7 Best Paying Environmental MBA Careers

In recent times, the corporate world has embraced environmental responsibility with regard to business practices. This can be attributed to the increasing and alarming rate of pollution and the degeneration of our natural resources, which in return affects how businesses function.

The link between environmental responsibility and the corporate world is bridged with an MBA majoring in Environmental Management. It is a recent addition to the MBA programs offered by many leading universities today.

Having an Environmental Management MBA opens doors to a plethora of career opportunities in various settings, may it be in the government, corporate, or non-profit areas. Your career options do not limit you to only one department, which is the real beauty of an environmental MBA: it is highly versatile in terms of practical application that could lead you to a job that has a substantial pay.

In a study conducted by PayScale.com, an Environmental Management MBA degree offers an early career annual salary of $50,900, and a mid-career annual salary of $99,800. Further, according to Compdata Surveys, the Bureau of Labor of Statistics, Trinity Consultants, and Ladders.com, the following job positions offer an annual salary of at least $100,000, in no particular order.

1. Chief Sustainability Officer

The chief sustainability officer (CSO) has an average annual salary of $183,800.00. This executive is responsible for fostering and heading any environmental initiatives and programs in the company, such as implementing sustainable corporate strategies, researching and developing environment-friendly products and services, and monitoring and evaluating environmental concerns and programs. CSOs make sure that all company-wide activities meet environmental regulations, and educate the company personnel about environmental concerns and issues, such as recycling, emissions, climate change, garbage segregation, and natural resource conservation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected increase in demand for all top executives, which include CSOs, by 11 percent for the period of 2012 to 2022, which is as fast that of other occupations.

2. Renewable Energy Project Manager

A renewal energy project manager, or a renewal energy manager whose average annual salary is around $110,000.00, is responsible for overseeing projects involving renewable energy systems in the company, such as solar energy usage. The energy manager does research and development activities to seek renewable energy sources for the company to use, as well as evaluating company-wide energy consumption and forging energy efficiency strategies. This also includes implementing policies and guidelines on renewable energy, energy conservation and efficiency, and carbon management and footprint management. This manager coordinates with various departments in the company to implement and evaluate such policies. The coordination or project management activities include training the staff and other personnel in the company about energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. This executive is also responsible for keeping tabs of energy use, and collating and benchmarking data on energy consumption as against annual targeted values.

3. Environmental Health And Safety Director

An environmental health and safety (EHS) director, paid an average annual salary of $102,253, is primarily responsible in developing policies and practices for ensuring the occupational safety of all personnel in the company. The EHS director makes sure that company standard operation procedures are in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations with regard to the health and safety of the employees, as well as the environmental impact of the procedures. Among the other duties of the EHS Director is to develop trainings on workforce safety, overseeing and investigating work-related accidents, evaluating and analyzing potential hazards in the workplace, and implementing preventative measures for these. An EHS director also conducts regular checks and audits to ensure optimum environment health and safety of the workplace.

4. Natural Science Manager

A natural science manager takes in an average annual salary of $116,840.00. This managerial role is a cross between a scientist and manager, in that he is mainly responsible in overseeing and coordinating a team or teams of scientists and researchers. The natural science manager leads research and development efforts for sustainability and environmental programs in an institution. Theoretically, this executive acts as a project manager while ensuring that each sustainability effort is at par with management and business administration standards, and with federal, state, and local environmental laws.

5. Environmental Compliance Manager

The highest annual salary for an environmental compliance manager (ECM) is $134,844.00. He is responsible for implementing environmental policies in the workplace, and maintaining compliance and continual improvement of environmental and sustainability efforts in the company. An ECM conducts regular audits and inspections in the workplace to facilitate and evaluate environmental compliance. He also investigates and mitigates actions for workplace accidents and hazards. Among the many tasks of the ECM is to create proposals, plans, and projects for implementation of environmental activities. He also works with the development and design teams to ensure that work products and procedures are in compliance with environmental and sustainability standards.

6. Senior Environmental Consultant

With the highest annual salary reaching $110,000.00, a senior environmental consultant’s main role is to provide assistance to the company, as well as its subcontractors and other clients, with regard to ensuring compliance of operations and management with environmental laws and regulations. This professional oversees projects and peruse project bids or proposals to cite any regulatory issues, and advise recommendations or changes to the proposal prior to its implementation. A senior environmental consultant also sees the project into completion to evaluate whether compliance and regulation plans were well-implemented. Other job specifications for this particular consultant is to write reports and audit changes to the document and site variables, and conduct assessments and evaluations to the workplace and proposed site of projects to ensure compliance. He also collects data for prediction of environmental situations or possible environmental hazards.

7. Corporate Citizenship Specialist

A corporate citizenship specialist’s highest annual salary is $100,000.00. This specialist is mainly responsible for researching, developing, and implementing activities and processes that foster corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the company. His job includes liaising and working together with partner organizations, whether government or non-profit, to plan and implement CSR activities such as tree planting, home building, adopting a school, and feeding programs. Disaster recovery can also be part of this professional’s job, which includes donation drives and collating funds for the activity. He also recommends actions and changes to the company’s processes and policies to comply with environmental laws and regulations in the federal, state, and local levels. He oversees project proposals for CSR activities for compliance, and is responsible for oversights in the project implementation.

With the growing need to save Mother Earth, the job opportunities in the environmental department is skyrocketing at a promising level. There are still many other career options for individuals having an Environmental Management MBA. The mix of a business administration and environmental backgrounds allows you to have a plethora of career choices, each promising a good salary.