Do you turn the shower off when you’re soaping? Or panic when you read about yet another city being added to the world’s most polluted list?
If this describes you, you’re obviously a person who feels passionately about the environment. Have you thought about converting that concern into a career? It’s a great time to be pursuing a profession that benefits the planet. In the UAE itself, the government has embarked on a programme to make the country “one of the international leaders in the Green Economy and a centre for export and re-export of green products and technologies.”
This translates into a vibrant environmental sector with a range of job opportunities. The question to ask is, which one is right for you? We’ve listed some top choices:
Environmental EngineerThe job of environmental engineers is to minimize damage to the environment by reducing waste and pollution. They utilize scientific principles in subjects like biology, chemistry and soil science to design systems that control pollution and contamination. They also design recycling systems and processes to create eco-friendly waste disposal solutions.
Today, this field has immense scope for professionals who are qualified in chemical, biological, thermal, radioactive or mechanical engineering.
Core skills: Critical thinking, active learning, complex problem solving, time management.
Solar EngineerWith salaries ranging from Dh 10,000 to more than Dh 40,000 a month, the UAE is a great place to pursue a career in solar engineering. Solar engineers plan, design and implement solar energy projects, managing anything from large-scale government projects to home rooftop installations.
Core skills: Strong math and computer skills, understanding of electricity, thermal transfer and storage. A mechanical or electrical engineering degree is a requirement.
Wind Energy EngineerWind energy engineers perform a range of tasks like analysing wind metrics to determine the best location for wind farms, testing wind turbine models or providing inputs to manufacturers on the efficiency of wind turbine equipment.
Core skills: Data analysis, IT skills, complex problem solving, critical thinking. A relevant engineering degree is a requirement.
Environmental ConsultantAs an environmental consultant, you’ll work with industries to help mitigate damage to the environment and interpret environmental laws. Ideal for people who balance concern for the environment with an understanding of business.
Core skills: Understanding of environment, business awareness, IT skills, communication skills.
Wildlife ConservationistTypically employed by governments and NGOs, wildlife conservationists are charged with protecting wild animals and their habitat from destruction. This is a great job for people who love the outdoors. A degree in Wildlife Conservation and Biology is the ideal launchpad for a career in this field.
Core skills: A good grasp over biology and geography, data analysis, decision-making, people skills.
Marine BiologistMarine biologists study the degradation of ocean environments and offer solutions for sustainable development. While they find employment with governments, NGOs and academic institutions, many private companies also employ them for specific functions such as product development and formulation of new processes.
Core skills: Appreciation of marine life, scientific temper, curiosity, data analysis. A BA degree in Biology is required.
EcologistThe job of an ecologist is to study ecosystems and make a record of the plant and animal life that thrives in the area. Generally employed by government agencies, NGOs and research organizations, ecologists divide their time between working indoors and in the field. Their studies help policymakers devise plans for sustainable development and utilization of natural resources.
Core skills: An appreciation of nature and wildlife, love of the outdoors, good presentation and communication skills, observation skills.
Environmental JournalistThe perfect job for those who combine a love of nature with a flair for writing. The job comes with irregular work hours and requires much legwork, but the twin highs of breaking stories and staying in touch with the environment are enough to attract many bright young people to the career.
Core skills: Writing skills, a nose for news, concern for the environment, people skills.
As a nature lover, this is a great time to plunge into the environment sector and act as a guardian of the environment by fighting reckless growth and promoting sustainable development.