It's never too early or too late to launch a new career. Whether you’re a student stumped about your post-grad future or a professional stuck in a mid-career rut, our green career series will help you find your path. This week, we’ll outline job requirements and highlight training programs and internships that can help you build the skills and network you need to jump-start your career.
Still not sure which professional path to pursue? Take our short quiz to learn which eco-friendly gig might be the best fit for your personality.
Quiz: Which Green Career is Right for You?
Mostly a’s: With your knack for telling a good story, you’ll
probably find success as an environmental journalist. Shrinking newsrooms mean that
journalists nowadays need to know how to tell stories across multiple platforms, from
online to video. And in today’s digital
landscape, they should also have a willingness to learn and experiment with new
technology. But amid this changing landscape, storytelling remains the core of
good journalism. Journalists see stories where others don’t, informing and engaging the public about people, places, and
issues that they might not otherwise notice. The world needs journalists who can translate complex environmental issues clearly and engagingly to a general audience.
Mostly b’s: A career in urban agriculture
might fit as snugly as your favorite gardening gloves. Urban farmers grow,
process, and distribute food around a city. Urban farming can also involve
raising animals for food. Thanks to urban farms, cities can have relatively
easy access to fresh, seasonal produce, without relying on trucks or other
diesel-guzzling, exhaust-billowing forms of transportation. They can play a
crucial role in improving food access and security in
underserved communities with few grocery stores. Often grown on rooftops
and patios, they also brighten up city hardscapes, cool the air, and reduce
Mostly c’s: With your strong sense of stewardship toward animals, a career in wildlife biology might be just for you. Wildlife
biologists often study animals in their natural habitats , learning about their
feeding, mating, and/or social habits. They collect field specimens for
laboratory analysis and, like other scientists, publish their research in
academic journals. They might also teach at universities and educate the public
about conserving wildlife and preserving their habitats.
Mostly d’s: Apply your business- and people-savvy as a sustainable planning consultant. These consultants give businesses the tools and
information they need to reduce their environmental impact. They help evaluate
sustainable development requirements and develop and implement strategies to
help companies go green. For example, a sustainable planning consultant might help a
company choose an alternate form of energy, like solar panels, or start an
initiative to reduce the company's carbon footprint by 25 percent in five
Mostly e’s: Your compelling oratory and sharp critical
thinking skills could make you a brilliant environmental lawyer. Environmental
attorneys focus on litigation dealing with a wide variety of concerns, from air and water quality to wildlife protection. These lawyers develop policies
and engage in lawsuits to halt environmental damage, compel waste cleanup, tighten regulations, or compensate individuals for harm due to environmental contamination. They’re crucial advocates, preventing the government
and corporations from engaging in practices that could hurt the environment and
local residents. But an environmental attorney might also
represent government agencies and businesses by working on environmental impact
planning and sustainable growth and development.
This week we'll profile each of these eco-professions and provide tips for getting your foot in the door.
Image by istockphoto/Igor Mojzes
--Melissa Pandika with help from Brittany Johnson
Melissa Pandika is an editorial intern at Sierra and a graduate journalism student at Stanford University. Her interests include environmental health
and justice, urban environmental issues, and conservation
biology. She has a soft spot for cetaceans.
Brittany Johnson is an editorial intern at Sierra.
Her interests include social and environmental justice specifically
among underrepresented and disadvantaged communities. She majored in
Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
taught English in Tanzania and answered phones in various offices before
joining the Sierra family.