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1Apr
April 1st, 2010,

So you’re ready to start your own organic farm, begin a solar installation company, or teach businesses how to make their buildings run on wind turbines. Now you just need someone to tell you how to do it.

The green industry is growing, and along with it, so are the number of green degrees you can get to start different green careers. How do you know which one is right for you? Read on for details on some of the most promising green degrees and which industries they apply to.

The Degrees You Need for Green Careers

Civil and Environmental Engineering Degree

What’s it all about?
Everything you do over the course of the day–from using tap water to brush your teeth to driving on an expressway home from work–is made possible by civil and environmental engineers. These professionals are responsible for building safe structures, purifying our water supply, making sure our air is clean, and helping us get to and from work quickly and safely. Their study of environmental problems, such as acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming, paired with their technological expertise, make them valuable commodities in the growing green industry.

What will you learn?
You’ll gain and vast knowledge of science, math, and engineering, which you’ll use to build and manage infrastructures, parks and recreation centers, and natural systems.

Where will you work?
Civil and environmental engineers often find work with federal, state or local governments, or architecture, construction or telecommunications firms.

Environmental Design Degree

What’s it all about?
Everyone’s talking about green buildings these days, from buildings that are solar powered to buildings with roofs made out of living plans. Environmental designers are the ones who discover how to preserve the natural environment and help it co-exist with urban buildings and spaces.

What will you learn?
You’ll learn not only about the natural environment, but how it can work together with the designed built environment of our cities, suburbs, and towns to increase environmental sustainability.

Where will you work?
Become an urban or regional planner and find employment with local government agencies, architectural firms, and consulting services.

Environmental Science Degree

What’s it all about?
Environmental Science degrees are the original green degree, the degree scientists and biologist got before the green movement was all the rage. The goal of this field is to study environmental problems such as global warming, the greenhouse effect, and deforestation, and use research to find a way to solve them.

What will you learn?
Your courses will cover environmental stewardship, environmental policy, environmental law, and environmental ethics.

Where will you work?
With an Environmental Science degree, you’ll be able to work in a variety of green fields, including environmental law, environmental management, environmental advocacy, research, and conservation.

Environmental Health Sciences Degrees

What’s it all about?
This field of study looks at environmental risks and factors and examines the impact they have on human health. Environmental health scientists don’t just examine the natural environment, but the risks and factors posed by industrial and urban development.

What will you learn?
You can expect to study a variety of science and health fields, including toxicology, physiology, occupational and environmental health, and environmental health engineering.

Where will you work?
With an Environmental Health Sciences degree, you can begin a career as a toxicologist, a hazardous waste scientist, an environmental chemist, a public health director, and much more.

Environmental Policy Degrees

What’s it all about?
We all know the environmental problems that are facing us, and we all know something needs to be done about them (and soon). Environmental policy makers are the ones who use science to pass new laws, regulations, plans and programs to keep us, and the environment, safe for years to come.

What will you learn?
Institutions, politics, law, policy analysis, and planning are the major topics you’ll study.

Where will you work?
An environmental policy degree will start you on a path to becoming a policy analyst, advocate, planner, or program manager in a range of industries, including non-profit environmental organizations, land trusts, all levels of government, consulting firms and corporations.

With the green industry’s exponential growth, the opportunities for those graduating with a green degree are endless. For more green career ideas, read “10 Green Jobs to Jump Start Your Green Career.”