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What Can I Do with an Associate’s in Sustainability?

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The green jobs industry is as vast and diverse as the field of communications or the sciences as a whole. You may ask, what is the green economy? Well, it can mean so many things, and truly there is something for everyone beneath this umbrella. You will find that there are many careers that only require passion, hard work, and a drive to reverse climate change. This coupled with hands-on experience of course. This is to say, if you are interested in achieving an associate’s degree in sustainability, there are many sustainability associate jobs that could be a good fit for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an outlook of dramatic growth in this field between 2012 and 2026. Another interesting fact is that this pathway offers many different work environments, as some sustainability professionals work exclusively or primarily in the field, while others work in labs or in an office environment. Many professionals in the field toggle between multiple spaces and keep each day new and interesting. 

Many people who achieve an associate degree in sustainability are given the foundations in multiple scientific disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology. There are often data related math courses like statistics required as well. In this field students will also take classes such as: ecology, environmental science, environmental ethics, chemistry, ecology, and even marketing. Generally, fieldwork and laboratory experiences are required. 

Many people achieve an associate’s degree in sustainability in an effort to get their feet wet in this industry. This is a great way to learn the basics of any field and to begin your journey, which may include subsequent internships and hands on experience. Many people who achieve an associate’s degree in sustainability go on to get a bachelor’s degree in a related field or complete a subsequent licensure program or related certificate. 

In addition to an associate’s degree, professionals in the field may be able to advance their positions through extensive work experience. After learning the ropes in a given position, many times career professionals in sustainability can achieve leadership roles by simply proving their expertise in the field. Professional development opportunities go a long way as well. Let’s look a little closer at sustainability associate jobs. There are many positions that are perfect for those who have completed associate’s degrees in related fields.

Best Jobs for People with Sustainability Associates Degrees

Hydrographic Surveyor

A hydrographic surveyor is someone who surveys different vessels in order to understand the geographies of a given body of water. Some of the things that they look at include tide measurements, depth, shoreline obstacles, and the variety of features that one may find on the floor of the body of water. One of the responsibilities of this position may include creating hydrographic models that are used to better support the understanding of the bodies of water that are being studied. One can work in this field with the minimum of a high school diploma and some work experience, but an associate’s degree is definitely preferred.

Environmental Science and Protection Technician

This is a pretty broad professional title and can encompass so many different aspects of the field. Professionals in this role often work to support a variety of health and environmental organizations. This could also include hospitals, governmental agencies, and community groups. Technicians that work to protect the environment will often conduct a variety of tests and analyze the results. They are also often responsible for communications and other crucial administrative tasks. They might also be the ones responsible for making the supply purchases for the companies and organizations for which they work. 

Conservation Worker

These professionals are colloquially known as wildlife troopers, park rangers, and foresters. They work within national forests and public nature preserves to oversee the grounds and enforce policies. They have many responsibilities, including the implementation of conservation efforts within non-profit organizations and even government agencies. They might offer tours and ground education excursions among another related programming. They might also organize clean-ups and write citations.

Solar Installer

This is a position that can be easily achieved with an associate’s degree. One may need some additional credentials, however. This may include licensing or related certifications. In some cases, these positions are combined with drone operation, in which case a license to fly a drone would be required. Some of the tasks required for this career include working on rooftops to not only decide where the panels need to go, but how the installation will work according to that particular site. This person not only creates a system layout but also is the one who works on a team to mount the solar panels, the wires, and the interconnections. Installers work with interconnections and pull wires, conduct inverter mounting, electrical enclosures, among other related tasks. There is often travel required for this position. 

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Sustainability?