Green consulting is a new and promising career choice. More and more businesses, schools and homeowners are realizing that going green has a positive impact on human health, the environment and the bottom line. Unless they already have significant training and experience, most people will turn to a Green Consultant to help them understand, develop and implement green initiatives. There are very few degrees in this area and there are so many different areas of green you can focus on, so how do you earn the credentials necessary to be the one that they call?
First, you need to have a passion for helping people make positive changes. It can’t be a career choice that simply appeals to your financial instincts; greenwashing is becoming a big problem and any insincerity on your part will scare potential clients away in a heartbeat. Since consulting is generally a freelance career, you also need to have basic business skills and a real commitment working on your own. Once you’re sure that you possess the basic elements the next step is deciding which area of the green movement suits your skills and personality best.
If you have expertise or experience in construction, maintenance, or energy this would translate well to a focus on green building and/or sustainability. Currently, this is the biggest area of the green movement and there are many training courses available at community colleges, online and through nationwide organizations such as the USGBC. Just be sure to research any organization before you invest in their training program.
A technical, scientific or health background would lend itself well to a career as an air quality assessor or environmental compliance consultant. This area of green consulting often requires at least a bachelors degree in a related field before you are eligible for training through government agencies or private firms.
If your area of experience is centered around education, child care or training or you are passionate about impacting the next generation, becoming a consultant for schools and child care centers would be the best choice. The National Green School Coalition is currently the only nationwide program offering a training program in this area.
After you have decided on which area you’d like to focus on, find a reputable training program and invest in yourself and your new career. When you are confident in your abilities, go out and meet with those who can benefit from your services and show them how you can save them time and money while helping them create a positive impact!