Environmental Sector Trends: 72% of Jobs Require Bachelor’s or Higher

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Canada’s environmental sector boasts of a highly educated workforce: over 72% of environmental job vacancies require a Bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. The sector is also growing quickly, and with good reason. Federal and Provincial government organizations have introduced new policies and legislations to tackle climate change, reduce green house gas emissions, increase investments in clean technology, and increase wildlife protection and remediation.

In line with these initiatives, environmental employment increased by 17% from 2016 to 2018 thanks in part to a growing Canadian economy and increasing demand for qualified environmental professionals in both private and public services. The environment sector is now home to more than 364,000 core workers working in 3 key areas; Environmental Protection, Resource Management and Environmental Sustainability.

With these emerging opportunities, investment in professional development and post-secondary education will be necessary to compete and advance in this sector.

Growing Demand for Arts-Based Environmental Jobs in 2018

Traditionally, environmental professions were dominated by science-based jobs i.e. Environmental Scientist, Analyst, Researcher, Engineer, Hydrologist etc.

Over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in demand for Policy and Legislation, Communications and Public Awareness, Sustainability, Education and Training, Research and Development, all of which require an arts-based education. These emerging fields now make up about 29% of environmental occupations.

Core Environmental Workforce in Canada: Employment Outlook and Trends

  • Over 100,000 new environmentally-related jobs will be created from 2017 to 2024 – a 28% increase in 2017 employment levels
  • Over 187,000 jobs will be created in the next 10 years
  • Approximately 22% of the current workforce is expected to retire within the forecast period, potentially resulting in job vacancies across all roles but most notably within managerial and professional occupations
  • Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia are the top three provinces with the highest concentration of environmental jobs
  • Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are provinces that experience high demand for environmental workers, 36% increase in job postings

Our mission at ECO Canada is to build the world’s leading environmental workforce.

Speaking regularly with thousands of employers, and spanning over 22 colleges and universities in the country, we have partnered 33 accredited environmental education programs to ensure new graduates are equipped with the knowledge to succeed and thrive in this growing sector. Royal Roads University, for example, offers innovative Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Environmental Practice, designed to shape the future’s environmental leaders.

Keeping this information in mind, the main driving force for success comes down to you: your motivation, persistence, and drive are the determining factor in landing your dream job. Whether that’s keeping your skills up to date or pursuing higher education, you have the power to take charge of your career.

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