25 Environmentalism Jobs (With Salaries and Duties)
Updated May 23, 2023
The environmental sector is a promising industry because of its wide variety of green jobs with steady growth. If you're a nature enthusiast or seek to improve your local environment, it's helpful to learn about the types of environmental jobs and benefits available from a career in this field. Understanding the career paths can help you determine the required qualifications, like obtaining a bachelor's degree, to be a successful candidate.
In this article, we explain the benefits of getting an environmental job along with a comprehensive list of 25 environmentalism jobs to pursue based on your interests and career goals.
Why pursue environmental careers?
Getting a job in the environmental sector, also known as a green career, can be fulfilling because you can make a positive environmental impact and help influence environmental justice. Here are some main reasons to consider a job in this field:
Make a difference. An environmental job can provide you with a greater understanding of the world. The information you gain can then help the environment and those around you.
Experience nature. Environmental jobs let you spend time in nature, which is beneficial if you like being outside. Many environmental jobs may also offer the opportunity to travel to various destinations and explore new territories and regions.
Understand the world. A job in this field provides you with unique insight into the world around you and how the human population affects it.
Choose from a variety of career options. The environmental field has several job types to consider, whether you like a hands-on approach or prefer working at a desk. You can also choose your career path based on the environmental impact you wish to make.
25 environmentalism jobs
Here's a list of environmentalism jobs, their average salary and primary duties that may require you to have prior relevant work experience and an environmental science degree or similar degree program:
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
1. Park ranger
National average salary: $40,005 per year
Primary duties: Park rangers or forest rangers aim to preserve various outdoor areas, such as national or local parks. They patrol these parks and ensure all visitors adhere to rules to keep them from interfering with and disrupting the natural environment.
2. Natural resource technician
National average salary: $44,903 per year
Primary duties: More broadly known as "forest and conservation technicians," natural resource technicians aim to protect wildlife habitats and work alongside conservation scientists to maintain, improve and preserve these areas. They also work in various conditions, surveying vegetation and monitoring air and water quality.
3. Marine biologist
National average salary: $43,273 per year
Primary duties: Marine biologists observe ocean life and organisms to help protect and manage them, and they collect data and specimens and report their findings to understand societal impacts on marine life. This involves collecting ocean samples, observing sea creatures and mapping the distribution or movements of various ocean life.
4. Environmental technician
National average salary: $46,263 per year
Primary duties: Often supervised by environmental scientists, environmental technicians help prevent environmental contamination by identifying possible contamination and assessing the environmental damage. An environmental technician's job duties include maintaining equipment, managing hazardous waste and collecting many samples to help with their contamination evaluations.
5. Wildlife specialist
National average salary: $46,854 per year
Primary duties: Wildlife specialists can work for agencies or non-profit organizations that have plans to change wildlife by various means, such as new building construction. They ensure any alterations adhere to environmental regulations and obtain the correct permits.
6. Wildlife biologist
National average salary: $56,263 per year
Primary duties: Wildlife biologists study animals and their interaction with their habitat and environment. They perform research and implement wildlife management and conservation plans to prevent threats to the natural habitat and resources.
National average salary: $56,921 per year
Primary duties: Meteorologists study weather forecasting and atmospheric sciences and record and interpret weather patterns and relevant data for a region. They report the atmospheric changes they witness and provide updates regarding the likelihood of rain, snow or other conditions in an area.
Related: How To Become a Meteorologist
8. Wind turbine technician
National average salary: $58,609 per year
Primary duties: Wind turbine technicians install and repair wind turbines, ensuring all equipment functions properly. To maintain wind turbines, they perform routine inspections to check the turbine's exterior and the tower's physical integrity.
9. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist
National average salary: $60,209 per year
Primary duties: GIS specialists develop and implement systems that save and access geospatial data. They also use GIS software and data collection equipment to create maps and graphs and collect, analyze and present geographic or spatial data from various sources.
10. Environmental scientist
National average salary: $60,222 per year
Primary duties: Environmental scientists conduct a wide variety of research to find environmental threats. They aim to control or eliminate these risks by analyzing samples and developing strategic plans to combat their effects, and some environmental issues they handle include water or land pollution.
National average salary: $60,628 per year
Primary duties: Geographers study the Earth and the relationship of the natural environment to the human population, and these social scientists use maps and systems in their various tasks and can specialize in different areas of study. While a human geographer focuses on human activities, a physical geographer studies the physical attributes of a specific area.
National average salary: $60,943 per year
Primary duties: Geologists study liquid, solid and gaseous matter on the Earth and other planets. They also study earthquakes, floods and landslides to understand how these processes and organisms affect the planet.
Related: How To Become a Geologist
National average salary: $65,406 per year
Primary duties: Ecologists observe organisms and their surrounding ecosystems, and they perform investigations and record data to help them better understand the relationship between the two. Ecologists can work for various employers, including government agencies or research institutes.
14. Landscape architect
National average salary: $71,578 per year
Primary duties: Landscape architects study the design of buildings, structures and outdoor areas, and they can look at environmental reports that may affect their projects and select landscape design materials. This role can install solar panels for homes and commercial buildings to help improve sustainable energy, carbon neutrality and the environmental economy.
15. Environmental compliance specialist
National average salary: $71,954 per year
Primary duties: Environmental compliance specialists monitor and investigate complaints regarding pollution control law violations. They collect various pieces of evidence analyzed in labs to help with their investigation, research hazardous materials that may threaten the environment and manage special waste approvals.
16. Environmental consultant
National average salary: $72,138 per year
Primary duties: Environmental consultants assess environmental issues and relay their findings to clients, like various companies. They ensure policies and procedures adhere to environmental laws and guidelines while working under contractual terms and assisting their clients with threats to air, water and soil.
National average salary: $73,966 per year
Primary duties: Microbiologists study various microorganisms, such as algae and bacteria. They also investigate these microscopic life forms in terms of how they live, grow and interact with the surrounding environment.
18. Environmental specialist
National average salary: $74,926 per year
Primary duties: Environmental specialists use their environment and natural science knowledge to help protect nature and human health by offering suggestions to benefit the environment in problem areas. Environmental specialists also ensure society meets various regulations for water, soil and air, clean polluted areas, advise policymakers about how they can help prevent climate change and collaborate with other industries to reduce waste.
19. Environmental planner
National average salary: $76,894 per year
Primary duties: An environmental planner assesses the environmental effects of various construction projects on the environment. They also follow environmental permitting processes, write reports and help minimize impacts on the environment from development projects.
20. Environment health and safety specialist
National average salary: $80,850 per year
Primary duties: Safety, health and environment specialists implement environmental procedures, investigate environmental complaints and track potential hazards. They also have various administrative tasks, including arranging meetings, maintaining records and performing tasks given to them by managers and supervisors.
21. Environmental engineer
National average salary: $84,611 per year
Primary duties: Environmental engineers create and review environmental investigation reports and develop projects for environmental protection. They use their knowledge of various, such as biology and soil science, to assist in their environmental efforts.
Read more: Learn About Being an Environmental Engineer
22. Civil engineer
National average salary: $85,415 per year
Primary duties: Civil engineers monitor and protect the air, water and energy resources to help prevent challenging or catastrophic events from happening in the environment and preserve human health. A civil engineer may also monitor and handle toxic waste to dispose of it properly.
Read more: Learn About Being a Civil Engineer
23. Energy manager
National average salary: $85,900 per year
Primary duties: An energy manager observes and analyzes energy use to develop programs that promote energy efficiency. They also aim to reduce energy costs due to consumption, retrofit buildings and improve existing projects related to energy consumption.
24. Sustainability engineer
National average salary: $91,379 per year
Primary duties: Sustainability engineers provide advice regarding low-energy, sustainable design projects. They work to increase an organization's environmental sustainability credentials by creating illustrated models, monitoring a project's design process and collecting data that support their sustainable engineering designs.
25. Environmental health and safety officer
National average salary: $98,413 per year
Primary duties: Environmental health and safety officers create and implement plans and programs for experts to follow when working in different environments. They also evaluate occupational and environmental threats, educate others on proper procedures and ensure compliance with legal regulations and rules.
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