Environment, Climate and Sustainability Careers
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs as either a) jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources or b), jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. – BLS Green Jobs Initiative
Sustainability careers and other green jobs vary considerably from position to position. Due to the diversity within this career, one sustainability worker may work in an office, while another may work in a more industrial environment, while yet another may spend the majority of their time outdoors. For example, a director of responsibility would work in an office, overseeing a corporation’s approaches to the environment and energy consumption. On the other hand, a soil and plant scientist may spend a great deal of time in the field, enduring adverse weather conditions as they monitor soil PH levels and discover measures to prevent soil pollution. If you’re looking for a field that offers diverse options, then sustainable careers and green jobs may be a perfect place to look. – Environmentalscience.org
Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include GreenBiz, Reconsidered and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A Resource Guide. Subscribe to blogs and newsletters, follow industry insiders on social media and research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Company websites, O*NET, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are equally helpful resources. You must show not only an interest, but also knowledge about the industry.
To learn more about careers, go to Become (shares categories within green jobs, a list of nonprofits, job titles, and internships), environmentalscience.org (job profiles and salaries for environmental science career interests), wildlife careers, careers in environmental education and other environmental-related careers.
Vault Guides (create a free account with your Georgetown email) share comprehensive information on various careers. Relevant guides include several related to energy jobs (such as, alternative energy, oil & gas, nuclear, and utilities), agriculture jobs, and environmental science and conservation jobs.
Job boards that include sustainability-focused roles include GreenBiz, International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), and Reconsidered.
Attend employer information sessions, industry events, and conferences — on and off-campus — and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally, such as the International Society of Sustainability Professionals and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). For those interested in the energy sector, check out Young Professionals in Energy and Women’s Energy Network.There are numerous professional associations representing the various specialties in the environmental industry. See a full list of professional associations. Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational, and networking events.
Consider the many opportunities to volunteer in the Washington, DC area with the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), DC Audubon Society, USGBC, Rock Creek Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Student Conservation Association, and other organizations that help keep DC clean. Joining groups on LinkedIn related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts and ask questions. Also, reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway and Georgetown’s alumni page on LinkedIn. Our website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing.
Making Connections at Georgetown
Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Joining a school club is an excellent way to learn more about the industry, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Earth Commons is an institute on Georgetown’s campus that provides coursework, events, and fellowships to help students gain exposure to environmental research and careers. Earth Commons also oversees the Hoya Harvest Garden which integrates farming spaces into the campus and generates food for the community. Learn about the work that the Office of Sustainability at Georgetown is doing around campus. Capitol Applied Learning Labs (CALL) is a program that offers coursework and an internship as you explore your passion for the environment, while you live in downtown DC.
Some related clubs include Georgetown EcoConsultants, Slow Food Georgetown, and Georgetown Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN). Explore nature as you welcome an incoming class via the Georgetown Outdoor Pre-Orientation Program (GOPOP).For more student club information, visit Campus Groups. The Center for Social Justice offers alternative spring break trips focused on a variety of topics including environmental justice. On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills valued by employers.
Preparing Application Materials
To better understand what skills you need to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry level positions in the environment, climate, and sustainability industry. See our resume and cover letter pages for more tips and advice
For listings beyond our campus recruiting platform, Handshake, visit, GreenBiz, Reconsidered, Ecojobs, idealist.org, sustainablebusiness.com, environmentaljobs, Terra.do, Wildlife Society, climatebase, and explore more job listings on LinkedIn. For naturalist conservation roles, see Conservation Job Board and Natural Resources Job Board. For energy-specific job boards, check out Dayaway and energyjobs.com. For environmental education-related jobs, use eejobs.org. For food industry-related job boards, go to CareersinFood. For sustainable fashion jobs, check out The Sustainable Fashion Forum, Kyna Intel or the Conscious Fashion Job Board. As a student, research sites can be found with the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program.
- Selected government: Department of Energy | Environmental Protection Agency | National Park Service | State and Local Government
- Selected nonprofits: The Nature Conservancy | Worldwide Wildlife Fund | Environment America | Sierra Club | National Geographic Society | Ocean Conservancy | Climate Corps | FoodCorps
- A list of organizations in sustainability, climate tech, renewable energy, net zero, the circular economy, ESG and more
- A list of climate-related organizations searchable by sector, such as energy, food, carbon emissions and removal, etc.
- Forbes Top Consulting Companies working in the environment and energy sector.
- Find B-Corp companies who meet rigorous social and environmental standards
- 31 Environmental Companies Building a Sustainable World
- The Top 10 Publicly Traded Companies Fighting Climate Change in 2023
- 30 Environmental Startups That Will Inspire Entrepreneurs to Go Green