7 careers that make a difference for the environment

While you can bring elements of sustainability to your work in every field from fashion to finance, there are some special environmental jobs that make our planet the priority.

From sustainability focused careers to environmental science jobs, here are seven options that will offer you a challenging yet rewarding career on your mission to save the planet.


1. Environmental Scientist

It’s an obvious one, that if you love the environment why not dive deep into research and study the planet. Within the umbrella of environmental science you can choose to focus on everything from animals and plants, to habitats and our climate. 

What to study: Bachelor of Environmental Science, or related field such as biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences or engineering. 

2. Sustainability Strategist

Do you believe that technology can be used for good? A sustainability strategist works with businesses to explore how emerging tech can drive sustainability. You will need problem solving skills to tackle challenges and look for opportunities where technology can help. 

What to study: This is an emerging field where knowledge in business, marketing, law, environmental science and economics is all useful. Consider what you want to focus on when enrolling for your degree.

3. Environmental Planner

Combining skills in ecology, land surveying and cultural preservation, environmental planners work alongside big urban planning and construction projects to make sure our precious planet is kept safe when laying out new potential developments.

What to study: Start with our epic virtual work experience as a Junior Environmental Planner with Inland Rail. You’ll analyse the geographical location and create a plan to minimise the environmental impact on flora, fauna and heritage sites plus connect with industry mentors and learn project management skills needed to navigate environmental and legal pathways. These mentors will be able to give guidance and advice on career pathways and what to study next.

4. Urban Farmer

Love working with your hands, solving problems and living in cities? If you have a passion for food or farming there are opportunities in big cities to create or utilise green space on vacant lots, in backyards and on rooftops. As our cities expand, urban farmers are finding ways to green the city with small-scale farm operations growing things like mushrooms and micro herbs, and keeping beehives.

What to study: Find a VET course or degree in agriculture then look for internships or experience with urban farming operations.

5. Environmental Lawyer

As an environmental lawyer you can have a huge impact helping people and the planet. This type of lawyer specialises in environmental legislation and can even influence future law making. If you’ve got the gift of the gab and want to advocate for clean water and climate change laws, land management and more, perhaps stepping up to the bar is where you can make a difference.

What to study: Start by enrolling in a Bachelor of Law.


6. Chief Sustainability Officer

One of the newer C-suite roles to appear recently, some large corporate businesses have introduced the role of “Chief Sustainability Officer” to help them reach big environmental goals. Any business in any field can employ people in sustainability roles to monitor the impact of their business on the environment and work to improve performance. 

What to study: Follow your interests. That could mean studying a degree in sustainable tourism, or a VET course in fashion with a focus on sustainability. C-suite roles usually require at least 10 years of career experience, so journey along your pathway and never stop learning.

7. Environmental Engineer

If you’re good with numbers, have been considering a career in engineering and want to save the planet, maybe becoming an environmental engineer is the pathway for you. Combining skills in engineering, biology and chemistry, this type of engineer helps solve environmental issues like recycling, waste disposal and air pollution.

What to study: Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, or a related engineering field such as chemical, civil or general.

If you’re interested in a career that can make a difference for the environment, take a look at our most recent virtual work experience as a Junior Environmental Planner with Inland Rail. This short course will connect you with industry mentors and give you skills and exposure to the field and environmental jobs. After the short online course you’ll receive a microcredential badge that you can show to future employers. Oh, and it's totally free. That's pretty awesome!

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