ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Careers in Environmental Consulting

Updated on March 28, 2018
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

A professional career coach, Marcy has helped hundreds refine their resumes, improve their interviewing skills, and advance their careers.


What does a Green Consultant do, and how can I become one?

Environmental professions and anything else Green is still red hot these days; even with a few dips in the economy, there's an increasing awareness of the need to conserve our planet's resources.

Green consultants can work in any number of fields. In some cases, certification is available, and in others, professionals can simply enhance their current knowledge by expanding their expertise in ways to protect, improve or enhance the environment within their area of specialty.

Environmental consultants can do one or more of the following things:

  • Help companies abide by environmental laws
  • Consult about land use issues in environmentally sensitive areas
  • Recommend cost-savings strategies through energy conservation
  • Help improve a corporation's image through its emphasis on the environment
  • Help get special certification for companies seeking an environmental edge on the market
  • Many other things that raise awareness, conserve energy or protect the environment

There are a number of ways you can turn your current career and talents into a lucrative environmental consulting business. First, do some research to see whether there are certifications available that might help you.


Become LEED Certified

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) offers several certification programs for individuals in non-technical professions as well as those in various types of industries the council represents.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and holding this credential is the gold standard for excellence in protecting the environment and conserving energy through proper construction and engineering.

Certification is a third-party process offered through USGBC to educate businesses and professionals in current state-of-the-art techniques to design, engineer, construct and maintain energy efficient buildings for public, private or corporate use. Its standards are stringent, and LEED credentials can go a long way to demonstrate the expertise an individual has in this area.

Currently, the following types of certifications are available:

Leed Green Associate: A course and certification designed for non-technical professionals that will demonstrate ability in green building expertise. After initial certification, 15 hours of continuing education is required each reporting period to maintain the credential. Continuing education courses can cover such topics as documenting and certifying projects, LEED as it relates to a retail setting, LEED related to brokers and success strategies for LEED.

Additional Certifications: Several more advanced credentials are available for individuals who design, construct or make improvements to commercial buildings, institutions, residential buildings (including high-rises) or other types of construction. Certification is also available for neighborhood design and development. Each successive credential requires the initial LEED Green Associate certification as well, but the exams can generally be taken at the same time.

LEED Fellow: In 2011, the Green Building Certification Institute announced a LEED Fellows program to designate and recognize the most advanced professionals. Fellows are nominated by various professionals and serve as mentors and educators in LEED programs.

New grads as well as experienced professionals can become Green Consultants


Go Green as a student or in your current profession

For Students:

Many special programs for environmental specialties are available for those still in college, and often, there may be grant funding or internships that will provide funding for those courses.

Are you already working?

You say you don't work in construction, remodeling or neighborhood development? There are plenty of ways to create a niche for yourself as the Green expert in your field. Here are some tips for various professions:

A Few Examples

Accounting: Research ways to analyze and compare costs for various energy efficiency steps an industry or firm can take. Large corporations pay many dollars to find ways to save yet more money through cutting utilities, reducing waste products and other environmentally sound strategies. Someone has to be skilled in running the numbers for these decisions; if accounting is your field, you might be the one to do it.

Communications: Many companies that are transforming their focus on the environment want to publicize this to consumers. Communications professionals can help corporations create a new image or educate customers on how to use new products that conserve energy.

Education: No matter what grade level a child is in, at some point, the environment will be part of the curriculum. If you have a background in teaching, you can help school systems, educators and others develop programs or activities for various age groups that will help raise awareness among students.

Health Care: You can help patients or clients protect their health through educating them about air quality, chemical pollutants in the home and other elements that harm the environment as well as the population. You can also offer your services to health care industries to that want to create greener environments for their client base.

Lobbying: If you have a background in the legal arena or in legislative work, you might find work with non-profits or corporations as a lobbyist to help push through new laws to support the environment.

Purchasing: Companies can get good publicity by purchasing recycled goods. As a purchaser, you can help find good sources for reliable products and you can be a guiding force in helping a company (or even an industry) transition to greener pastures. You can also help find equipment that uses less energy whenever the time comes to replace things.

Travel: Many resorts and hotel chains are proud of their focus on the environment. In addition, various airlines have taken steps to reduce fuel consumption through lightening the weight of their aircraft fleet or adopting designs that are more efficient. If your career is in the huge travel industry, you can take a greener approach and market yourself as an eco-friendly specialist.

Opportunities for Students

Use your professional network to spread the word!


How to market yourself as a Green Consultant

Now that you've decided the path to take, and you have expertise to offer industries and corporations, how do you get the word out? These steps will help you transition into your new identity:

Revise your public image:

Take an inventory of every single place your name appears publicly and revise it to mention your new focus on Greenness. You can add a phrase such as "Specializing in the Environment," or "Green Consultant" to draw attention to your expertise. Be sure to update any photos that might, somehow, not add to your Green image.

  • Here's a brief list of profiles you will want to update:
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Professional organizations and memberships
  • Alumni groups
  • Church or synagogue directory
  • Neighborhood directory

Put out the word:

Let people know through your network resources as well as the local media. The following steps don't take a huge amount of time, and can help stamp you as a Green expert in your field.

  • New business cards
  • Create a brochure
  • Send messages to 'friends' on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • News releases to local media
  • Photo and brief announcement in Business Section of local paper

Offer to speak to groups:

Most clubs and organizations are eager to fill their speaker slots for monthly meetings. Contact various groups (and ask your friends if they're members of groups!) and let them know you can present a talk about the environment. Focus on sharing information and raising awareness rather than marketing yourself - you're not there to give a sales pitch; you're there to build your network. Be sure to have business cards available!

Speaking engagements can help you refine what you say to prospective clients, and they can help spread the word that your services are on the market. People tend to remember who they've met in various career fields, and someone in the audience might forward your name to your next client.

How do I decide what to charge?

Since a Green Consultant can work in many specialty areas, the going rate will depend on what your basic career field can command.

Consultants are generally paid more per hour than a staff employee might earn. It might be possible to research what a Green expert would command in your field. If you don't have that information at hand, consider starting at the higher end (the upper third, for example) of what a basic consultant would get in your field, and be prepared to show prospective clients the added value you will bring as a Green Consultant rather than one without that specialization.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)