Social Conscience Pays: 5 Green Jobs That Pay Well

money - paralegal by tax credits flickrAccording to enn.com, there are several jobs that pay quite well when it comes to dealing with the environment and various green initiatives. From the EPA to the regular consumer, everyone seems to be concerned with keeping our world clean and healthy. If you want to take a more official role, however, check out ways to contribute and pull down a great salary at the same time.

I redid the list from enn.com, added some other notes, and looked up the salary info so it’s all in one place. Salary info is from BLS.gov.

1. Chief Sustainability Officer (~$95,000-$166,000)

While this may not be overly familiar, it isn’t as foreign as one may think. Most large companies have some sort of chief sustainability officer or a similar position. It definitely doesn’t hurt to be thinking about green intiaitves and have someone consistently looking at these things.

2. Environmental Engineer (~$78,740/yr)

While again, not as common as other engineering jobs like a petroleum engineer, mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer, or civil engineer, environmental engineers play a major role in conservation and helping protect our environment.

3. Environmental Lawyer (~$112,760/yr)

This one seems pretty straight forward; a lawyer who deals with environmental issues. Other notables in this category, while perhaps not as high paying as a lawyer, are environmental paralegals (salary depends greatly on location), and environmental clerks or research assistants. Becoming a lawyer requires a lot of training, thus the pay is a bit higher than some of the other jobs on the list.

4. Climatologist (~$87,780/yr)

Climatologists use technology to study reports of weather, climate, and other aspects of the atmosphere. The job market for climatologists is set to increase 11% from 2010 – 2020; beating the national average by a few points. Most climatologists work indoors in weather stations or other labratory or office-type spaces.

5. Senior Hydrologist (~$75,690)

I skipped a few and went to senior hydrologist because it’s interesting. Hydrologists take water samples in the field and analyze the water to glean information about how it’s moving and flowing. They are experts in water cycle and look for clues as to water quality and quantity in various regions. While this job requires a masters degree, it is an interesting and less-common career that will always be necessary and important.

These are five of the ten jobs listed on enn, however this list is by no means comprehensive. In today’s world of PR and social responsibility, the green tag can be, and is, placed on almost any job you can think of. While it may require some specialized training or additional degrees, most of the time it’s just a designation given to someone already working within the field to encourage more concentration on that aspect.

For example, the environmental paralegal is basically just a paralegal who happen to work on environmental issues. While there is an additional learning curve, learning how to become an environmental paralegal isn’t as difficult as one might think; assuming they are already a paralegal. In other professions, it’s similar if not exactly the same. The jobs above, however, are a bit more specialized.

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