Green careers of the future

Find out about green jobs and what green career opportunities there are for the future.

The climate emergency is a concern for everyone, particularly for younger generations worried about their futures and what opportunities await them.

Governments around the world are under mounting pressure to stop global warming and reduce carbon emissions across every level of society. This shift is leading to the creation of new jobs and emerging ‘green careers’ within renewable and sustainable industries.

The 'net zero' targets set by the UK government are set to impact the way businesses run, leading to changes in the way people work and the creation of new jobs. The UK government has said it is planning to create 2 million green jobs by 2030.

*Sources: gov.uk

What are green jobs?

Green jobs are found within organisations that focus on restoring or preserving the natural environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It may be the organisation produces renewable energy or products, or that they operate with net zero practices.

Some examples include:

• Renewable energy
• ECO homebuilding
• Sustainable farming
• Environmental science
• Conservation

The government has predicted that most jobs will be ‘green’ by 2050

Green jobs exist in industries that you might not have thought of as green. Sectors including manufacturing and construction must evolve their practices to reduce carbon emissions, and these changes create new job roles.

Many large organisations now employ sustainability officers and business improvement teams to drive the adoption of sustainable practices. Local government and public sector organisations are recruiting teams to reduce emissions, tackle pollution and manage waste.

Where are the best opportunities for green careers?

Energy and power

The renewable energy sector, including wind power and cleaner energy sources, will become increasingly prevalent and important to society. There could be around 60,000 more jobs in offshore wind, for example.

Example jobs:

• Wind turbine technician
• Nuclear engineer
• Home energy adviser
• Solar panel installer
• Electric heating installer

Businesses

Over the coming decades, businesses will have to reduce their emissions, consumption and manage waste by adopting environmentally friendly methods. Changes to equipment, premises, vehicles and operations will require teams who can implement and manage these changes effectively.

Example jobs:

• Project manager
• Business development manager
• Business improvement manager
• Sustainability officer
• Development engineer

Construction

To make buildings more energy efficient and create new eco-buildings, new jobs in construction are required. There is new equipment and technology to operate when building homes as part of zero targets, bringing new opportunities and skill sets with them.

Example jobs:

• Sustainability technician
• Building performance analyst
• Cavity insulation installer
• New home sales
• Green roofer

Transport

The move to low or zero-emission vehicles and increased availability of public transport is essential for tackling emissions. There are jobs around the development of zero-emission vehicles, including electric transport, and even jobs in reducing emissions from aviation fuel and air travel.

Example jobs:

• Transport planner
• Project manager
• Aerospace engineer
• Railtrack maintenance worker
• Road transport manager

Conservation and waste management

Changing our approach to waste, consumption and recycling the materials we use is essential to preserving our resources and protecting nature. Green jobs in conservation, the environment and waste management are crucial to protecting our natural environment.

Example jobs:

• Environmental lawyer
• Environmental practitioner
• Water regulatory officer
• Recycling officer
• Ecologist

Green jobs and adapting to the future

Tackling climate change is about changing our ways and repairing the damage we have already done as a society. Researching and discovering new ways of doing things is essential to helping us reach net zero targets, and making these sustainable changes accessible for all.

Science and technology have never been as important as we look to find solutions to the problems we are facing. We need to adapt to the realities of climate change, and with this challenge comes new jobs, for instance within industries working to protect us against extreme weather.

With uncertainty comes new opportunities and the chance to be part of the change. Although it’s a challenging time, there are careers evolving in which people can make a genuine difference. Because the climate emergency must be tackled long-term, there is longevity in these green jobs.

How to get a green job: Tips for young people

In a world increasingly focused on environmental sustainability, there is great potential within the green sector. Do you want to develop a career and make a positive impact on our planet? Here are some tips that can help get you started:

1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and start your journey towards a green career. Many charities, organisations and community groups need enthusiastic new recruits willing to dedicate their time and energy to make a difference. Whether it's fundraising, supporting at events, or working in your local charity shop, volunteering provides hands-on experience to add to your CV.

2. Get involved in community projects

Beyond volunteering, you could take part in community projects related to sustainability and environmental conservation. Join or initiate action to address local environmental issues, for example clearing up green spaces or supporting wildlife. You could organise a recycling drive at your school or campaign to reduce plastic waste at your sports club. These initiatives contribute to your community and showcase your commitment to green causes.

3. Consider an apprenticeship in the green sector

Apprenticeships are an entry point to a career and enable you to gain practical experience while learning from experts in the field. Look for apprenticeship programs in green sectors, such as renewable energy or eco-friendly construction. Or you could research sustainable and B Corp companies and see if they offer apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships provide practical training and qualification, and often lead to full-time employment.

4. Look at government-funded schemes

The UK government is investing in green initiatives and creating job opportunities in sustainable industries. Explore government-funded programs or training opportunities designed for those wanting to pursue careers in environmental fields. These programs can help you access education and training that may otherwise be out of reach financially.

5. Reach out to specific companies you'd like to work for

Many of us have dream organisations or brands we’d love to work for. Why not make a list of these organisations and reach out to them directly? Start by expressing your interest in their mission and enquire about potential job or training opportunities. Many employers appreciate hearing from proactive individuals who share their values. It might not return any direct opportunities, but the process itself can teach you what you might be looking for.

6. Develop transferable skills

Regardless of the specific green job you're aiming for, certain skills are universally valuable to employers. You could choose to develop your abilities in areas such as project management, data analysis, or administration. These kinds of skills are required across many fields and may provide you with the entry point to working within your ideal green organisation.

7. Train in a specialism

While having a broad understanding of environmental issues may be appealing to a green employer, having a specialism may be the reason they employ you. Whether it's finance, HR, law or IT, training in a specialism can set you apart in a competitive job market as well as providing lifelong skills.

Pursuing a green career is both personally fulfilling and environmentally impactful. By exploring your options and building a strong CV, you can improve your chances of finding that first opportunity within in the green sector. Embrace the opportunities available to you and you could be working towards creating a sustainable future for our planet.

Are you considering a career in a green industry or a green job within an existing sector? Talk to our careers advisers today about your options, and find out what qualifications could set you on the right path.

Are you considering a career in a green industry or a green job within an existing sector? Talk to our careers advisers today about your options, and find out what qualifications could set you on the right path.

 

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