Best Paying Environmental Jobs

Updated on February 16, 2024

The environmental sector offers a wide array of rewarding career paths for those passionate about conservation, sustainability, and the health of our planet. As global awareness of environmental issues grows, so does the demand for skilled professionals in this field. These roles not only contribute to vital conservation efforts but also come with competitive compensation. Here, we explore ten of the best-paying jobs in the environmental sector, detailing their responsibilities and the education required to excel in these positions.

Environmental Engineer

  • Average Salary: $65,000 – $100,000 annually
  • Job Description: Environmental engineers develop solutions to environmental problems, such as pollution control, waste disposal, and public health issues.
  • Responsibilities: Designing systems for waste management, water treatment, and pollution control; ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field.

Conservation Scientist

  • Average Salary: $60,000 – $90,000 annually
  • Job Description: Conservation scientists manage natural resources and develop strategies for land use and conservation.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting research, developing conservation plans, and advising policymakers and landowners.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, natural resource management, or a related field.

Environmental Lawyer

  • Average Salary: $90,000 – $160,000 annually
  • Job Description: Environmental lawyers specialize in laws and policies related to environmental protection and natural resource management.
  • Responsibilities: Representing clients in environmental cases, advising on compliance with environmental laws, and drafting legal documents.
  • Required Education: Juris Doctor (JD) degree; must pass the bar exam.

Renewable Energy Manager

  • Average Salary: $70,000 – $120,000 annually
  • Job Description: Renewable energy managers oversee projects and initiatives related to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.
  • Responsibilities: Developing renewable energy projects, managing budgets, and ensuring projects meet environmental and safety standards.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, engineering, or a related field; experience in renewable energy projects.

Environmental Health and Safety Director

  • Average Salary: $80,000 – $140,000 annually
  • Job Description: These professionals ensure workplace environments comply with health, safety, and environmental regulations.
  • Responsibilities: Developing and implementing safety and environmental policies, conducting risk assessments, and leading compliance audits.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental health, safety management, or a related field.

Geoscientist

  • Average Salary: $70,000 – $110,000 annually
  • Job Description: Geoscientists study the Earth’s composition, structure, and processes to understand its past, present, and future.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting field studies, analyzing geological data, and researching Earth’s processes.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in geosciences, geology, or a related field; master’s degree may be required for certain positions.

Hydrologist

  • Average Salary: $60,000 – $90,000 annually
  • Job Description: Hydrologists study the distribution, circulation, and properties of water in the Earth’s atmosphere and on its surface.
  • Responsibilities: Measuring water resources, studying water cycles, and assessing the impact of human activities on water.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, hydrology, or a related field.

Urban Planner

  • Average Salary: $55,000 – $85,000 annually
  • Job Description: Urban planners develop plans and programs for land use in urban areas, focusing on sustainability and community development.
  • Responsibilities: Researching urban issues, developing planning policies, and engaging with the community.
  • Required Education: Master’s degree in urban planning, environmental planning, or a related field.

Environmental Consultant

  • Average Salary: $50,000 – $80,000 annually
  • Job Description: Environmental consultants advise businesses and government agencies on environmental best practices and compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting environmental assessments, developing management systems, and advising on sustainability strategies.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, engineering, or a related field; relevant experience in consulting.

Wildlife Biologist

  • Average Salary: $50,000 – $75,000 annually
  • Job Description: Wildlife biologists study animals and their ecosystems to understand their behaviors, diseases, and the impact of human activities on wildlife.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting research, monitoring wildlife populations, and developing conservation plans.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, ecology, or a related field; a master’s or Ph.D. may be required for research positions.

Final Thoughts

The environmental sector offers diverse and fulfilling career opportunities for those committed to making a positive impact on the planet. These high-paying jobs not only provide financial stability but also allow professionals to contribute to meaningful work in conservation, sustainability, and environmental protection. As environmental concerns continue to gain prominence, the demand for skilled environmental professionals is expected to grow, offering promising career prospects for future generations.

Environmental and Green Jobs

Sources

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.