Monday, October 27, 2008

Environmentalists no longer get "peanuts", they do make money

These days, you can make green by being green. No longer do environmentalists need to take a vow of poverty before starting their careers. Global giants ranging from Google to General Motors are making room in the corner office for executives with titles like chief sustainability officer and chief environmental officer. There are many career opportunities that integrate sustainability into mainstream businesses. Many companies don't understand what to change because they don't have the experience or expertise. There is a tremendous opportunity for people with the understanding and tools to implement more sustainable businesses. Environmental engineers are well positioned to profit from this trend. Demand is predicted to grow more than 25% over the next eight years and many of these engineers will make well over $100,000 a year. Many environmental engineers work as consultants, helping their clients find ways to decrease the environmental impact of their projects.

For those in law school, environmental law has a bright future. Environmental lawyers have the potential to earn just as much as their counterparts in other areas of law, with salaries exceeding $145,000 a year.

Those with a more creative bent may find an outlet in industrial design. Industrial designers have control over many elements of manufacturing from selecting the materials to designing the packaging, and they can directly impact the creation of environmentally friendly products.

Mathematicians and scientists hold many of the best paying green jobs. Climatologists, who study climate changes, may be consulted in the design of anything from buildings to heating systems. They can expect to make in the six digits at an experienced level. And environmental scientists can also make more than $100,000 a year studying our air, food and soil.

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