A job that’s environmentally friendly not only lets you earn a paycheck, it lets you feel good about your work. That your livelihood contributes to sustainability and doesn’t harm the planet can be one of the biggest perks of “green” jobs.
The good news is such jobs increase steadily as businesses and consumers strive to live green. Jobs are emerging to accommodate this new mindset. According to National Geographic, certain green jobs grow faster than others:
Recycling is big business. National Geographic says nearly two-thirds of the paper used in the U.S. is eventually recovered. Professionals are required to make the process work. Truck drivers, sorters, mechanics and managers are needed to assure recycling programs run smoothly
Scientists who specialize in “green” fields help sustainability efforts. Whether it’s coral reef deterioration, ”acid rain,” climate change or other ways we impact nature, these scientists provide valuable insights, fact-based research and potential solutions into what happens to the Earth.
Green by design
“Green” houses, vehicles and commercial spaces are just a few examples of functional things environmental responsibility in action. Green designers and architects create and modify structures to make them more sustainable and energy efficient. Government regulations dictate what buildings and vehicles can be designated “sustainable.” People who can devise and produce ways to make things greener are in high demand.
Harness natural energy
Wind turbine technicians and solar cell technicians are among the workers who focus on sustainable energy production. As people turn away from fossil fuels, the need grows for professionals in this field. Wind turbine technicians in particular are highly paid.
Provide food and water
Sustainable farming that provides locally produced goods can range from small- to large-scale operations. As consumer support grows, so has the sustainable farming industry. With the predicted increase in world population, so will the need for food and fresh water. Sustainable producers, with the science and technology that support them, will be at the forefront of global environmentalism.
Water quality technicians check water quality to assure it meets EPA standards. These technicians also brainstorm creative solutions to water issues. Good analytic skills are important for this job because accurate record keeping is important.
Highest paying green jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests those who seek the highest salaries in green careers should focus on management and engineering. Chief sustainability executives top the list with a median annual income of over $165,000. Natural sciences managers follow with a median annual income just under $115,000. The bureau’s list is largely comprised of managers, engineers and scientists.
Find green jobs locally
Some employers include their stance on sustainability in job postings and on their corporate websites. It’s also something you can ask about during your initial interview. Hiring managers should be well-versed in their company’s green initiatives. If not, it’s quite likely the company does not place great weight upon sustainability.
The Green Omaha Coalition is an excellent resource if you want to find which local companies have a commitment to the environment. The organization partners with businesses and community leaders to endorse sustainability and provide educational resources.
Coalition partners include Creighton University, NMC and Metropolitan Community College.
Maybe your desire isn’t necessarily to work in a job specific to sustainability. Maybe you prefer to work for an employer with a solid commitment to sustainability. To make a job greener might be as simple as allowing telecommuting from home. If so, consider these Omaha employers:
- Henry Doorly Zoo: This popular tourist attraction boasts an impressive conservation-based mission.
- University of Nebraska Medical Center: UNMC challenges employees to reduce resources while it encourages overall sustainability.
- Omaha Public Schools: Working with Verdis Group since 2009, the school district established a Green School Initiative.
- Metropolitan Community College: The Department of Campus Planning and Sustainability helps promote a green mindset throughout the campus community.
These are only a few employers to consider when you seek a green job in Omaha. You don’t have to be at the forefront of sustainability to make a positive impact through your job. Every little bit can count a great deal.