Is Sustainability the Next Hot Job Skill?

"Reducing your footprint" and "going green" are phrases we hear every day. Being sustainable is a hot topic in many aspects - from personal lifestyles to the way companies operate their businesses. Sustainability jobs are becoming more in-demand as companies look for partnerships and product lines that not only involve “green” initiatives, but also help their bottom line. Over the past 4 years, sustainability jobs have more than doubled in demand. In January 2010, there were about 300 jobs available online. In January 2014, there were more than 700 unique positions available in the US, setting a new high in demand.

Hiring Trend for Sustainability Jobs in the US

hiring demand for sustainability jobs
Source: WANTED Analytics

What kinds of jobs are looking for Sustainability Specialists? Many of the positions advertised are in management roles, which include general management, operational management, or a divisional management (like marketing.) Management positions accounted for about 28% of hiring demand in January 2014. Business and financial occupations, like Management Analysts or Market Research Analysts, had the second highest demand and represented about 24% of hiring. Architecture and engineering, as well as science occupations were also among the fields with the most demand.

Functional Breakdown for Sustainability Jobs in the US

Sustainability Jobs in the US
Source: WANTED Analytics

The most commonly advertised unique job titles are:

  1. Sustainability Consultant
  2. Sustainability Coordinator
  3. Sustainability Intern
  4. Director Sustainability
  5. Sustainability Analyst
  6. Sustainability Specialist
  7. Project Manager Sustainability
  8. Sustainability Program Manager
  9. Sustainability Engineer
  10. Energy sustainability Specialist
Since there is somewhat of a variety of roles that require sustainability knowledge, the tasks and skills that a Sustainability Specialist is asked to perform is different. Below are a few duties that we extracted from job ads. These give you an idea of what other companies are hiring for, if you are also competing for sustainability talent. Keep in mind that exact roles will vary by industry and company.

Sustainability Engineer: Work with clients internationally and support leading architecture practices, government agencies as well as energy services professionals in designing (new build as well as retrofit) highly sustainable green buildings.

Sustainability Intern: Analyze the company's carbon footprint and environmental impact; summarizing and using results to ensure the company's sustainability program delivers expected results.

Sustainability Director: Examine company activities, services and products to assess opportunities that minimize environmental impacts and enhance the company's reputation while advancing bottom line profit opportunities or strategic goals to improving our sustainability footprint.

Sustainability Analyst: Develop financial models to quantify the return on investment of sustainability initiatives, both individually and collectively.

Are you recruiting for Sustainability Specialists? Find out how hard-to-fill they will be in your industry or location with a free trial of WANTED Analytics.

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