Q. I’m recently out of college and on the job hunt, but the job market’s looking bleak. Do you have any tips for finding work in the green sector?  - Justin, CA

A. Job market’s got you cowering under your sheets, huh? You’re not alone. Last week, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan called the economic crisis a “once in a century credit tsunami.” Bold words for a typically “reserved” guy. 

Despite today’s current economic nosedive, greenies still have options when it comes to finding that save-the-planet job. If you’re looking to make money while healing mama earth, check out this recent Forbes article: “Six-Figure Green Jobs.” It lists a number of eco-jobs sure to put your green credentials (if you’ve already got some) to good use. Try these titles on for size: chief sustainability officer, environmental engineer, environmental lawyer, climatologist/environmental meteorologist, renewable energy manager, environmental scientist, senior urban planner, industrial designer, conservation scientist, and senior hydrologist.

Though many of these jobs can be found at environment-oriented organizations, don’t make the mistake of ignoring other companies in your job search. Nearly everybody is greening their image these days, so even companies that aren’t traditionally thought of as being eco-friendly are in the market for sustainability coordinators and environmental officers. If all of these jobs seem way out of your league right now, just try to think of them as an end goal to keep in mind while you climb your way up the leafy green ladder.

In the meantime, there are plenty of environmental job listservs out there: ecojobs.com; environmentaljobs.com; environmentalcareer.com; ecoemploy.com…You get the idea. Big name environmental groups also tend to post jobs regularly on their Web sites, so be sure to add them to your “job search” to do list.

If you’re not having much luck, a great way to get some green work experience under your belt is to reach out to national organizations with local chapters. They, like small environmental organizations, are always looking for eco advocates and volunteers. So lend a hand—you’ll beef up your green resume and show future employers that you’re truly committed to the cause. After all, you wouldn’t be an environmental advocate if you were only in it for the glory and fame, now would you?

Story by Jessica A. Knoblauch. This article originally appeared in "Plenty" in October 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008

How to find green jobs
Green jobs are becoming more and more important--and available.