Green Careers: A guide to sustainable jobs

June 2024


Green Careers: A guide to sustainable jobs

As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues and the urgency of sustainability, green careers are gaining prominence. Many jobs can make a positive impact on the environment in different ways and any career that helps the UK work towards net zero could be considered a green career. For students passionate about the environment, pursuing a green career offers a chance to blend their interests with their values.


What is a Green Career?

Green careers encompass a wide range of professions dedicated to improving the environment in one way or another.  These can be found in sectors such as renewable energy, conservation, sustainable agriculture, environmental policy and green technology. Some of the key areas include:

Renewable Energy: Jobs in solar, wind and bioenergy.

Conservation and Wildlife Management: Roles in protecting natural habitats and species.

Sustainable Agriculture: Farming practices that protect the environment.

Environmental Policy and Planning: Developing and implementing policies to promote sustainability.

Green Technology: Innovating and applying technology for environmental benefits.

Some careers that directly tackle issues such as climate change include:


There are also some careers that do not directly tackle climate change, but where you could still make a positive impact on the environment. 




Jobs in agriculture could include crops and livestock such as: animal care, aquaculture, equine management, fisheries management, floristry, game and wildlife management, horticulture and landscaping land-based engineering. To find out more about these see:  Environment and land careers.


What subjects should I study at school for a green career?

You can begin by selecting school subjects that align with your green career interests.  The following are all useful in variety of ways.

Biology - for understanding ecosystems, biodiversity and the biology of organisms.

Geography - for understanding physical landscapes, human-environmental interactions and urban planning

Chemistry – for knowledge of chemical processes, pollution and the impact of chemicals on the environment.

Physics – for principles of energy, thermodynamics and the physical processes affecting the environment.

Mathematics – useful for statistics, algebra and calculus for data analysis and modelling and for engineering.

Computer Science – to build knowledge of programming and systems useful for modelling and analysis.


Which degree courses are relevant for a green career?

Many universities offer specialised programmes tailored to green careers, these include Environmental Science, Renewable Energy Engineering, Environmental Policy, Sustainable Agriculture and Earth Sciences among others.

Find out more at: Undergraduate Environmental Courses  or ( Other related areas you could consider are: Geography, Agriculture and related sciences, Ecology and Conservation and Zoology


Are there any green careers apprenticeships?

Yes! As we work towards a sustainable future, apprenticeships are seen as a key means to ensure our workforce has the necessary skills required.  The following six green apprenticeships are endorsed by King Charles, reflecting his commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.  They aim to contribute to a low carbon economy and develop a workforce equipped with the skills needed for a green future

  • Countryside worker (level 2) – carrying out specific environmental and conservation tasks.


What work experience could I get?

Internships, volunteer opportunities and work experience with environmental organisations can provide invaluable hands-on experience and can be used as a stepping stone into many areas, including conservation, ecology and animal care.

Organisations that are always looking for volunteers include:The Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, Natural England, RSPB, Work in Animal Welfare RSPCA

You could also look for internships at non-profit making organisations, government agencies, or companies focused on sustainability. Notable environmental companies include: 


  • AB Agri 
  • AGCO 
  • British Sugar 
  • CNH Industrial 
  • JCB 
  • John Deere 
  • KUHN 
  • Magnox 


For more information about jobs, courses and placements, you can visit: 

Countryside jobs                             How to get a green job

Environmental jobs                        Environmental Vacancies


What else is useful?

Many communities have clubs focused on environmental issues. Joining these can provide networking opportunities, hands-on projects, and a platform to advocate for sustainability. Some organisations include:  Friends of the Earth, Green Dreamer, State of the environment: GOV.UK, Environmental Health Careers: What They Are and How to Start.

Environmental conferences and workshops are another great way to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and policies in the green sector. They can also offer networking opportunities with professionals and organisations:

Climate talks - Science Museum

Climate Change Talks - UCL

Events - British Ecological Society

Videos on climate change


How else can I develop relevant skills?

You can develop your technical skills and many institutions offer online courses in sustainability and environmental sciences. Websites like Coursera: Top Environmental Science Courses ,  Edx: Engineering Courses & Programmes and Udemy: environmental courses provide access to short courses, often from top universities, taking a few weeks or months to complete.



Embarking on a green career is not just about finding a job; it’s about making a difference. By choosing the right education, gaining practical experience, developing key skills, and actively engaging with the community, you can start to pave the way for a fulfilling and impactful career.

At FutureSmart Careers, we know that the landscape of careers is ever changing and young people need to be equipped for their career journey whatever career they are considering pursuing. We provide expert careers advice and guidance and resources so that young people can make confident and informed choices about their futures.

Check out our other blogs for insights into other career areas or information on Work Experience, Apprenticeships, UCAS Clearing and more.

If you would like careers guidance or support for students in your school, college or child, please get in touch at: 

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