What are Green and Environmental Careers?


In June 2019, the UK became the first major country to legislate for a Net Zero target for carbon emissions by 2050. The backdrop to this is growing recognition of the implications of climate change and the need to respond urgently.

Green careers are those jobs that have a focus on either reducing carbon emissions, restoring nature or making similar environmental improvements. These jobs have a direct, positive impact on the planet.

Find out about different careers in the Environment/Green sector by watching our HOP into Green Careers video and hear from some of our local residents – Tommie Eaton from @Bambuu Brush, Chie Kamayama from BRE and Cameron Stewart from Green Energy UK.



What do we mean by net-zero?

This is explained by carbon neutrality and the looking to achieve a state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be achieved by balancing emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal or by eliminating emissions from society.


Why are carbon emission harmful to our planet?

Our carbon footprint has a negative impact on the environment in multiple ways: It is the main cause of human-induced climate change, it contributes to urban air pollution, it leads to toxic acid rain, it adds to coastal and ocean acidification, and it worsens the melting of glaciers and polar ice.


Find out more about net-zero and how to create a circular waste-free world

Hear from local Hertfordshire green entrepreneur Tommie Eaton, who set up @BambuuBrush, as he explains in his TEDx Talk how plastic is one of the biggest threats to climate change, but also one of the greatest opportunities we have at winning the race to Net-Zero.


Jobs in green industries


The environmental sector is very broad and it's likely to become even larger and more diverse in the future. Jobs in the green sector allow you to focus on environmental concerns and encourage sustainability and conservation. Within the environmental sector you could be looking at a wide range of occupations which might include:

  • Energy - Professionals in this industry focus on creating, installing and funding alternative energy sources like solar and wind power
  • Agriculture - Green careers in agriculture involve protecting the environment and food sources by developing safe, eco-friendly techniques and resources
  • Construction and Manufacturing - Professionals in this industry may determine environmentally friendly processes and materials for manufacturing products and building structures
  • Transportation - including low or zero emission vehicles, aviation and maritime, rail, public transport and walking or cycling
  • Natural resources – including nature restoration, tree planting and decarbonising agriculture, waste management and recycling
  • Policy - Professionals who influence environmental policy and regulation often work in government agencies or nonprofits, where they may create or take part in initiatives to affect change
  • Research - Environmental science and engineering roles involve conducting research, completing studies and developing green processes for various industries
  • Consultants and business partners - Business professionals can pursue environmental consulting to help companies become more sustainable by evaluating, changing and monitoring their operations.

Regionally, career opportunities in the green and environment sector vary. For example in North-West England, new jobs focus on increasing wind capacity while the South East’s green jobs will mostly be in the financial, IT or legal industries.

You can explore all current Hertfordshire environment-related jobs below. 

Current job vacancies in the Green Sector

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Facts and figures

1.18 million Jobs in low-carbon sectors by 2050
200,000 Jobs could be created in energy efficiency by 2030
70,000 Jobs in off-shore wind as soon as 2023
45,000 Onshore renewable jobs by 2035
100,000 New homes planned by 2031 needing sustainable building
15,000 LCEGS jobs in Hertfordshire in 2019

The Green Economy in Hertfordshire

Leaders in Hertfordshire across the public and private sector are working together to achieve an overarching goal of enabling clean growth, reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and achieving a greener, more sustainable, economy across the county. Work is taking place to accelerate the growth of the green economy. In 2019, there were over 15,000 green jobs in Hertfordshire and this number is growing everyday.  

It is also important that support is in place to improve the environmental performance of our existing businesses, communities and places across Hertfordshire. Sustainable transport solutions, such as a Electric Vehicle infrastructure, will be rolled out and all businesses will need to implement practical measures within the workplace to reduce their own carbon footprint. 

With 100,000 new homes planned by 2031, Hertfordshire will be at the forefront of producing sustainable built environments. Within the county we have the Building Research Establishment and  Construction Innovation Hub and the county is the home of several leading construction companies all in county, Hertfordshire is leading the way in the transition to sustainable construction and green buildings. 

Within agri-tech, there is a cluster of employers supporting Rothamsted Research’s international leadership in crop science and its focus on climate projects is attracting inward investment and businesses connected with agri-tech/science, creating green economy growth and high-skilled local jobs.

There will be a significant requirement to increase the number of green and environmental jobs and enhancing the skillsets of local people to take up these opportunities is important for Hertfordshire. Our higher and further education institutions and training providers are working to ensure Hertfordshire has outstanding facilities and links between employers and education, to empower the next generation and meet future skills needs of the local green economy.


Further Education Options


Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular study option and a great way to gain hands-on experience while studying towards an industry-recognised qualification and earning a wage. There's a long tradition of work-based learning in the environmental sector due to the hands-on nature of roles. Go to our HOP Apprenticeship Hub to learn everything about Apprenticeship programmes.

Land-based and environmental awarding body Lantra offers apprenticeships at Levels 2 (GCSE) and 3 (A-level), including arborist, forest operative and land-based engineering technician. To get involved you'll need to search for a local learning provider, as well as a suitable employer.

At the Environment Agency, you could choose to undertake an assistant scientist (Level 3) or facilities management (Level 2) apprenticeship, with the paid workplace training taking place in either a laboratory or office respectively.

For details on the full range of agriculture, environmental and animal care apprenticeships, click here

Green Apprenticeships Film by Amazing Apprenticeships


Current Apprenticeship vacancies in the Environment and Land

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