Climate Change Career Opportunities: A Deep Dive into Green Futures

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated February 28, 2024

Climate change is a massive threat to our planet and its effects are increasingly evident. The period from February 2023 to February 2024 was the first 12-month period that saw a global increase in temperatures of over 1.5 degrees Celsius. This growing threat is creating a need for professionals who can help tackle this crisis and meet the government’s Net Zero 2050 strategy. It’s no surprise, therefore, that climate change career opportunities are on the rise, with governments, companies, and organisations increasing investments to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. 

In this blog, we’ll dive into some of the most essential climate change sectors alongside key roles in each. From renewable energy to emissions reduction to sustainability, there’s a wealth of climate career change opportunities for anyone considering making a career transition.

Jobs in Renewable Energy

One of the most critical ways we can meet net-zero targets is by making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This includes solar, wind, geothermal and hydro-electricity. Among several strategies, the government has recently set out plans to more than triple the offshore wind capacity from 14.7 GW to 50 GW by 2023. Of course, this will require a massive increase in jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Solar Power Engineer

Solar power engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining solar power systems for a range of clients, including residential, commercial, and industrial.

Entry requirements include an engineering or science-related university Bachelor’s degree or through an apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £20,000 to £50,000 based on experience and seniority.

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine technicians maintain and repair wind turbines both onshore and offshore.

There are numerous entry routes, including a foundation, higher national diploma or degree in renewable energy or electrical engineering at university, a college course or through an apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £25,000 to £47,000 based on experience and seniority.

Jobs in Emissions Reduction

We all know the term “carbon footprint” by now. And this is another key element of reaching net zero by 2050. As a country, we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions which include carbon dioxide and methane. These gases come from several sources, including the burning of fossil fuels, farming, overfishing, and cutting down forests. Many new career opportunities are being created to help reduce emissions.

Carbon and Sustainability Analyst

As a carbon and sustainability analyst you’ll conduct sustainability assessments, analyse carbon data, and implement methods to reduce carbon emissions for companies and governments.

Career changers will need a university degree in environmental or sustainability science or another related field to enter this field.

  • Salary: £25,000 to £35,000 based on experience and seniority.

Commercial Energy Assessor

Commercial energy assessors are responsible for measuring the efficiency of commercial buildings. They must ensure the building’s efficiency meets the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standards.

No specific education is required for this role. As such, specialist courses provided by private training organisations will suffice or you can also obtain a Level 3 or 4 diploma.

  • Salary: £18,000 to £41,000 based on experience and seniority.

Jobs in Climate Change Adaptation

Even if we manage to cut carbon emissions and increase renewable energy over the coming years, climate change has already caused irreversible effects on the planet. As such, we need planning and adaptation methods to deal with rising sea levels, heat waves, floods, and extreme weather conditions. The number of jobs in this field has skyrocketed in recent years. So, if you’re making a career change, you have several options in this sector.

Town Planner

As a town or urban planner, you’ll be responsible for shaping the sustainable development of towns and cities to meet net-zero criteria.

Entry requirements include a university degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). You can also go down the route of an apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £18,000 to £45,000 based on experience and seniority.


Hydrologists are responsible for studying rainfall, rivers, and waterways to develop sustainable ways of managing water.

Relevant university degrees include environmental science, geography, civil engineering or related fields. Another option is to go through an apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £28,000 to £45,000 based on experience and seniority.

Jobs in Sustainability

More and more people are heeding scientists’ warnings about the devastating effects of climate change. This is putting major corporations under increasing pressure to become more sustainable. It has led to the creation of many jobs in the sustainability sector, as big business looks for ways to reduce the negative effects their practices are having on the environment.

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner

As a corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioner, you’ll be in charge of ensuring businesses work ethically and sustainably.

To enter this role, you’ll need a university degree related to corporate responsibility or sustainability, a college course or to complete an apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £24,000 to £50,000 based on experience and seniority.

Environmental Consultant

Environmental consultants are responsible for advising businesses and governments on sustainable practices. This could include waste management, recycling, flood risks, and climate change effects.

A university degree in environmental science, environmental studies or environmental sustainability is necessary to land a job in this field. You could also do an Environmental Practitioner Level 6 Degree apprenticeship.

  • Salary: £25,000 to £50,000 based on experience and seniority.


Climate change is pushing our society to come up with greener, more sustainable ways of living and doing business. As a result, there’s a need for passionate and willing professionals to take on these roles and bring about positive change.

For career changers, climate change career opportunities are a chance to reposition themselves in the labour market. The transferable skills you can bring to this vital sector are invaluable for organisations. And, although some retraining may be necessary, climate change career opportunities offer long-term employment and professional growth for anyone looking to make the switch.

Are you a career changer looking for sustainable jobs? You’ve come to the right place. Here at Refreshing a Career, we’re the market leader in matching career change talent with top employers. 

Check our climate change careers job board to find the latest roles near you. 

Our sister site, Employing an Apprentice, is packed with climate change apprenticeship opportunities across the UK.

For more advice on changing careers, we’ve compiled a list of career change support and resources to guide you.

Have a question? Feel free to get in touch with our team. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below for all the latest news and opportunities from  Refreshing a Career.

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Last Updated: Wednesday March 27 2024
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