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Sustainability Specialist

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What Does it Take to Be a Sustainability Specialist?

Career Description Address organizational sustainability issues, such as waste stream management, green building practices, and green procurement plans.

What Do Sustainability Specialists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Review and revise sustainability proposals or policies.
  • Assess or propose sustainability initiatives, considering factors such as cost effectiveness, technical feasibility, and acceptance.
  • Monitor or track sustainability indicators, such as energy usage, natural resource usage, waste generation, and recycling.
  • Identify or create new sustainability indicators.
  • Create or maintain plans or other documents related to sustainability projects.
  • Identify or investigate violations of natural resources, waste management, recycling, or other environmental policies.

Qualities of a Sustainability Specialist

These are the skills Sustainability Specialists say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Sustainability Specialist Job Titles

  • Sustainability Analyst
  • Chief Specialist, LEED (Chief Specialist, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Energy Analyst
  • Sustainability Officer

Sustainability Specialist Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 1,023,900 jobs for Sustainability Specialist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 90,400 new jobs for Sustainability Specialist by 2026. There will be an estimated 104,200 positions for Sustainability Specialist per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Sustainability Specialist are Utah, Nevada, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Sustainability Specialist Salary

Sustainability Specialists make between $38,420 and $123,000 a year.

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Sustainability Specialists who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Sustainability Specialists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $85,140
Alaska $82,160
Arizona $67,670
Arkansas $59,530
California $83,470
Colorado $82,130
Connecticut $78,120
Delaware $81,880
District of Columbia $102,730
Florida $66,440
Georgia $75,070
Hawaii $73,310
Idaho $67,630
Illinois $71,780
Indiana $61,290
Iowa $65,020
Kansas $74,520
Kentucky $66,450
Louisiana $60,430
Maine $66,760
Maryland $91,400
Massachusetts $85,980
Michigan $70,410
Minnesota $71,220
Mississippi $65,650
Missouri $73,500
Montana $66,290
Nebraska $74,370
Nevada $71,580
New Hampshire $70,890
New Jersey $78,920
New Mexico $70,340
New York $83,330
North Carolina $74,040
North Dakota $73,010
Ohio $71,190
Oklahoma $72,940
Oregon $68,890
Pennsylvania $80,910
Rhode Island $80,380
South Carolina $69,340
South Dakota $70,830
Tennessee $62,330
Texas $80,140
Utah $72,100
Vermont $67,910
Virginia $88,180
Washington $77,850
West Virginia $70,180
Wisconsin $57,620
Wyoming $69,740

Tools & Technologies Used by Sustainability Specialists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Sustainability Specialists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign

Becoming a Sustainability Specialist

Are there Sustainability Specialists education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Who Employs Sustainability Specialists?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Sustainability Specialists employed by various industries.

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References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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