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Explore Green Careers

Learn about different types of green careers.

Once you find a category you're interested in open the related career list to choose from individual careers.  You'll be able to learn about what is done on the job, what it pays, the education and training requirements, and more. 

You might notice that some occupations, like weatherization technician or solar panel installer, are not on this list. That's because these occupations, and others you might be looking for, did not show any hiring demand in Minnesota in 2009-2011.

Environment Conservation

These careers involve activities that protect the air, soil, water, and climate. This includes things like protecting wetlands or working to preserve the biodiversity of plant and animal life. Careers range from park naturalists to water resources engineers.

Career List

Chemists
Some chemists work to reduce the toxic impact of products or processes, or through their direct and applied research on environmental issues.

Conservation Scientists
Conservation scientists manage, develop, and help protect soil and rangelands.

Environmental Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Environmental Planners
Environmental planners design and oversee environmental projects, such as restoring native plants and ecosystems.

Environmental Scientists
Environmental scientists study problems in the natural world that affect the health of living things.

Forest and Conservation Technicians
Forest and conservation technicians help develop and protect forests.

Foresters
Foresters manage, use, and help protect forests and other natural resources.

Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
Geospatial information scientists and technologists can benefit the environment in many ways. They may study water flow, ensure mining and construction activities have minimal environmental impact, or develop plans for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Natural Sciences Managers
Natural science managers direct the work of scientists engaged in studying and reporting on the health of the environment.

Park Naturalists
Park naturalists create programs to teach park visitors about natural areas.

Surveyors
Surveyors can benefit the environment in many ways. They may work on projects that map groundwater flow, plan for low-impact mining or construction sites, or plan for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Sustainable Landscape Architects
Sustainable landscape architects help the environment through their designs, which may preserve a site or restore it to its natural state by adding or protecting native plants or habitats.

Urban and Regional Planners
Some urban and regional planners ensure that land is used efficiently and with as little environmental impact as possible.

Water Resources Engineers
Water resources engineers design and manage systems that treat polluted wastewater, and deliver safe water for homes or businesses.

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and how they live and grow in their habitat.

Recycling & Pollution Reduction

These careers focus on reducing waste and pollution, both on land and in the air. Careers in this cluster require varying levels of education and experience. They range from entry-level positions to managerial jobs. These jobs include work ranging from providing green services to project management or regulatory affairs.

Career List

Bicycle Repairers
Bicycle repairers fix bicycles using hand tools.

Chemists
Some chemists work reduce the toxic impact of products or processes, or through their direct and applied research on environmental issues.

Civil Engineers
Some civil engineers help the environmental through the public infrastructure projects they work on, including rail systems and efficient road designs.

Environmental Compliance Managers
Environmental compliance managers are responsible for making sure organizations comply with environmental regulations.

Environmental Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Environmental Engineers
Environmental engineers create solutions to environmental problems affecting the welfare of humans and nature.

Environmental Science Technicians
Some environmental science technicians study specific aspects of the environment and help to solve any problems.

Environmental Scientists
Environmental scientists study problems in the natural world that affect the health of living things.

Garbage and Recyclable Material Collectors
Some garbage and recyclable material collectors collect solid waste, sort it for recycling, and make sure it is disposed of in a safe way.

Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
Geospatial information scientists and technologists can benefit the environment in many ways. They may study water flow, ensure mining and construction activities have minimal environmental impact, or develop plans for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Geoscientists
Geoscientists often work in mining, drilling, or other industries where they can help minimize dangerous chemicals released into the earth.

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
Hazardous materials removal workers identify, remove, and dispose of hazardous things, like asbestos, lead, radiation, and other toxins like paint, automotive wastes, and pesticides.

Recycling Coordinators
Recycling coordinators develop and manage recycling programs for different types of organizations.

Regulatory Affairs Managers
Regulatory affairs managers ensure an organization's compliance with environmental regulations.

Remediation Project Managers
Remediation project managers oversee the cleanup and redevelopment of polluted land.

Surveyors
Surveyors can benefit the environment in many ways. They may work on projects that map groundwater flow, plan for low-impact mining or construction sites, or plan for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Sustainability Specialists
Sustainability specialists advise organizations on how to implement green practices.

Transit and Intercity Bus Drivers
Transit and intercity bus drivers improve the environment by providing an efficient mode of transportation, reducing natural resource use and pollution.

Urban and Regional Planners
Some urban and regional planners ensure that land is used efficiently and with as little environmental impact as possible.

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
Water and wastewater treatment plant operators treat water so that it is safe to drink.

Water Resources Engineers
Water resources engineers design and manage systems that treat polluted wastewater, and deliver safe water for homes or businesses.

Green Manufacturing

These careers focus on creating products that benefit the environment or that are made from environmentally-friendly materials. Some green manufacturing careers involve the manufacturing process, and aim to reduce wasted energy while products are being made. They can also be involved in sales and marketing of the product. Positions range from production workers and supervisors to science technicians or supply chain managers.

Career List

Chemists
Some chemists work to reduce the toxic impact of products or processes, or through their direct and applied research on environmental issues.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Electrical Systems/Electrical Controls Engineers
Electrical systems/electrical controls engineers design, test, and maintain electrical equipment and systems.

Environmental Health and Safety Engineers
Environmental health and safety engineers make sure that firms comply with environmental regulations. Many work on air quality issues and the use or disposal of hazardous materials.

Environmental Science Technicians
Some environmental science technicians study specific aspects of the environment and help to solve any problems.

Green Marketing Managers
Green marketing managers plan and coordinate the best way to promote a green product or service.

Industrial Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on engineering projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
Manufacturing engineering technologists assist in the manufacturing of green products like solar panels and goods made from recycled materials, or make manufacturing processes more efficient, minimizing energy and material waste.

Manufacturing Engineers
Some manufacturing engineers help improve processes in ways that reduce waste and increase efficiency, often through lean production methods.

Production Supervisors
While many production supervisors are not green, some are because of the products they manufacture, such as geothermal heat pumps, energy-efficient home appliances, or wind turbine parts.

Supply Chain Managers
By understanding all the inputs and outputs for a specific product, supply chain managers are able to identify inefficient practices, eliminate waste, and create a more streamlined production process.

Renewable Energy Generation

Careers in this cluster focus on discovering and developing new ways of generating energy from renewable resources. The work often involves research and development of new technologies, designing transmission for new power sources, or installing and repairing new energy systems. Examples include wind turbine technicians and computer software engineers.

Career List

Computer Software Engineers
Some computer software engineers design software that is used to enhance efficiency in computer systems or to operate and manage green products or devices, such as smart-grid technologies.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Electrical Systems/Electrical Controls Engineers
Electrical systems/electrical controls engineers design, test, and maintain electrical equipment and systems.

Surveyors
Surveyors can benefit the environment in many ways. They may work on projects that map groundwater flow, plan for low-impact mining or construction sites, or plan for wind or solar power generation site layouts.

Wind Turbine Technicians
Wind turbine technicians maintain and repair wind turbines, which produce energy from a renewable source: the wind.

Building-related Energy Efficiency

These careers involve energy efficiency in the construction, repair, and operation of buildings. Energy savings can happen when brand new buildings are designed with energy efficiency in mind, or when existing buildings are upgraded to use less energy. Some positions in this cluster are familiar, like roofers or insulation installers. Others, like validation engineers or green construction managers, are emerging as new green careers.

Career List

Building Systems Engineers
Building systems engineers improve the efficiency of the building systems we use every day. They allow facilities to operate with less environmental impact.

Civil Engineers
Some civil engineers help the environmental through the public infrastructure projects they work on, including rail systems and efficient road designs.

Computer Software Engineers
Some computer software engineers design software that is used to enhance efficiency in computer systems or to operate and manage green products or devices, such as smart-grid technologies.

Construction and Building Inspectors
Construction and building inspectors ensure that a building's systems meet standards for efficiency and environmental design.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
Some engineering technicians work on projects that improve energy efficiency or conserve natural resources.

Electrical Systems/Electrical Controls Engineers
Electrical systems/electrical controls engineers design, test, and maintain electrical equipment and systems.

Energy Auditors
Energy auditors evaluate energy use patterns and recommend ways buildings can use less energy.

Energy Engineers
Energy engineers work to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Floor, Ceiling, and Wall Insulation Installers
Floor, ceiling, and wall insulation installers provide buildings with good insulation, preventing the increased energy use that occurs when heat escapes through poorly-insulated walls or roofs.

Green Construction Managers
Green construction managers plan and oversee sustainable building projects.

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
These mechanics ensure building systems are operating at peak efficiency, which reduces pollution and conserves natural resources.

Maintenance and Repair Workers
Some maintenance and repair workers work to ensure the efficient operation of heating and air conditioning systems, which saves energy.

Roofers
Roofers provide buildings with good insulation, which prevents increased energy use that occurs when heat escapes through a roof.

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
Stationary engineers and boiler operators operate and maintain large equipment such as steam engines and generators.

Sustainable Design Architects
Sustainable design architects plan and design buildings with an eye toward the environment and energy efficiency.

Sustainable Landscape Architects
Sustainable landscape architects help the environment through their designs, which may preserve a site or restore it to its natural state by adding or protecting native plants or habitats.

Validation Engineers
Validation engineers contribute to the lean and efficient production of goods.