19 Climate Change Careers Changing the World [+Education & Experience Requirements]

16 min read

If we’re to answer the threat of climate change, the world needs dedicated professionals who can work to mitigate its harmful effects, protect our vulnerable populations and replenish our natural resources. As the harmful impacts of climate change on health and the environment are increasingly apparent, more governments, enterprises and organizations are creating climate change careers that can help ensure we’re able to meet this challenge.

If you’re looking to take action, you’re not alone. A recent study by Deloitte found that three-quarters of surveyed millennials and Gen Z believe the world is at a tipping point for climate change, while less than half are optimistic that current efforts to sustain the health of the environment will be enough. Consequently, almost half of those surveyed have said they’ve placed pressure on their employers to take further action to combat climate change, and two-thirds of business leaders are feeling pressure to do more.

As that pressure builds, we’re likely to see greater support for climate change careers. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting steady job growth for “green” occupations, you may have more career options available than you might initially suspect.

This blog post takes a look at eight impactful jobs dedicated to fighting climate change, preserving our natural environment and promoting the causes of sustainability and climate justice. However, your career opportunities don’t stop there. Everyone has the possibility to use their talents and education to combat climate change, so this post will also cover 11 more universal careers that are just as important in making a difference.

8 Careers Specific to Addressing Climate Change

Careers fighting climate change aren’t limited to any one field. You can find positions available in both the public and private sectors across different industries. Whether you’re looking to build new climate solutions, fight for climate justice, help communities recover from disasters, restore our natural environment or push for more sustainable practices, there could be an opportunity for you in any of the following eight positions.

Environmental Lawyer

Interested in practicing law? If so, then you could find a purpose as an environmental lawyer. Also known as environmental attorneys or environmental law attorneys, these skilled professionals represent the people, businesses or even the environment itself in matters relating to environmental protection, environmental justice and sustainability. As an environmental lawyer, you could take action against harmful waste, deforestation, water and air pollution and more to help secure justice for affected communities. 

  • Required Education:
    As a lawyer you’ll be expected to earn a bachelor’s degree in law, political science or business and then continue on to law school to obtain your Juris Doctor degree. You’ll need to pass the bar exam to become licensed in any U.S. state you wish to practice in. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Environmental lawyers can work for the government, such as with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or as part of a private law firm or public interest group. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Alchemy Legal, Robert Half, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate Change Analyst / Climatologist

If you’re interested in data analysis, then you can help better identify the threat of climate change as a climate change analyst or climatologist. In either of these positions you’ll evaluate statistical models and weather dynamics to identify patterns and forecast future climate conditions. You’ll present your findings to relevant stakeholders, whether in government or private industry, to assist in developing strategies and provide policy suggestions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

  • Required Education:
    You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a related field, such as ecology, oceanography, meteorology or statistics. Most research positions will also require a master’s degree in a climatology field and experience in data collection, research, analysis and writing technical reports.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Many federal and state agencies hire climate change analysts, as do private consulting firms and university research departments. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Influencemap, LSA consulting, Emerson Collective, World Resources Institute and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Environmental Engineer

If you enjoy building solutions as an engineer consider addressing climate change challenges as an environmental engineer. Depending on your position and employer, you could be working in an office and/or out in the field promoting sustainable societal development, mitigating the harmful effects of waste and  regenerating our natural resources. You’ll employ your engineering skills to develop solutions for environmental issues such as recycling, waste disposal, public health, water and air pollution control, spill prevention, stormwater runoff and more.

  • Required Education:
    You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering. As an interdisciplinary field, you should take a range of courses, which can include soil science, biology, chemistry, hydrology, geology and waste management. To achieve a specialized or leadership position you’ll need a master’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field, such as chemical engineering or civil engineering. Some positions, such as an environmental engineer or environmental systems manager, may also require a professional engineer certification.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Environmental engineers can work for state and federal governments, consulting firms and private enterprises. As of February 2024, companies hiring for this position included Mountain Research LLC, Environmental Consultants (ECI), Montrose Environmental Group, SpaceX, Portland General Electric and National Engineering and Consulting (NEC Group).

Renewable Energy Technician

Are you passionate about promoting the cause of renewable energy? If you answered yes, you could use your technical skills to work as a renewable energy technician in the HVAC, medical, manufacturing, automotive and public utility sectors. In this profession, you’ll be responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of renewable energy systems, which can include solar, wind, hydro or bioenergy, to help move us away from the use of fossil fuels. 

  • Required Education:
    It is possible to be a renewable energy technician with only a high school degree or GED, though you’ll increase your job prospects by earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology, electrical engineering or business. You’ll also need to know your organization’s standard operating procedures, policies and training and be familiar with state, federal and local regulations.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Renewable or “green” energy companies are in constant need of technicians to install and maintain equipment. As of February 2024, companies hiring for this position included Renewable Energy Partners, Midwest Renewable Energy LLC, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and The National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Sustainability Consultant / Environmental Manager

Want to help show companies, organizations and even communities how to enact better sustainability practices? You could work within an organization as an environmental manager or provide assistance to multiple organizations as a consultant. As either a sustainability consultant or environmental manager you’ll review an organization’s existing environmental policies and operations, compile data and then make recommendations to ensure the organization complies with regulations, promotes sustainable practices and minimizes any environmental impacts. Your responsibilities can range from finding greater efficiencies in operations and creating actionable strategies to educating stakeholders and developing effective communication.

  • Required Education:
    If you want to work as either an environmental manager or sustainability consultant you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies or a related field. An advanced degree isn’t often required, though most positions will ask you to show that you have 2–4 years of job experience in related fields.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Aside from private companies, environmental managers can also work for the public by overseeing a community’s physical environment to support the continued health and safety of its residents and the environment. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Nesco Resource LLC, Meridian Consulting LLC, Quest Energy Group, T Bailey Inc., RecycleMax.com and GitHub.


Perhaps you’re more passionate about directly studying how climate change is affecting the environment itself. As an ecologist you’ll be able to study and understand various aspects of the natural environment, including the relationships between plants, animals and even microbes to their surroundings and how they’re affected by human activity. You’ll conduct data analysis and field investigations to write reports and offer recommendations on how to preserve the stability of important ecosystems. 

  • Required Education:
    You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, environmental science, population biology or a related field. An advanced degree in ecology or a related field is typically required for research positions.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Government departments and private companies alike hire ecologists for a range of tasks, from determining how to best protect vulnerable species to studying the impacts of mining and drilling operations. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included The Smithsonian Institution, Colorado State University, Midwest Natural Resources, Smart-Sciences Inc. and The U.S. Department of the Interior.

Wildlife Conservationist

If you want a career protecting and preserving wild animal species and their habitats from climate change, consider becoming a wildlife conservationist. You’ll work to mitigate threats to wildlife populations and promote the conservation of biodiversity, ensuring that both wildlife and people can benefit from healthy ecosystems. Whether you’re helping to designate protected lands or educating the public about the steps they can take to protect our environment, you’ll be helping to secure a future for our important wildlife. 

  • Required Education:
    Depending on your position you may need a bachelor’s degree in zoology, wildlife biology, marine biology or a related field. Some positions may only require a high school diploma or GED certificate, but will also expect or ask that you have some relevant experience in wildlife conservation. Some states even require that conservationists be licensed
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Many wildlife conservationists work in state, federal or local government. Others can find employment with non-profit organizations, research institutes or private consultation firms. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included the U.S. Department of the Interior, AmeriCorps, ICF Consulting, the State of Montana, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Disaster Relief Coordinator / Emergency Relief Coordinator

Perhaps you want to do more for those directly impacted by the worst effects of climate change. If so, you would work as an emergency emergency relief coordinator. Also known as disaster relief coordinators, people in this position create plans and procedures and help to lead disaster relief efforts. In this type of work you’ll be responsible for coordinating resources and funds, developing educational materials and ordering supplies and equipment to ensure an effective response in the event of an emergency.

  • Required Education:
    To be a disaster or emergency relief coordinator you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in emergency preparedness, homeland security, crisis management, public safety or a related field. Some positions may also require you to earn a preparedness coordinator certification such as Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Disaster relief coordinators are mostly employed by federal, state and local governments, though some work at non-profit organizations and consultant groups. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Coast Guard, BSI Consulting, Leidos and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Careers That Can Work Toward Addressing Climate Change

Not all careers that can help to address climate change are designed specifically to work in the environment. The best careers to fight climate change don’t need to include the words “green,” “climate,” “sustainable” or “environment” for the work to be important. Many organizations, both public and private, require support from dozens of career professionals from all fields to effectively fight climate change.

Whether you’re thinking of a career in finance, business administration, education or communications there’s a way for you to contribute. Here are some of the major career paths that can land you jobs with organizations combating climate change. 

Financial Analyst

Are you good with numbers and interested in accounting or financial management? If so, you can play a significant role in the fight against climate change as a financial analyst. No matter which company you work for, you can integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals into your organization’s investment decisions and prioritize investments that support sustainable practices. You can even work directly for organizations that are actively working against climate change by ensuring they make informed investment decisions to support their future growth. 

  • Required Education:
    To be a financial analyst you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics or a related field. Some positions will also require you to obtain certain licenses, such as the Series 6 exam or the Securities Industry Essentials exam.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    While many financial analysts work for financial companies in the financial services and insurance industries, others employmentwork as consultants or in-house analysts for enterprises and other larger organizations. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included JPMorgan Chase & Co., Amazon, Bank of America, Deloitte and the New York State Insurance Fund.

Policy Manager

If you enjoy taking a big picture approach to overseeing an organization’s operations, then you could become a policy manager. Responsibilities for this position typically include developing, implementing and advocating for company policies that promote sustainability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. No matter your industry, you’d hold a position of prominence in advocating for sustainability, with the authority to mobilize and direct stakeholders to meet ESG goals. 

  • Required Education:
    To achieve the position of policy manager you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, political science or a related field for your industry. Some positions may also require an advanced degree. More senior-level positions will often require at least a few years of policy analyst experience.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Policy managers are employed by federal and state governments and large organizations including universities, non-profit organizations and private–sector consultants. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included The Nature Conservancy, Energy Alabama, Unite Us, Brightspeed, REFORM Alliance and INSPYR Solutions. 

Data Analyst

A closely related but different position from climate change analyst is that of a data analyst. People in this position collect, analyze and intercept data to help organizations and businesses fight against climate change. For example, if you work in the renewable energy sector you could study ways to better integrate renewable energy into existing infrastructure, or if you work in agriculture you could assess the environmental impact of agricultural practices to identify opportunities for sustainable farming. Other responsibilities may also include studying a company’s emission patterns and tracking energy consumption in order to enhance overall sustainability practices and lower operating costs.

  • Required Education:
    To be a data analyst you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, data science, statistics or a related field. Some higher level positions will require a master’s degree in data analytics, applied statistics or a related field.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    In a world increasingly driven by data, there are data analyst positions available in every industry and field, from healthcare, finance and retail to government, defense and higher education. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Guidehouse, State Street Corporation, Intel, the City of Atlanta, Vontier and Underwriting Solutions.  

Project Manager

If you enjoy overseeing the successful completion of projects, then you could work toward helping climate change as a project manager. You could work directly for an organization that’s combating climate change by coordinating resources, managing timelines and ensuring that project objectives are achieved efficiently and effectively. However, you could also work to align project objectives with broader ESG goals in any organization in any industry. You’ll play an essential role in advocating for the consideration of ESG factors when selecting projects, promoting sustainable practices and responsible resource management and educating stakeholders as you achieve project objectives.

  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Nearly every industry and field benefits from hiring project managers, from healthcare and insurance to energy, engineering, marketing and information technology. As of February 2024, organizations hiring this position included McKenney Health, RxSource, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, The Concord Group, Energy Systems Group and Matrix Renewables. 

Research Assistant

If you’re a researcher at heart, there’s many opportunities to assist in research that’s addressing climate change. In this position, you can provide valuable support to researchers and research teams by assisting with various aspects of the research process, including reviewing literature, collecting and analyzing data, providing laboratory and administrative support and writing and editing reports. There are numerous projects and initiatives aimed at understanding climate dynamics, identifying climate change solutions and working to inform policy and action across various disciplines and sectors. 

  • Required Education:
    You will need a bachelor’s degree within your intended field of research, which could be psychology, biology, chemistry or a subset of engineering. If you wish to continue with your research you will eventually need to earn a master’s degree and eventually even a doctorate. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Any organization that conducts research is in need of research assistants. This can include federal and state governments, universities, consulting firms, healthcare organizations, for-profit enterprises and non-profit organizations. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Northeastern University, Mount Sinai Health Systems, S&P Global, Kaiser Family Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, the Center for American Progress and Brown University.

Administrative Support

If you value supporting the workflow of others, the position of administrative support specialist could be your calling. Every organization, including for-profit, government and private, needs personnel to handle the administrative tasks. Whether you’re preparing materials, performing data entry, scheduling meetings or sending out communications, you will help ensure the operational success of a particular office or faculty.

  • Who Hires for This Role?
    All organizations need some level of administrative support, which means there are opportunities in every industry. If you specifically want to work in organizations that fight climate change, then you’ll need to specify your searches. As of February 2024, organizations working in climate change or sustainability hiring for this position included the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Health in Harmony, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the North Carolina State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.


If you’re passionate about teaching others, then you could work as an educator to help inform, inspire and empower the next generation to meet the challenges of climate change. You could teach the impacts of climate change and how to develop solutions in the natural sciences, help develop critical thinking skills and an appreciation of justice in the humanities or foster a better understanding of how the environment impacts our well-being in health and social sciences. Regardless of whether you want to teach in a K-12 setting or work in higher education, or if you’re looking for opportunities in public or private settings, working as an educator can be a fulfilling and effective means of making a long-term positive impact. 

  • Required Education:
    Your qualifications will differ depending on the level of education you’re applying to teach. The K-12 level will require at least a bachelor’s degree in education or in the field that you’ll be teaching in. If you’re teaching at a public school you’ll also need to be certified by the state or have National Board Certification. If you’re teaching in higher education you’ll need at least a master’s degree in your field, and many institutions will require a doctorate. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Educators are in constant demand at every level throughout the country. As of February 2024, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed more than 23,000 faculty positions across all fields. A search for education jobs in climate change found positions at Yale University, EcoRise, Cornell University, University of New Haven and the Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School.

Copywriting / Communications

If you’re a writer by nature, then there’s much you can do as a copywriter, marketer or communications director to help raise awareness, inspire action and drive positive change. Every organization that works against climate change needs to develop, refine and share internal and external communications about its mission and goals. You have an important role to play, whether it’s creating online content such as articles, blog posts and social media updates, or writing official awareness campaigns run by environmental organizations, businesses and government agencies.

  • Required Education:
    To secure a position as a copywriter or in communications you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, marketing or a related field. You’ll also need to show examples of your past work. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Every organization needs to write content, so they’ll either hire their own in-house copywriters and communications team or outsource to a marketing agency. As of February 2024, a search for these positions specifically focused on climate change topics found positions at organizations such as McKinsey & Company, Sustainability Guides, Aquent, Interactive Strategies, AECOM, the University of Maryland and General Mills.

Human Resources

Every organization needs an HR department to find and attract talent, design and implement training and development programs and ensure the organization complies with all labor laws, regulations and ethical standards. HR professionals also help to drive ESG initiatives within their organizations and can take responsibility in tracking the company’s energy usage, water consumption and waste management. 

  • Required Education:
    To start in human resources you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field such as business administration, communications or psychology. If you’re interested in advancing to human resources manager, you’ll need to accumulate several years of work experience and possibly earn your master’s degree. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Every organization across every industry needs some level of human resources support. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Robert Half, the U.S. Department of State, Nautilus Holdings LLC, Pond & Company, WestLand Engineering & Environmental Services and Palmetto.

Production Engineer

Do you enjoy optimizing processes to ensure peak efficiency? If so, then you could work as a production manager within the manufacturing industry to help establish sustainable manufacturing practices and reduce environmental impacts. As a production engineer you’ll work to develop a more efficient production of goods while maintaining quality standards, minimizing costs and reducing waste and emissions. You’ll also work closely with other departments such as quality assurance and supply chain management to ensure that sustainability goals are being met at all stages of production. 

  • Required Education:
    To be a production engineer you’ll need your bachelor’s degree in a relevant engineering field, such as mechanical engineering, chemical engineering or electrical engineering. You may also need to earn certifications such as Engineer In Training (EIT) or in production efficiency such as Lean or Six Sigma certification.
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Production engineers can find employment in factories, manufacturing, production, or processing businesses. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for this position included Sappi North America, Meta, Sentinel Peak Resources Management LLC, PrideStaff, ASML and Microsoft.

Public Health

For those who are dedicated to the cause of promoting public health and want to help communities thrive despite the challenges of climate change, you have several options available to you. Public health is a multidisciplinary field, as it addresses many of the major health needs of entire populations through health education and outreach, policy recommendations and research. You could work specifically with disease control, disaster response, food security and nutrition or extreme heat adaptation. No matter your role, you’ll assist communities in responding to climate change impacts and changing environmental conditions.

  • Required Education:
    To work in public health you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare-related field, such as the health sciences, biology, health administration or nursing. If you wish to work in more specialized or advanced areas like epidemiology, global health or environmental health then you’ll need to earn a master’s in public health degree. 
  • Who Hires for This Role?
    Public health workers find employment in many different health settings, including state and local health departments, hospitals, health clinics, universities and laboratories. They can work within communities to assist the public or in a management setting to manage other public health workers. As of February 2024, organizations hiring for these positions included UnitedHealth Group, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the United States Army and San Bernardino County California. 

Interested in reading more about possible careers in public health? Read the blog post What Can You Do With a Public Health Degree?

Climate Change Careers FAQs

Which career deals with climate change?

There are many careers that seek to directly deal with climate change, either by working to limit greenhouse gas emissions (environmental engineers, renewable energy technicians), mitigate the harmful effects of climate change (climate change analyst, disaster relief coordinator) or promote sustainable practices (ecologist, sustainability consultant). However, every job has the capacity in some way to promote the cause of environmental protection, waste reduction and more sustainable energy use.

Where can I find jobs to help fight climate change?

Specifying your job search with keywords around climate change can help point you in the right direction. For more specialized searches, consider using climate-focused aggregate sites such as Climatebase or climate-solutions sites such as Project Drawdown.

Are climate change jobs a good career choice?

Yes, if you’re passionate about addressing the climate change crises there are plenty of good opportunities available. There are numerous positions within organizations and agencies dedicated to sustainability and climate change, from research and engineering to administrative work, communication, financial services and marketing.

Are climate change jobs in demand?

Yes, climate change jobs are in demand. As we approach the 2030 climate change goals set by the United Nations, more companies and organizations will need professionals who are dedicated to finding ways to reduce emissions, promote a circular economy, restore our natural environment and ensure a just transition for all communities.

Climate Change Careers and MESH

The threat of climate change is accelerating, and so the demand for regenerative and environmental skills is expected to continue to grow over the coming decades. It is expected that every organization, regardless of industry, will need to incorporate ways of supporting the world’s climate goals.

If you’re interested in meeting the challenge of climate change within your career, then you’re invited to explore the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Engineering, Sustainability and Health (MESH) to learn, work and collaborate with other like-minded professionals. As an interdisciplinary program, MESH has welcomed many professionals from numerous industries, some of which were mentioned in this very blog post.  

MESH is a supportive and innovative space for students from any discipline who are passionate about co-developing regenerative and circular programs that will meet the pressing global challenges of inequity, poverty, natural disasters and climate change.

Looking to Support Justice and Sustainability?

Start with our eBook, Meeting the Planet’s Most Urgent Challenges, to see where and how you can make a difference.

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