From education to employment

Sustainable Jobs: What Opportunities Are There for Graduates?


As society places a greater emphasis on the social responsibility, we have to protect the environment and prevent climate change. As such, more and more of us are looking for careers in sustainable roles. Finding a job that is ideal for you after walking out of university is no easy task, let alone one that is eco-friendly. For the generations before us, signing the first job contract they see regardless of their ethical stance and personal opinions was a regular occurrence. 

But what does the situation look like for graduates in 2020? As an increasing number of students choose degrees based on sustainability and environmental welfare, we look to see if this has created more job opportunities for postgraduates interested in this field and discuss the potential new sustainable job opportunities there are available. 

Sustainability and graduate jobs — the current opportunities

By researching further into the jobs available in sustainability, you’ll realise that there is a wider scope available than what you expected. In fact, Indeed found 44 full-time jobs and 25 part-time jobs currently available in sustainability. Not only that, 74 permanent jobs roles were also found, leaving plenty of opportunities open for graduates to fill. 

Another common question is what types of jobs are available in sustainability. Depending on what 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 ponder between. 

One potential career route could be in sustainability consultancy. These consultants take responsibility over devising plans and strategies for companies to use to help improve how sustainable and environmentally efficient they are, augmenting the social responsibility businesses take over their everyday practices and operations, including their business waste disposal

For those looking to have a more direct impact on our climate, upholding a career as a climate change analyst could be ideal for you. At a glance, their main job role involves researching and analysing developments that are being made to help tackle climate change. The ultimate objective 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. 

Similarly, environmental specialists have the shared responsibility of protecting the climate in a slightly different way. Their main job role is to conduct research into the different types of pollutants or hazards that are negatively impacting our planet and develop strategies to help eliminate them. 

There are also more common job titles we have all heard of yet ignore the part they play in protecting the environment. A career in graphic design for example. This involves designing and creating elements such as packaging, promotional materials, displays, or even 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. 

As individuals becomes more conscious about the global footprint they leave behind, ensuring businesses place emphasis on the value of the environment has never been more important. With this being said, the need for sustainable job roles to be fulfilled is becoming increasingly important.

Have you ever considered an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships for university graduates are a great way to gain real-world experience in a job role and be rewarded with an official qualification at the end of it, helping benefit you further in your career path. Although not a common industry to look for an apprenticeship in, these are becoming increasingly popular within sustainable job roles.

In 2019, the Level 6 Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeship was launched, seeing the very first degree apprenticeship for the environmental sector take off. The aim of this apprenticeship was 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 systems and all aspects which this entails. 

Other apprenticeships and trainee schemes available to graduates vary depending on your particular interest. Some include Level 5 construction management in sustainability, trainee environmental practitioner degrees, and health, safety and sustainability apprentice programs. 

Whichever career path you choose, perhaps an apprenticeship is the best way to get your foot in the door of the sustainable jobs sector. 

The ultimate determinant: wages

Despite the main drive behind wanting to obtain a career in sustainability is so your support and care for the environment can play a part in your everyday life. However, making sure that you’re earning a big enough salary to live off is also a priority. We’ve scoured Indeed and discovered the average salary of those working within this industry is £40,323 — more than enough to comfortably set up a life with!  

Even further research into this found that for graduates just beginning their career, salaries in sustainability consultancy can start at £25,000 per year and increase up to £60,000 for senior consultants. As for climate change analysts, the average salary in the UK is £36,000 and can increase up to £60,000. 

With this said, why not start searching for your ideal job now? For graduates wanting to turn their concern for the environment into a full-time career, there are many jobs out there to satisfy just that. 

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