There are more and more people who not only want to lead a sustainable life in their free time, but also want to contribute to climate and environmental protection professionally. So-called green jobs are in demand like never before – and not only among young professionals. What exactly is behind it and what jobs there are, we explain to you here.
The protection of the climate and the environment affects us all: exceptional heat, floods, extreme weather phenomena have long been part of everyday life – even in Central Europe. If global warming is to remain within tolerable limits, global greenhouse emissions must be drastically reduced. And it’s not just the climate that’s suffering: the oceans are sinking in plastic, a quarter of mammal species are threatened with extinction, and the list of global problems goes on and on. The number of people who not only want to lead a sustainable life in their free time, but also want to make a professional contribution to climate and environmental protection is increasing. Green jobs, also known as sustainable jobs or environmental jobs, are in demand like never before – and not just among young professionals. The demand for experts on the environment and sustainability is increasing – green jobs are therefore jobs with a future.
When choosing a career and looking for a job, other criteria are increasingly coming to the fore for employees in addition to the level of salary or opportunities for advancement. Ethical values are also gaining in importance. According to a study by XING E-Recruiting in cooperation with Forsa, 26 percent of those surveyed gave the reason for changing jobs that they missed the meaningfulness of their current job. The demand for “green jobs” or “sustainable jobs” is emerging as a megatrend.
In recent years, the term “green jobs” has developed internationally as a fixed term for activities within the framework of ecological change. The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines “green jobs” as “jobs that help preserve or restore the environment, whether in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
As a sub-discipline of applied computer science, environmental informatics deals with the interdisciplinary analysis and evaluation of environmental issues. Environmental IT specialists have knowledge in the field of environmental sciences (ecology, environmental chemistry, environmental physics, geography) and at the same time master the use of software programs for evaluating large amounts of data (data mining, statistics). In this green job you act as an interface between management, IT and environmental protection.
The aim of environmental informatics is to analyze environment-related issues and to develop solutions for more environmentally friendly procedures. As an environmental computer scientist, you create, for example, databases on the population of endangered animals or plants, simulations, geographical mapping or environmental calculations. Environmental IT specialists are in demand in many areas, for example in administration, with planning authorities, in research or in the private environmental economy.
For a job as an environmental computer scientist, a completed degree is usually expected. Environmental informatics is a specialization of applied informatics. A classic computer science degree with a specialization is ideal as an apprenticeship. The degree program in environmental informatics (Bachelor/Master) is now also offered at many universities. Environmental IT specialists are currently in high demand, which is why career changers with previous knowledge, for example in the field of data analysis, have good job prospects.
Information is based on the job profile of computer scientists. Deviations due to professional specialization are possible.
As an experienced computer scientist, you can expect a top salary of up to EUR 91,000* gross per year in Germany. The average salary for a full-time position is 55,000 euros* per year. Job entrants earn an average annual salary of 32,500 euros*.
The forest is an important ecosystem, healthy forests make a major contribution to climate protection. As a forester, it is your job to care for and protect the forest.
Foresters deal with the sustainable management of forests. They plant trees, harvest wood, build forest trails and recreational facilities and tend wildlife. Most of the work of foresters takes place outdoors, in both summer and winter. In this green job, you should be physically fit, have manual skills and have a great deal of closeness to nature.
You can become a forester with an apprenticeship or a degree. As part of the training, you usually complete a three-year training course in which you gradually learn all the important tasks involved in forestry work. Alternatively, you can choose to study forestry (Bachelor/Master). The academic education qualifies you for higher administrative and organizational tasks in forestry.
The average annual salary for full-time foresters is 36,300 euros*. A top salary in this green job can be up to 56,800 euros*.
A conscious approach to the environment and climate requires the appropriate knowledge. Environmental education is in demand in almost all age groups – from kindergarten through school to training and everyday working life. Environmental educators create awareness and knowledge about the foundations of ecologically sensible action. Especially with children, it is also about promoting interest and joy in nature. As an environmental educator, you will work, for example, in a kindergarten, at a school or at a training school with a focus on agriculture and forestry. Are you interested in ecology and sustainability and do you enjoy conveying content in a creative and age-appropriate way? Then a job as an environmental educator might be just the right thing for you.
You become an environmental educator through training or further education, which is why this green job is also interesting for career changers. In the best case, you already have a degree or training in the environmental field or in the field of education. An overview of training and further education opportunities can be found here.
Information is based on the professional profile of educators. Deviations due to professional specialization are possible.
Most educators in Germany earn between EUR 32,680 and EUR 37,660*, with the average being EUR 36,800*. Starting salaries for educators in Germany with less than three years of professional experience are between 32,680 and 37,660 euros*. As a top earner with many years of professional experience, you can earn an annual salary of up to EUR 52,600*.
Engineers specializing in environmental technology plan, develop and monitor technical processes, systems and measures to protect the environment and people. Environmental engineers look for ways to prevent, control, and minimize the negative impact of human activities on the environment. Environmental technology engineers support companies in converting to an environmentally friendly, resource-saving production method and in complying with valid disposal and environmental regulations. In times of scarce resources and rising energy costs, environmental engineers are more in demand than ever, and their expertise is in demand at almost all manufacturing companies. There are also opportunities to get into this sustainable job in the public sector, with environmental authorities and institutes or with environmental protection organizations.
The green job of the environmental engineer is an engineering specialization on environmental and climate-related topics. Environmental engineering is offered as a subject at many colleges and universities. In addition to scientific and engineering fundamentals, topics such as environmental law, recycling or renewable energy management are also on the curriculum.
An entry-level salary as an environmental technology engineer starts at EUR 37,600* gross per year. The average income is 49,400 euros*. Top earners can earn an annual salary of up to 69,100 euros*.
These job titles are still relatively new, but the number of companies employing sustainability managers is increasing. Sustainability managers are responsible for ensuring that the idea of sustainability is lived and established in the company. You analyze processes, handling or production methods and look for resource-saving solutions. Sustainability managers are in close contact with all areas of a company, from marketing to production, transport and sales. Usually, sustainability management is closely linked to corporate management. Depending on the industry, specialist technical knowledge is also required.
Numerous universities and colleges offer sustainability management as a subject, some with a specialization. Private educational institutions such as the IHK offer extra-occupational training, for example to become a CSR manager.
Information is based on the job profile of Compliance Officer.
The job descriptions of sustainability manager or CSR manager are diverse and the whole area is still quite new. This is one of the reasons why the salary ranges are wide: the starting salary for a full-time position is EUR 41,200* per year, and in top positions annual earnings can be over EUR 100,000*.
More and more people are living in cities, and cities are the places that are particularly affected by climate change. Concrete, roads and sealed surfaces are causing the temperatures to continue to rise. Garbage, exhaust fumes and waste of all kinds are produced where many people live in a confined space. In order for cities to remain livable in the long term, their development must be planned from a sustainable perspective. Social, ecological and economic factors play a role here. Many cities and municipalities face the same challenges, which is why experts for sustainable planning are in great demand. The profession of urban planner or regional planner is therefore a green job with a future. Employers include public administration, associations, NGOs and scientific institutions.
As a city planner, you must have knowledge in different areas: an understanding of political, social and economic processes is just as important as spatial imagination, talent for drawing and scientific knowledge.
Most courses offered have a high proportion of engineering, paired with content from economics and management as well as ecology.
The average annual salary for urban and regional planners in Germany is 47,100 euros*. The actual salary in this sustainable profession can be between 34,600 and 67,600 euros*, depending on factors such as experience and industry.
* Note: You will always find current salary information in the kununu salary check. The salary bands on the linked salary pages are constantly updated and recalculated. If new salary information is provided by kununu users, new starting, average and maximum salaries may result. As this article is not updated daily, the salary information in this article as of July 26, 2022 may differ from that on our salary pages.
The deadline for filing property tax returns is coming to an end. Many real estate owners are frustrated because they don’t know exactly how much they will have to deduct from 2025. A key factor here is the municipal tax rate. And now it seems to be going up.
The clock is ticking: January 31 is the deadline for filing property tax returns. Millions of owners have not yet submitted their documents to the tax office. What happens if I miss the appointment?
The original for this article “What professions do you contribute to climate and environmental protection” comes from kununu.