The Best Eco Friendly Jobs for College Graduates

Today’s college graduate enters a workforce filled with uncertainty. There’s no question that the job market is tough these days. The economy has begun to turn around, and most industries that were shrinking are back to adding jobs. But it hasn’t yet moved far enough in that direction to make up for the damage done during the recession. Today’s recent graduate faces some stiff competition, from highly-qualified professionals coming to the United States from overseas, and more experienced workers willing to take a pay cut for consistent work. Careers in the STEM fields, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics are all going to be highly in-demand over the coming decades. But what if you didn’t graduate with any of those degrees? If you care about environmental sustainability your job prospects will be better than most. In fact, green industries are outgrowing most others, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So consider looking for some of the best eco friendly jobs for college graduates.

You might not have gone to college expecting to be a farmer, but did you know that’s one of the largest growth industries in the country? One of the most respected and traditional professions is now down to only two million or so individuals, and a quick look at their average age suggests most of them will be retiring in the near future. There’s a huge call for farmers as organic and sustainable food creation requires a great deal of manpower. You’ll work with your hands and your mind, joining a love of food and the growing world with a real business savvy. But a career as a farmer could be both important and readily available for the college graduate.

If you graduated with a degree that doesn’t have a particular career path but want to put a passion for the environment and experience with construction to work for you, consider finding employment as a solar power installer. With a bit of on-the-job training there’s no telling where this career could take you. Many states are in the midst of tax credit programs for solar power installation, which means tens of thousands of new jobs. You’ll make as much as $35 an hour, and you’ll get to work outside in the sun. Not a bad way to do your part for the future of the planet.

If you aspire to loftier goals but have a passion for design, engineering or construction, look for a position with an energy efficient building company. Most institutional and corporate construction is now performed to higher efficiency standards, either through LEED or government requirements. The president has spoken about creating more green jobs, and you can expect hundreds of thousands of new opportunities in this sector. You’ll need a solid educational background, and ideally some sort of degree in architecture or engineering. But green building is a totally rewarding career choice.

Did you focus on natural sciences and now know you don’t want to be an educator? That’s a difficult choice to finally make, but there are those who would rather get out there and do something than teach the next generation. So consider looking for work as a conservation biologist. You may need to attend graduate school, and it’s going to have to be something more targeted thanĀ But with the proper background you can do some incredibly important environmental work. The conservation biologist strives to preserve the earth’s ecosystems. You’ll perform fieldwork on behalf of corporations, the government or nonprofit organizations, and what you discover could change the course of our future. It’s a lofty goal, but after all that’s why you’re getting into a green career!

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  4. How to Go Green on Your College Campus
  5. The Best College Environmental Programs