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    Top Green Degrees and Careers 2021

    September 14, 2021 | Staff Writers

    top green degrees
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    It used to be that a child aspired to be a lawyer, a doctor, or if they were ambitious, an astronaut. All respectable careers that also pay well. Now, however, if you were to ask a child on the street what they wanted to be when they grow up, it isn’t too far-fetched to hear a response such as marine biologist or even a park ranger. It may seem like a childish hope, but in reality untraditional, and environmentally friendly jobs, or “green jobs,” are becoming much more popular. Also, the top environmental degrees allow students to pursue this.

    Keeping the environment safe and clean has become a growing concern lately, and in response schools, homes, and businesses have all started to implement green practices. This practice extends into the job world too as “green collar” jobs are in high demand, and are gaining more and more respect. It may be hard for some to believe, as many still want to think that green jobs are low paying life alternatives, instead of steady careers that can provide for a family. However, schools are even recognizing this new trend, and have begun to offer degrees and classes to help prepare students interested in going into jobs that work in the environment sectors of the economy.

    You might find yourself wondering, why is there such a demand for environmentally conscious degrees and jobs? Well, let’s take a look at the facts.

    Conservation

    Protecting the wildlife across America is becoming a growing concern. Born Free USA has announced that over 2.5 million animals are killed each year by the government. However, instead of relocating the animals or not destroying their habitats, they are being killed, and as a result, are becoming endangered. Many careers deal with these issues, trying to find alternative processes.

    Energy

    Energy accounts for not just electricity, but also oil, natural gases, and coal. In the United States, oil is the most significant portion of energy consumption, followed by power. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2014 the U.S. was able to produce 89% of the entire nation’s energy needs. The needs make careers dealing with energy conservation and innovation vital to the country’s sustainability.  

    Climate

    We’ve heard it for ages, “global warming” but what does that mean for the United States? Not only does it say that the temperature of the earth is increasing, but that it is leading to disasters across the globe. Conserve Energy Future explains how hurricanes, flash floods, overheating, and rapid diseases are all increasing as a result of these rising temperatures. Finding solutions to the climate change is a pressing matter, making those jobs in the field urgent and essential.

    Water

    Arguably our most important resource, water is everywhere and a basic necessity for life. While nearly 97% of the Earth is water, only 1% of that water is considered safe to consume. Do Something explains that no matter what the source is, there is never new water introduced to the environment, which is why it is vital to keep drinking water uncontaminated and available. Green jobs in water conservation are continually searching for new ways to keep water clean and get safe drinking water to other countries.

    Agriculture

    Farming is a pretty big industry in the United States, whether it be picking oranges, producing wheat, or raising cattle. North Carolina State University has published that there are twenty-two million Americans who are involved with the nation’s food. Most farms are run by small families or individuals, making it essential for research to be still done as corporations aren’t typically involved. Scientists are regularly needed to think of safer, more productive ways of farming.

    Top Green Degrees

    Sustainable Environmental Design:

    The green design degree focuses on designing and constructing cities that can expand with the population and stand resilient to time and weather. These designers work to come up with resource-efficient buildings and such to ultimately create a sustainable city. Students learn about the challenges that urban districts face and then brainstorm possible solutions.

    Top Schools:

    University of California at Berkeley

    Morgan State University

    Environmental Engineering:

    Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.

    Top Schools:

    University of Colorado

    Yale University

    Brown University

    Environmental Health Sciences:

    Environmental health scientists study the natural and human-made resources that contribute to the health of the planet. Some work in the field to collect samples to analyze while others work on policy, legislation, and other government-related areas of environmental protection.

    Top Schools:

    John Hopkins University

    University of Washington

    The University of California at Los Angeles

    Environmental Law:

    Environmental law students study energy law and policy, conservation of natural resources, sustainable development, global warming and other environmental issues.

    Top Schools:

    Lewis & Clark College

    New York University

    Stanford University

    Environmental Science Degree and Sustainability Degree:

    Students in environmental science and sustainability work to solve real-world environmental problems, manage social-ecological systems, and learn how to affect decisions involving environmental policy, management, and biodiversity.

    Top Schools:

    Cornell University

    Colorado State University

    Horticulture:

    Similar to agriculture, horticulture studies of gardening includes the art, science, technology, and business of growing plants. Students learn about the cultivation of medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, algae, flowers, seaweeds, grass, ornamental trees, and shrubs.

    Top Schools:

    Washington State University

    North Carolina State University

    Marine Sciences:

    Marine scientists study general oceanography, marine biology, aquatic ecology and evolution, marine methods and analysis, statistical applications in marine science, geological oceanography, chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, biological oceanography, and marine biology.

    Top Schools:

    Hawaii Pacific University

    Florida Institute of Technology

    Renewable Energy:

    A renewable energy degree focuses on the production, transmission, and storage of sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass

    Top Schools:

    Everglades University

    Pennsylvania State University

    Sustainable Agriculture:

    In sustainable agriculture, students learn earth-friendly agriculture techniques like crop rotation. They also learn ways to increase soil fertility, prevent erosion, limit disease, interrupt pest growth, and yield a more abundant harvest.

    Top Schools:

    Sterling College

    Stockbridge School of Agriculture

    Wildlife Ecology:

    Students in wildlife ecology learn the scientific and analytical skills needed to make responsible choices regarding the welfare and management of wildlife. Courses cover wildlife, wilderness habitats, and research foundation tools such as biology and statistical mathematics.

    Top Schools:

    Michigan Technological University

    University of Maine

    Washington State University

    Geology:

    Geology students develop skills in observing and recording geologic features and processes, competency in interpreting earth science data, and locating and interpreting scientific literature. For Geology majors, they can go on to work as a sedimentologist, a geophysicist, and many other essential careers that help our environment.

    Top Schools:

    University of North Dakota

    The University of Florida

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Green Career Average Salaries

    Environmental law $113,530
    Sustainability director $102,365
    Petroleum engineer $99,611
    Chemical engineer $96,940
    Mining engineer $90,160
    Vineyard manager $88,279
    Civil engineer $87,130
    Marine Biologist $77,630
    Horticulture therapist $76,940
    Solar power project developer $76,969
    Organic farmer $73,210
    Climatologist $72,050
    Industrial ecologist $72,050
    Geoscientist $71,216
    Industrial hygienist $70,057
    Fish and game warden $69,410
    Sustainable landscape designer $68,570
    Environment epidemiologist $67,420
    Food scientist $67,041
    Green architect $66,022
    Sustainable food systems manager $66,000
    Soil scientist $64,680
    Environment project manager $64,612
    Ocean engineer $64,000
    Natural resource managers $63,330
    Wildlife biologist $63,230
    Senior Hydrogeologist $62,810
    Environment engineer $62,679
    Wildlife veterinarian $61,200
    Forrester $60,070
    Environment health & safety $59,609
    Plant specialist $56,000
    Urban architect $54,480
    Industrial design $53,011
    Geologist $50,400
    Environment chemist $49,880
    Environment engineering technician $48,170
    Fisheries management specialist $42,000
    Park ranger $35,229
    Landscape artist $24,670

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