Which of These 10 Green Jobs Could Work For You?



Whether you’re looking for a career change or want to pick up some spare change, there is lots of opportunity in the environmental field. Here’s a list of 10 green jobs worth exploring, courtesy of Don Gayhardt, a financial services executive who, among other skills, specializes in helping folks plan for retirement.

  1. Solar Advisor and Installer – Millions of people need help figuring out what kind of solar system to put on their roof. Then, someone needs to install all those solar collectors! Look to companies like Solar City and Sungevity, which seem to be expanding rapidly and hiring and training folks to make solar a reality from East Coast to West.
  2. Green Beauty Sales Representative – The market for non-toxic beauty products is going like gang busters, driven by women’s concerns for make-up and personal care products free of the toxic chemicals that are considered endocrine disruptors or even carcinogens.  Companies like Beauty Counter and Miessence make it easy to set up your own on-line commission-based sales business. Work full or part-time and for a product you can totally get behind.
  3. Eco Virtual Assistant – Many environmentally focused bloggers and small business owners need help when it comes to planning events, scheduling newsletters, and tackling SEO. Why not become a virtual assistant? You can charge a decent hourly wage, work the number of hours it makes sense, and develop a client base that generates reliable income. Here’s a useful blog post to help you figure out if this is right for you.
  4. Green Home Consultant – Are you up on the latest developments in no-VOC paint, recycled fabrics and energy-efficient appliances? Why not team up with an interior design firm or design/build company to provide expertise on “greening” the homes they design?  Figure out your exact skill set, then get in touch with four or five local designers or builders to help them see how offering more green expertise will build their market.
  5. Recycler – You probably already recycle your papers and cans. But there’s a big market developing for recycling electronics, clothing, and construction waste. Here’s how to open an electronics recycling company.
  6. Green MBA – If you already have an undergraduate degree and are willing to go back to school, consider a “green” MBA – in marketing, sustainability management, or communications. Companies are scooping up folks who understand how sustainability can improve their business’ bottom line – and meet their customers’ demands for greener, cleaner business practices.
  7. Environmental Engineer, Urban Planner, or Scientist – There’s great demand for expertise when it comes to designing, planning and monitoring environmental systems that help reduce pollution for manufacturers or make communities more livable. Check out the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s list of top green jobs in the science and tech sector.
  8. Lawyer – Who doesn’t need a good lawyer? Mother Earth sure does! Get a law degree, then go to work defending the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other state and federal laws that exist to reduce pollution and keep us safe. You can specialize in environmental law at many law schools, and possibly work for groups like Earth Justice, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Law Institute nationally or for local land trusts and environmental advocacy groups.
  9. Writer/Investigative Reporter – Demand for content about environmental issues is probably stronger than it’s ever been before, and with websites continuing to launch and grow, publishers need help! Do you have a particular expertise in green building, eco friendly fashion, or organic food? Hone your writing skills, taking some classes at the local community college if necessary, then start contributing to blogs and websites that need help keeping their readers happy.
  10. Organic Gardening Coach – People want to eat organic food, but sometimes find it too expensive. That’s why, increasingly, they’re planting their own organic gardens. However, lots of folks don’t have green thumbs. Even if they do, they don’t know where to begin. If you’ve been growing and maintaining your own organic garden, why not share your expertise and become a gardening coach? You can charge people to help design their garden, and then coach them through all the phases of planting, weeding, watering, and most importantly, harvesting!


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