Job description

Sustainability specialist work with organisations to consider their environmental impact, identify waste inside the company and institute sustainability strategies across the business. They oversee the development of mechanisms that not only meet environmental regulatory mandates but also establish long-term programmes that help transition to be greener.


    • Become familiar with the latest environmental science and industry news
    • Review public policy related to the environment, as well as any incentives offered by the state
    • Confer with clients on corporate goals and develop sustainability proposals and policies
    • Assess cost-effectiveness, corporate governance and technical feasibility
    • Identify how the company is being wasteful and come up with sustainability indicators
    • List possible solutions for organisations and how they can be more environmentally friendly
    • Compose reports and present your findings to clients on what can be achieved
    • Monitor client progress after implementation and track sustainability indicators
    • Offer technical support for various sustainability programmes and initiatives
    • Write and submit grant and rebate applications to secure funding for projects
    • Stay up to date on various market issues and trends

Skills and qualities

Attention to detail
Critical thinking

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2018 to 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 5%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2018 and 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

With experience. sustainability specialists often advance to supervisory or advanced technical positions. These includes chief sustainability officer, executive or director.

Working conditions

Average hours

40h/ week

Typical schedule

Full Time

Standard business hours

Sustainability specialists can expect to work a typical 40-hour schedule during regular office hours, although some evening and weekend work may be necessary.

Travel to meet with clients, attend industry conferences and participate in trade exhibitions is also to be expected.

Many sustainability specialists work from home for a considerable portion of the workweek.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level


Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences

Study time

4 years

To become a sustainability specialist, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, environmental engineering or a related field. A postgraduate degree, although not necessary, can help improve your employment prospects. Certification may also be useful.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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