Sustainable Design Careers

Job Outlook

As cities, industries, and businesses implement green strategies, there is an increasing need for professionals trained in sustainability. Graduates of programs focused on sustainability, energy efficiency, and designing for climate change will enter jobs in design firms, planning agencies, industry, government, the nonprofit sector, and public policy institutes or continue preparation in a variety of graduate or professional programs. Companies will continue to align sustainability with their missions over the next several years, and job openings for sustainability specialists and other green economy occupations are expected to grow rapidly. A useful general resource on green careers is the U.S. Green Building Council.

Career Paths

The Occupational Information Network gives sustainability specialists a bright outlook because of continued expansion of job openings.

Search Handshake @ Illinois for organizations and companies seeking to hire Illinois grads. Many recent job listings like these have featured green skills:


Sustainability Coordinator

  • Conservation Crew Member—WisCorps, Inc.
  • Conservation Recreation Facilities Supervisor—New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Environmental Outreach Canvasser—Greenpeace
  • Environmental Specialist—Triumvirate Environmental
  • Environmental Steward—Green Iowa AmeriCorps
  • Forest Invasive Plant Coordinator—Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry
  • Management Trainee—Inspur Systems
  • Program Coordinator for Land Conservation—Mile High Youth Corps
  • Program Designer and Developer—Youth Volunteer Corps
  • Safety, Health, and Sustainability Coordinator—Olam
  • Sustainability Manager—Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
  • Sustainability Planner—Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Zero Waste Captain—Live Nation Entertainment

Sustainable Design Specialist

  • Environmental Specialist—GESS International U.S.
  • Field Crops Extension Educator—Michigan State University Extension Human Resources
  • Multiple positions—Ecolibrium3 Vista Corps
  • Project Development Service Position—Habitat for Humanity International
  • Stormwater Financial Specialist—Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Sustainability Analyst—San Francisco International Airport
  • Technical/Grant Writer for Resource Development—Sabin Vaccine Institute


Green Business Marketer

  • Communications Manager—Ceres Sustainability Organization
  • Company Network Associate—Ceres Sustainability Organization
  • Community Outreach Coordinator—Youth Volunteer Corps
  • Marketing and CSR—Harris Woolf Almonds

Green Buildings Consultant

  • Graduate Sustainability Consultant—Arup
  • Regulatory Certification Program Manager—Zensa

Industrial Designer

  • Industrial Section Environmental Specialist—Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Reducing Toxic Threats Unit Supervisor—Washington State Department of Ecology

More Assistance

Head to the Student Resources section on My.FAA for additional information and advice or make an appointment at the The Career Center for an individualized planning session.

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