When people think of green jobs they think of soil, greenery, and being one with Mother Earth, but working in Canada’s growing environmental sector entails more than that.
Here are five shades of green jobs that you may not have considered before:
You always see them in the sad climate change commercials, tumbling down from their icy peaks and crashing into the water below. Well, those frozen mountains are more than the Earth’s natural ice cubes, they are glaciers, and they play a key role in regulating the environment.
Of course, as a Glaciologist, you would know all about that. This job is not your typical office role. Glaciologists study the physical properties, movement and effects of snow on behalf of government departments, parks, research institutes, and consulting firms.
Starting salary: $36,000 to $41,800
Specialists in this area typically have strong backgrounds in science and math, and possess at least an undergraduate degree. The majority of positions also require research and a master’s degree in areas such as geomatics, geography, climatology, physics, or environmental earth sciences.
Outside of academics, many Glaciologists are also often certified in mountaineering, climbing and wilderness travel given the unique physical requirements of the job.
If you want to be one sharing the most up-to-date climate changes with the world, then working as an Environmental Reporter is where you need to be.
These journalists gather important environmental information and relay it to the public through print, video, online, radio and all other media. It’s a highly competitive market so, to be successful in this area, you’ll have to be passionate, curious and extremely dedicated to not only finding the story but being the first one to break the latest environmental news.
Starting salary: $19,000
All journalists need strong communications skills, but to specialize as an Environmental Reporter, you must also have an understanding of biology and social studies. Graduates with degrees in journalism, communications or environmental studies are well positioned to work in this field. In particular, if you have an undergraduate degree in a scientific field and a master’s degree in journalism, you are uniquely qualified for this role.
One of the best ways for people to start caring for the environment is for them to experience nature first hand. Enter the Ecotourism Operator. These workers love the environment and share their passion with clients and tours teaching people about an area’s natural and cultural history and how it can be preserved for future generations. These eco-leaders tend to work with school programs, tourism bureaus, universities or colleges, vacation resorts, park reserves and really anywhere that there are environmental issues and people willing to learn about them.
Starting salary: $23,000 to $28,000
Though you can technically pursue this career path right out of high school, employees in this field stand to earn more with a higher level of education. Students with degrees in ecotourism, outdoor recreation, parks and forestry, biology, geography or environmental studies are well suited for this position.
However, the most important skill for those interested in this line of work is strong communication and interpersonal skills. After all, a boring tour guide makes for a boring tour.
While most people think of their science teacher as the person who force fed them the Krebs cycle or made them dissect a frog against their will, these fine educators can also shape the way that future generations think about the environment. Science teachers have the power to work green lessons into their curriculum, exposing students to the different issues and science at work in the environment.
Starting salary: $46,000
All science teachers must get a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in at least two areas of science or mathematics. Teachers must be certified to teach in Canada and, in many areas, must also become a member of the provincial or territorial teachers’ association.
Environmental Health Officer
Green jobs often consider the health of our ecosystems, but what about these ecosystems impact the health of Canadians? Environmental Health Officers work to protect public health by doing everything from inspecting food facilities to implementing disease control. Ultimately, these workers focus on making sure that our environment stays safe for the Canadian public.
Starting salary: $35,000 to $50,000
The minimum requirement to work as an Environmental Health Officer is typically an undergraduate degree concentrating environmental health. ECO Canada recommends the programs at Ryerson University, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Concordia University College of Alberta, Cape Breton University and First Nations University of Canada. Employees in this field must also be certified with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).
Is your dream job a green job? Attend the Green Jobs Forum on Sept. 17, 2012 in Toronto – admission is free! Register now.