What Careers are Available with a Master’s in Sustainability?

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Throughout the world, the green movement is growing so learning what careers are available with a Master's in Sustainability is a smart move for individuals interested in pursuing jobs that will help protect the environment. A variety of courses of study and paths can lead interested individuals to a steady career in sustainability.

Some professionals in the field recommend that students interested in pursuing a career in sustainability not head straight to graduate school to pursue a master's degree. Rather, gaining experience in some aspect of the field is preferable for advancement. Undergraduate fields of study that can help lead to a Master's in Sustainability include interdisciplinary studies like sustainable development, environmental policies, ecology, landscape architecture, anthropology, sociology, natural resources and more. Most undergraduate science degrees can be a stepping stone toward a Master's in Sustainability.

Sustainability Careers are Broad

The University of Wisconsin, which offers a bachelor's degree as well as a master's degree in sustainability, notes that the field is difficult to define because the types of jobs available have varying responsibilities across different companies and organizations. Therefore, sustainable management master's degrees cover general business subjects such as accounting, marketing, economics and strategic management. At the same time, the curriculum also covers ecology, natural resource management, systems thinking and environmental policy. Other universities offering master's programs in sustainability include Northeastern University and St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

The Most Lucrative Sustainability Careers

The highest-paying careers in the field of sustainability are in management and engineering. Years of experienced are often necessary to reach the highest paying jobs. Chief sustainability executives make the most money by far with annual salaries averaging $167,000. Other positions with high-paying salaries over $90,000 include natural sciences managers, general and operations managers, chemical managers and atmospheric and space managers. These sustainability careers are lucrative because individuals in these positions create new, more environmentally responsible technologies, improve efficiency in the organizations where they work and educate the public about environmental and social issues while also prompting stakeholders to help plan and program new initiatives.

Popular Career Choices in Sustainability

Of course, not everyone will be able to land the highest paying jobs in sustainability. Recent graduates with master's degrees should find jobs easily as a large number of sustainability careers are in high demand. Sustainability consultants are in the highest demand as many companies and organizations don't have the resources to hire a dedicated sustainability staff member to help them plan and execute sustainability initiatives.

Campus sustainability directors or managers are also in high demand as colleges and universities, as well as larger high schools and even some school districts, look for ways to make their operations greener. Corporate sustainability specialists or green building professionals can help design, build and maintain green buildings as well as help transform older structures into energy efficient buildings.

Related Resource: 30 Best Master's in Civil or Environmental Engineering Online Degrees

A Master's in Sustainability should continue to be a great career path for individuals interesting in improving the environment. Overall environmental awareness has grown over the past decades and the need and want for a greener community is always on the rise.