What can you do with a Sustainability Degree in 2023?

what can you do with a sustainability degree

What can you do with a Sustainability Degree

Students who major in sustainability gain knowledge about environmental management, environmental system analysis, and research techniques in order to prepare for professions assisting organizations and corporations in implementing more ecologically friendly practices. Potential career routes, incomes, various industries, and professional resources are all covered on this page. A few frequently asked questions are addressed in the concluding section.

Why Go into Sustainability as a Career?

People who are enthusiastic about protecting the environment and building a better future ought to think about a career in sustainability. Additionally, advanced research, analytical, and communication skills are required of professionals. Students can develop and improve these skills through an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program, which can also introduce them to the most recent findings in sustainability research.

Environmental engineer, sustainability manager, and director are just a few of the job avenues that sustainability might open up. Workers have the chance to improve the environment, people’s quality of life, and future generations through these and other employment options.

what can you do with a sustainability degree
what can you do with a sustainability degree

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Sustainability Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there are about 53,150 environmental engineers working in the US. The median annual compensation for these specialists is around $88,000. According to the BLS, there will be 3,000 more employment created between 2018 and 2028 as the number of posts for environmental engineers rises by 5%.

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How to Launch a Sustainable Career

An associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in sustainability or a related discipline is the first step toward a career in sustainability. These degrees may give students the ability to focus on one or more subjects, improving their chances of finding employment in the future. If a school offers multiple options, students should speak with an academic or career advisor to determine which one best suits their objectives.

Although graduates with an associate’s sustainability degree are qualified for some professions, those paying more call for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. A professional may also be eligible for a managerial role with more advanced degrees. As a manager, they have a lot of power to shape the course of their business.

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Skills Acquired from a Sustainability Degree

Students benefit from the option to choose the coursework and practical experience that best meets their future goals because the sustainability sector spans so many different job routes. But the broad skills listed below are useful for all industry workers.

For instance, research and analytical abilities assist students in finding material, determining its veracity, and determining its importance. Students employ problem-solving techniques after gathering pertinent knowledge to inventively address difficulties. Professionals that possess strong communication and interpersonal skills are better able to lead and collaborate on teams and convey their ideas convincingly.

  • Analysis Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Interpersonal Competence
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Research Methods

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what can you do with a sustainability degree
what can you do with a sustainability degree

What can you do with a Sustainability Degree?


Students can gain a foundation in statistics, biology, chemistry, and geology by obtaining an associate’s degree in sustainability. Additionally, there are introductory lessons in communication, ecology, environmental science, and environmental ethics included in the curriculum. Common requirements include fieldwork and laboratories.

Students may be able to pursue a specialized associate in subfields like arboriculture, sustainable horticulture, equestrian management, or landscape contracting in instead of a general sustainability degree. These courses equip students for careers in the trades and in the real world.

Traditional sustainability degree holders can work as administrative assistants and in other auxiliary positions. They could be able to move into general leadership positions without further education through on-the-job training and experience.


Conservation Worker

These professionals, sometimes known as park rangers, wildlife troopers, and foresters, look after vast natural areas. Together with governmental and nonprofit organizations, they carry out conservation initiatives. To develop educational programs, certain people might also collaborate with schools and tour groups.

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Graduates of a sustainability-focused bachelor’s program are prepared for a variety of green careers in disciplines like engineering, organizational consulting, policy analysis, and research. A bachelor’s degree lays a solid scientific foundation. At this level, courses could cover topics including sustainable community planning, environmental economics, and water management.

Candidates for undergraduate study might develop their abilities through practica and internships. Typically, capstone projects for four-year degrees call for students to do independent research and present their findings. In many cases, students can pursue further training in a specialty that fits with specific professional objectives, such as urban sustainability, soil science, or civil engineering.


Environmental Consultant

Governmental bodies, commercial businesses, and nonprofit groups may hire environmental consultants. These experts evaluate the environmental impact of an organization’s operations and output.

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Environmental Engineer

These engineers use technology to address waste and pollution issues as part of one of the fastest-growing environmental sustainability careers. In order to guarantee adherence to federal legislation, they could also collaborate with governmental institutions. To perform investigations and offer recommendations, environmental engineers must have sophisticated technical and research skills.

Environmental Health and Safety Analyst

These analysts mostly observe a company’s working procedures while working in the production and manufacturing sectors. They examine whether a company’s practices adhere to norms for personal safety and environmental health. EHS analysts create and support the implementation of green projects. These experts need to have good administrative abilities in addition to understanding of governmental legislation.


The fundamental duties of an ecologist center on studying and inspecting ecosystems. They analyze population behavior and variety while identifying alterations brought on by human involvement. Ecologists can also work as consultants, environmental impact experts, and educators in addition to these roles. Some professionals serve as lobbyists for nonprofit groups, contributing in the creation and enactment of environmental laws.


Geoscientists might work in more practical positions or find employment as researchers and theorists. Employees in the former positions may gather and evaluate information on soil composition, magnetic fields, groundwater, and other geological components. In the latter positions, geoscientists may collaborate with businesses to locate natural resources, design maps for their extraction, and prepare for any dangers.


In-depth research training, advanced and specialized coursework, and autonomous projects that advance the discipline are all included in a master’s program in sustainability. To prepare for work as researchers, designers, and consultants, students can opt to specialize and earn a master’s degree in environmental studies, marine biology, or industrial engineering.

Students can also enroll in the well-known green MBA program to get ready for careers in business sustainability. Because of the emphasis placed on leadership and communication in graduate programs, many working professionals go back to school in order to become eligible for manager and director jobs.


Sustainability Director

A director of sustainability imagines ways to make their organization more ecologically friendly and works with their team to make those dreams a reality. Building environmentally friendly facilities, cutting down on industrial waste, and teaching staff how to save energy are just a few examples of responsibilities. Directors must have strong financial skills in order to sustain budgets in addition to strong leadership qualities.

Environmental Scientist

These scientists work with government agencies, consulting firms, and universities and perform studies on environmental problems like deforestation, ocean pollution, and climate change. Environmental scientists use data analysis, data visualization, and effective communication to present their findings. Their work supports the creation, application, and evaluation of conservation regulations.

Wildlife Biologist

A biologist might pursue a range of occupations in sustainability because their primary duty is to analyze living things. Biologists may be employed as laboratory scientists who carry out study to assist a business in lessening waste generation and stepping up energy-saving initiatives. They can also participate in field teams, helping with land surveys and examining the chemical compositions of soil and water to support conservation efforts.


Students enrolled in doctoral programs in sustainability are expected to advance their respective fields. The majority of a candidate’s time is spent planning and carrying out research, which leads to a dissertation or project that students must defend in order to receive their degree.

Professionals can prepare for employment as college instructors and research scientists by pursuing a general Ph.D. in sustainability degree. Human components of sustainability and qualitative approaches to environmental problems may be covered in the coursework.

Doctoral candidates also have the option of pursuing degrees in sustainable development, which would allow them to work as directors for both government and commercial institutions. Classes including resource economics, econometrics, and collective action for global ecology are offered in these programs. Similar training is available through a doctorate in business management with a sustainability emphasis.

A PhD in sustainable education is also available to professionals who desire to work in high-level sustainability fields. This degree prepares graduates for jobs as consultants, educators, and nonprofit managers through curriculum in global citizenship, community participation, and project design.

what can you do with a sustainability degree
what can you do with a sustainability degree


Professor, Higher Education

Students are instructed by college professors in lectures and seminars. Additionally, they support students with their research projects, lab work, and theses and dissertations. Professors may do original research and produce publications, but they must be experts in their fields. They may also work as consultants for public and commercial institutions.

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Chair of the Department (College/university)

Department chairs must collaborate with other educators at their university to develop, implement, and evaluate curricular and administrative initiatives in addition to their responsibilities as teachers. As chairs, colleges frequently use internal professors. Candidates must exhibit outstanding academic, analytical, and management abilities.

Research Scientist

These specialists gather and evaluate data. They release the results in thorough reports that go through peer assessment. Research scientists frequently work in academic environments, but they may also look for job in practical domains that need design and development expertise. For instance, a fossil fuel corporation might employ research experts to create more effective and environmentally friendly methods of raw material extraction.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find Employment in Sustainability?

Getting a college degree in sustainability or a related field is the first step in achieving a job in sustainability. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is necessary for the best positions. You might require a doctorate to teach at the collegiate level. To find out more about potential jobs and effective job-hunting techniques, visit the career center at your institution.

What does a Profession in Sustainability entail?

Depending on a person’s particular function, the daily responsibilities of a sustainability career can differ greatly. Some sustainability experts supervise the installation of wind turbines and solar panels. Others produce thorough sustainability reports for elected authorities.

Is a degree in Sustainability Worthwhile?

Three crucial benefits come from a postsecondary education while pursuing a job in sustainability. It teaches the essential, transferable skills that every professional needs, disseminates the most recent sustainability information and best practices, and qualifies people for high-paying positions.

What degree in the Environment is Best?

This mostly relies on the person’s planned career path. Different skill sets are advantageous for various sustainability occupations. A degree-seeker should have a conversation with an advisor to go over their career objectives and create an academic and professional roadmap.


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