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10 Environmental Jobs That Can Help The Planet

By Brena Bouw

Published May 10, 2023 • 5 Min Read

How many climate change job opportunities are in Canada?

As Canada moves towards a net-zero future, the demand for skilled green workers will grow, according to a report from RBC, offering more opportunities for individuals and the Canadian economy.

Clean Energy Canada predicts there will be 639,200 roles by 2030 – 208,700 of them new – in the clean energy sector alone.

So, what are some of these “green collar” jobs, and how can you get one? Here are ten jobs expected to be in demand over the next decade.

10 in-demand environmental jobs in Canada

1. Wind turbine service technician

Salary: Around $61,000

How does a wind turbine service technician help the environment?

Also known as windtechs, wind turbine service technicians do installations, inspections and maintenance to prevent, diagnose and fix problems with wind turbines, a key source of renewable energy that accounts for 3.5 percent of Canadian electricity generation.

How can you become a wind turbine service technician?

Most windtechs have graduated from a six-month to two-year wind technician program, are licensed to drive and are up-to-date on all their safety certifications.

2. Solar energy installer

Salary: Around $54,000

How does a solar energy installer help the environment?

Also known as solar photovoltaic installers or PV installers, these professionals mount and maintain solar panels and systems that convert solar power into electricity. Solar energy contributes toward reducing pollution and GHG emissions, helping to combat climate change.

How can you become a solar energy installer?

You’ll need a high school diploma and on-the-job training, either through an apprenticeship or post-secondary training program.

3. Environmental engineer

Salary: Around $76,000

How does an environmental engineer help the environment?

Environmental engineers help come up with solutions to environmental problems that can affect the safety and natural integrity of air, water and land. Responsibilities range from pollution control and solid waste management to hazardous materials control.

How can you become an environmental engineer?

Environmental engineers require a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field and practical experience.

4. Environmental lawyer

Salary: Around $107,000

How does an environmental lawyer help the environment?

Environmental lawyers specialize in areas such as clean energy and technology, water law, climate change law and land management. They work in private firms, government and education.

How can you become an environmental lawyer?

You need a law degree for this job and will have to cut your teeth on a few environmental cases to build your expertise in environmental law.

5. Conservation biologist

Salary: Around $66,000

How does a conservation biologist help the environment?

A conservation biologist manages the quality of land, forests, parks and other natural resources. They work with landowners and governments on using and improving land in a way that protects the environment, sometimes with a specialty such as land manager, range manager or soil and water conservationist.

How can you become a conservation biologist?

An undergraduate degree is often required in areas such as forestry or environmental science; some practitioners may choose to apply for additional certification.

6. Waste manager

Salary: Around $101,000

How does a waste manager help the environment?

Waste manager roles vary quite a bit by industry, but they generally work to evaluate waste and waste disposal processes. They’re integral in helping governments, nuclear plants, manufacturers, recycling and waste companies dispose of waste appropriately and efficiently.

How can you become a waste manager?

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, environmental science, waste management or engineering is a typical minimum requirement to work as a waste manager.

7. Climate change analyst

Salary: Around $74,000

How does a climate change analyst help the environment?

Climate change analysts help turn climate data into policy suggestions and goals. Also known as climatologists, these scientists use statistical models and weather dynamics to monitor climate trends, predict future climate conditions and collaborate with climate scientists.

What education do you need to become a climate change analyst?

A minimum bachelor’s degree in environmental science, climatology, hydrology, meteorology or other related science is required.

8. Environmental assessor

Salary: Around $67,000

How does an environmental assessor help the environment?

Environmental assessors ensure land and water is protected, particularly in new developments. They investigate hazards in lakes and streams, manufacturing and production facilities and private residences to ensure laws are followed and environmental impact is limited.

How can you become an environmental assessor?

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental management or a related engineering discipline.

9. Sustainability officer

Salary: Around $63,000

How does a sustainability officer help the environment?

A sustainability officer ensures their organization sets and meets its environmental goals. They develop policies and programs to encourage employees to reduce energy, water and waste and report progress to various stakeholders, including customers, employees and investors.

How can you become a sustainability manager?

Most sustainability managers have a bachelor’s degree, often in business or science, with a minor related to sustainability or graduate-level sustainability certification.

10. Nuclear power plant safety inspector

Salary: Around $72,000

How does a nuclear power plant safety instructor help the environment?

Nuclear power can be controversial, but the Canadian government considers it an important source of low-emissions energy. A plant’s nuclear safety inspector, or nuclear technician, makes sure systems are working properly. The role includes investigating, measuring, collecting samples, maintaining equipment and educating staff.

How can you become a nuclear power plant safety inspector?
A bachelor’s degree in a health or safety-related field is useful. You may also need to register as a Certified Safety Professional or similar.

Looking for help taking the next step?

Could $1,500 help you get closer to a career in climate change? The RBC Future Launch Scholarship is for anyone aged 15 to 29 who wants to learn something new. The scholarship can be used for many different things including certifications, courses, or even to attend a climate conference or workshop. Find out more and apply here.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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