Towards a Zero-Emissions Future: Environmental Jobs For You

What is the potential of jobs in a low carbon economy? Take a look at jobs in nature that safeguard biodiversity and provide livelihood opportunities.

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The article was originally published in WeNaturalists, as a part of the curated section by the editorial team. For more similar stories head to our Explore section.

What was true ten years ago doesn’t remain true today. With the awareness around nature increasing, there’s been a growing interest among youngsters to opt for careers in nature. And nature has a plethora of opportunities to offer individuals with skills and specialization.

As per International Labor Organization (ILO) statistics, “implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change could create a net gain of 18 million jobs by 2030.” Such jobs offer a chance for us to preserve biodiversity, replenish energy sources, increase the efficiency of raw materials, reduce our carbon footprint, minimize waste pollution, and assist in adapting to the changing climate landscape. Not only that, it opens up avenues that promote an environmentally sound and decarbonized economy.

Jobs Aiding in Biodiversity Protection

Let us glance over the ever-evolving career sectors where the work done could reap huge environmental benefits.

Environmental Experts work directly on the ground when it comes to conserving ecosystems. They drive revolutionary environmental changes through policy-making, education and awareness. Moreover, they collaborate globally with other environmental experts, thereby uniting for climate protection.

1. Environmental Scientist

With constant pressure to reduce our carbon footprint and inculcate sustainable practices, the demand for environmental scientists is ever-growing. A degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, or environmental bioscience is required for choosing this career option.

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Wildlife research, among others, is a niche career choice within the field of environmental science. Wildlife researchers indulge in data collection, behavior observations, trail camera deployment to trace the species of flora and fauna population species, so as to curate conservation measures.

2. Ecologist

Ecologists are a special branch of scientists who analyze the various ecosystems to assess the behavior, diversity and profusion of the organisms inhabiting the ecosystem. Their role consists of data collection, creating a taxonomy of the various species (flora and fauna) using geographical information systems (GIS) and identifying sustainable environmental practices.

The entry requirement is a degree in environmental education, science, geography or any such related field. A niche career option that has evolved out of this space, is drone ecologists. They utilize drones for better site assessment through higher resolution mapping of the species population.

3. Marine Biologist

Marine biologists are scientists who conduct environmental impact assessments to ideate necessary preservation mechanisms for marine flora and fauna.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

The academic qualifications for this job could include a degree in marine science, marine biology or any related field of science. Marine biologists have to assist commercial organizations like oil companies drilling on the seabed and governmental agencies in formulating a policy that is in tandem with marine species conservation. A niche career option in this field for instance is Seaweed Operators. Their work involves sustainable farming of the seaweed and creating bio-alternative products.

Content Creators become a catalyst of change in the environmental sphere through their immersive storytelling. They help shape a brighter, decarbonized economy through their media (photos, videos, articles, etc.).

4. Wildlife Photographer

Through the usage of powerful tools, techniques, lenses and lights, these nature professionals capture the flora and fauna without disturbing their natural habitat. Patience and knowledge is key aspect of this job. Most importantly, they spread the message of wildlife conservation across the globe.

A diploma degree in photography or a bachelor’s degree in photography or photojournalism is sufficient for the role.

5. Environmental Writer

The work of an environmental writer revolves around intensive research on various key environmental topics, e.g. illegal mining, air pollution, endangered species, energy resources of a country, etc., and then formulating a story based on that research.

The ecotourism sector employs different nature professionals and provides livelihood opportunities for them in a low-carbon economy.

6. Ecotourism Guide

An ecotourism guide effectively balances between the boosting of the local economy and implementing eco-friendly and sustainable practices, whilst conducting trips and excursions. These guides can work in different places, starting from the museum, the community, national parks, sanctuaries, sightseeing tours, etc.

Although a formal education degree is not a prerequisite for this job, knowledge of the culture, history and understanding of the ecological processes is important. An example of work in this field involves being a Professional Field Guide for Safari tours. For such roles, you need to be accredited with a proper certification license in order to engage in wildlife conservation and awareness. Ever since the pandemic, this career option is booming with a lot of opportunities as tourism-dependent countries strive to recover their economy.

7. Lodge Owners

Professionals involved in Support Services provide due aid and assistance to the People of Nature. Their arena of work may not involve being close to nature, but they help in fulfilling environmental protection goals through their respective contributions.

Lodge and hotel owners in forests, jungles and reserves employ service staff in various roles. Besides tour and wildlife guides, wildlife trainers, eco-lodges also require the services of chefs, accountants, administrative staff, human resource managers, etc. Hence, nature lovers with such skills can consider this as a career option. Though less highlighted, the roles of such people are indispensable.

8. Environmental Lawyer

Contrary to most green jobs, environmental lawyers have an indoor workplace and yet exert a massive influence upon the environment. They represent their clients in legal disputes relating to climate change, waste management, international resources, environmental rights, etc.

Environmental lawyers need a sound knowledge of sustainability, ecology, interactions of humans with the ecosystem and their rights, along with the necessary law degree.

Green for the Win — Decarbonization of the Economy?

As the nations pledge to shift to a future in nature, increasing the scope of green jobs would be the legitimate way forward. Not only would this decrease the toll on the environment but also widen the horizon of job opportunities.

If you’re looking for lucrative job opportunities in nature, take a look at the Projects, Jobs, Assignments, Events and Training available here.

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