The green-jobs sector grew roughly three times faster than regular employment did during much of the past decade, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. One position expected to keep growing as mainstream corporations look to rein in their environmental impact: sustainability coordinator. “Nonprofits were the first wave to hire sustainability professionals, colleges and universities were second, then cities and counties, and now the fourth wave is corporations,” says Jim Cassio, a labor-market consultant and coauthor of 2009’s Green Careers. Duties vary considerably but can range from reducing energy consumption and managing facilities to organizing educational programs and advising on environmental policies.
ESSENTIAL SKILLS: Variable—many sustainability consultants have degrees in environmental science or engineering, while others have MBAs from green-business programs at Yale, Stanford, and Washington State’s Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
BREAKING IN: “Every industry is fumbling around with how to do sustainability, but few companies will advertise a position,” says Kevin Doyle, founder of Green Economy, a workforce consulting firm, and coauthor of The ECO Guide to Careers That Make a Difference. “Don’t just wait for a job listing. Think about what institutions you’re interested in and ask about their sustainability plans.”