Green and Sustainable

The U.S. Department of Labor defines green careers as "jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources."  Green, or sustainable, careers span a variety of economic sectors, environmental issues, educational requirements, and job functions and allow you to tackle some of the planet's greatest challenges such as renewable energy, deforestation, organic farming, and pollution or waste management.

How to Get Started

5 steps to get you started in a green career

  1. If your interest is in the technical or research side of the industry, focus on getting a strong science foundation. A broad knowledge base of both social and hard sciences is required for those interested in administration or policy work.
  2. Gain research experience in both the lab and fieldwork.
  3. Volunteer with environmental nonprofit organizations.
  4. Keep up with changing environmental legislation and journals from professional associations.
  5. Join "Green" Student Organizations like:


The skills you need to be successful in the Green Economy vary greatly depending on the job function and economic sector.

  • Communication Skills (Written and Verbal)
  • Technical Expertise
  • Persuasion/Influence
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Systems Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Project Management Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Regulatory Expertise
  • Team Work


Degrees and Certifications

Graduate programs and certificates

Your program of study will depend on which sector of the green and sustainable industry that you plan to pursue. Common Undergraduate Mason Programs for pursuing a career in this industry include:

Check out to learn about Green Graduate Degrees. Additionally, some of the common Graduate Mason Programs for pursuing a career in this industry include:


Research, get experience, and get connected to contacts in sustainability

Industry Research

  • Alltop - All the top news stories and blogs related to sustainability and green topics
  • Green Biz - provides information and resources to help companies integrate environmental responsibility into their operations
  • Vault Career Insider Guides - register using your Mason e-mail and search for the career you want
  • Industry Career Categories - Explore focuses within the broader Environmental Science fields and scroll to bottom of each page for industry specific resource links
  • Book of Lists - Washington (and other major cities) Business Journal online resource that will help identify Environmental Consultant companies

Experiential Learning

Job Search

Professional Associations

Job Functions