The environment and climate change have been identified as the challenge of our generation. Ensuring that individuals and businesses maintain a social responsibility to the planet has never been more important. Millennials and Generation Z are found to be more passionate about the environment. As a result, more and more young people are leaving university with their eyes set on a career that promotes sustainability.

However, landing a job straight out of university is already a daunting task. Securing a sustainable role may be even more difficult. But the days of signing our name on any old job contract may be behind us. Today, graduates are demanding jobs which reflect the ethical progress of the 21st century.

An increasing number of students are choosing university degrees based on sustainability and environmental welfare. But what will the job situation look like in 2021 and beyond? Here, we explore how current attitudes towards the environment can create new job opportunities for graduates in this field. We also discuss the earning potential of these sustainable roles.

The sustainable jobs available now

Sustainable jobs are not only a trend for the future workplace. In fact, there are many sustainable roles available now. Currently, job website Indeed has 701 jobs which mention sustainability. 298 of these roles are full-time, while part-time roles are also available. Not only that, but 186 of these jobs are permanent, leaving plenty of opportunities open for graduates to fill.

You may be asking: “What do these sustainable roles look like?”

Depending on the career path you have your mind set on, finding the ideal job to match with this is no easy decision to make. Luckily, there are many different job roles for you to choose between.

Sustainable consultancy is one potential career a graduate could undertake. These consultants are responsible for devising plans and strategies for companies to improve how sustainable and environmentally efficient they are. They have ownership over their business’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments, including their hazardous waste management.

A climate change analyst may have a further impact on the environment. At a glance, their main job role involves researching and analysing current developments to help tackle climate change. The ultimate goal of this job is to suggest policies and practices that should be legislated to help prevent climate change, and create campaigns to promote these ideas to wider society.

It is also the responsibility of environmental specialists to protect the climate. Their main job role is to research the different types of pollutants or hazards that are having a negative impact on our planet and develop strategies to help eliminate them.

Other careers may have a bigger impact on the environment than we would suspect. A career in graphic design, for example. This involves designing elements such as packaging, promotional materials, displays, or logos. Although not immediately seeming like a sustainable job, graphic designers play a central role in creating innovative business materials and techniques that are environmentally friendly and sustainable to maintain without harming the environment.

Businesses must place a greater emphasis on their environmental protection strategies. Embedding this value within job roles is fundamental to their success in the future. With this being said, the need for sustainable job roles to be fulfilled is becoming more important.

Earn while you learn…more

Even after university, apprenticeships are a valuable way to achieve additional qualifications and gain access to jobs within businesses. The experience is unparalleled. Although sustainability isn’t a common industry to look for an apprenticeship in, they are becoming increasingly popular.

The first degree-level apprenticeship in the environmental sector was only launched in 2019. This was the Level 6 Environmental Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship aims to help broaden the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of those wanting a career in the environmental sector by teaching apprentices the environmental principles and techniques to different sustainable processes and all aspects which this entails.

There are more apprenticeships schemes available, varying on your interest and qualification level. This includes construction management and sustainability, trainee environmental practitioner degrees, and health, safety and sustainability apprentice programmes. Whichever career path you choose, perhaps an apprenticeship is the best way to get your foot in the door of the sustainable jobs sector.

Sustainable pays

If you’re seeking a sustainable career, protecting the environment through your everyday actions is essential. However, making sure that you’re earning a big enough salary to live on is also a priority. We’ve scoured Indeed and discovered the average salary of those working within this industry as a sustainability consultant is £41,144. That’s more than enough to comfortably set up a life with!

Pay is also good for graduates starting out in a sustainable career. Sustainable consultancy produces starting salaries of around £25,000. Senior consultants may earn £60,000 per year. As for climate change analysts, the average salary in the UK is £36,000 and can increase up to £60,000.

There’s never been a better time to start your career in sustainability. For graduates wanting to turn their passion for the environment into a full-time career, there are many jobs out there to meet your needs.

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