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Environment & Sustainability

​​​​​If you are passionate about the natural world, improving environmental health and sustainability, and/or tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, like climate change, you might consider exploring careers related to the environment, energy, and sustainability. Careers in this field are expansive and may focus on an array of issues such as the use, stewardship, and protection of environmental and natural resources, energy use and production, and the application of biophysical, social, economic, and political sciences to address complex environmental, energy, and natural resource challenges.

Explore Career Paths and Possibilities:

Below is a non-exhaustive list of sample roles for students and alums interested in careers in the environment and sustainability, including potential internships, post-grad entry points, and higher-level positions, and a sample list of Chicagoland organizations focused in environment & sustainability. Roles in this area can be found across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a variety of settings, including in offices, labs, and the field.

  • Citizen Science Intern
  • Conservation Policy and Advocacy Intern
  • Environmental Intern
  • Environmental Science Intern
  • Marine Conservation Research Intern
  • Outdoor Education Program Leader
  • Recycling Technologies Intern
  • Sustainability Intern
  • Transportation Planning Intern
  • Water Rights Resource Assistant Intern
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Health Specialist I
  • Environmental Protection Specialist I
  • Environmental Sanitarian I
  • Environmental Scientist
  • GIS Analyst
  • Natural Resources Technician
  • Program Assistant
  • Safety Technician
  • Toxicology Associate

*Note: These are common job titles for individuals graduating with a Bachelor's degree*

  • Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Climatologist
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Data Analyst
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Health & Safety Manager
  • Forester
  • Geologist
  • Green Building Specialist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Naturalist
  • Park Superintendent
  • Policy Director
  • Professor of Environmental Science and Studies
  • Renewable Energy Consultant
  • Water Resources Engineer
  • Wildlife Biologist

*Note: These are common job titles for individuals that have obtained a Master's degree or hold many years of professional experience*

Professional Organizations:

Professional associations offer excellent opportunities for networking, finding jobs and internships, and staying up-to-date on industry issues, trends, and research. Below are a few environmental science, energy, and natural resources-related professional associations to get you started (click here for more tips on how to effectively engage with professional groups).

Transferable Skills:

  • Observation skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Innovative thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Life cycle analysis, GIS, resource management, data presentation (hard skills)