adopting solar panel installations, solar energy systems engineers are yet to be in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job growth for solar installers will grow 24% between 2012 and 2022, which is beyond average. More solar energy project means more solar energy systems engineers.
Entry-level solar energy engineers (with little to no experience) can make anywhere between $50,750 to $69,890 a year.
As an environmental engineer, you can contribute to urban planning. You’ll get to design and plan construction projects with sustainability in mind. That is, you will account for limited solid waste, energy use, and water use.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of an entry-level environmental engineer is $64,362 per year. The great earning potential is yet another benefit of this job.
The essential requirement is a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program. Also, you need a passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
Water Quality Specialist
Water quality specialist is in charge of testing the health of water systems and making sure that set standards and compliance requirements are met. The tests and analysis are carried out on drinking water, groundwater, and surface water (lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.).
If you decide to work as a water quality specialist, you need to be ready for lots of work in the field. The notable benefit is that work opportunities are quite steady.
As an entry-level water quality specialist, you can expect to make around $40,000 a year. However, the average salary in this position is about $53,719.
Zero Waste Coordinator
Cities, companies, and organizations implement zero waste programs to reduce waste and recycle more materials. Zero waste coordinators manage these programs.
In this role, you'll get to develop a waste reduction and diversion plan, coordinate waste education activities, and implement the program. You’ll also get to support research on zero waste deduction and free essay samples from Subjecto can be helpful for that process.
As a zero-waste coordinator, you can work for a city, university, or private company. The salary depends on the employer.
A mechanical engineer is necessary for almost every green economy sector from green construction to energy generation. What's more, mechanical engineers can get employment in developing fields such as robotics, biomedical engineering, and waste management.
In general, mechanical engineer designs, develops, builds, and tests various mechanical and thermal devices. They are in charge of the product from the beginning to the end of the production process.
GlassDoor reports that an entry-level mechanical engineer salary is $70,344 on average.
Typically, agricultural inspectors are employed by local, state, and federal governments. Their job is to inspect businesses' compliance with laws and regulations that govern the safety, health, and quality of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and egg products.
The agricultural inspector also inspects whether the food-processing plants are meeting quality and health standards. They are the first line of battle against toxic and harmful compounds that food industries use.
The average salary for an agricultural inspector in the U.S. is roughly $41,000 per year. However, an entry-level salary is around $23,000 a year.
If you want to spread awareness of the importance of sustainability, working as a green marketer can be just the right job for you. Green marketers are employed by green companies to help them promote and market their goods and services.
Helping the wide masses understand why going green is relevant for taking care of our shared home – the planet Earth – is a crucial part of the green movement. That's why career opportunities for green marketers are on the rise.
Entry-level Green Marketers can make between $57,150 to $82,200 per year, depending on the type of employment. The range in salaries is big, considering that both small, medium, and large green companies need green marketers.
Where to Look for Green Jobs?
To find employment in the green economy you can send your CV directly to companies, cities, and universities you want to work for. Or, you can browse for entry-level green jobs on some of the many online job platforms.
If you don’t know where to start your search nor which platforms are suitable for this endeavor, here are some suggestions:
- American Water Works Association
- Green Career Central
- Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO)
Every graduate who takes the green direction in their career is contributing to a better and healthier tomorrow. If you choose any one of these entry-level jobs, you'll be doing your part.
All of these jobs offer some sort of development with time, whether that’s a higher salary, higher-level job position, or an opportunity for a private business. Therefore, not only will you be able to be a part of the green movement, but you can also pursue a personal career goal.