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Sustainability Project Manager: Job Description & Salary

A career as a sustainability project manager may appeal to individuals interested in assisting companies to minimize the negative environmental impacts of operation. This article covers the job duties, educational requirements, and job outlook for this position.

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Career Definition of a Sustainability Project Manager

A sustainability project manager oversees an organization's sustainability efforts by fostering cooperation among internal departments or community partners and creating campaigns. Sustainability project managers typically work full-time in an office environment, but may travel as needed to meet with clients, vendors, or community partners. They typically work for corporations or government agencies, such as a municipal government.

Job duties for sustainability project managers can vary depending on the type of organization. General duties may include managing programs designed to reduce waste or improve energy efficiency, overseeing the creation and distribution of an organization's annual sustainability report, and ensuring an organization meets all applicable environmental guidelines. Sustainability project managers often create messages based on the intended audience and organization's goals and determine the best medium for message distribution. They also serve as a force for fostering change by encouraging internal and external stakeholders to adopt and practice environmentally conscious operating procedures. Sustainability managers, particularly those who work for municipal government agencies, may manage the administration of agency contracts.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Excellent communication skills, analytical abilities, project management skills, and ability to collaborate
Median Salary (2016)* $69,040 (Business Operations Specialists, All Other)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% (Business Operations Specialists, All Other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Individuals will need a bachelor's degree to work as a sustainability project manager, with some positions requiring a master's degree. Relevant areas of study include environmental science, urban planning, public administration, or other related fields. Individuals can pursue membership in the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, which aims to empower people to advance sustainability in organizations and communities around the world.

Required Skills

Sustainability project managers will need excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, as they focus on establishing relationships with key personnel in order to enhance an organization's sustainability efforts. Strong analytical abilities are vital for collecting data on areas like waste reduction and sustainable transportation and analyzing the results. Sustainability project managers should have excellent collaboration skills, since they serve as a liaison between internal employees, vendors, and community partners. They must have relevant program management experience in order to create, implement, and monitor sustainability projects and oversee personnel.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect information on sustainability project managers; however, they reported a 5% growth for the category of business operations specialists, all other, during 2014-2024, which is on average for all occupations. The BLS reported a 2016 median annual salary of $69,040 for business operations specialists, all other.

Related Careers

Those considering a career as a sustainability project manager may be interested in one of the below related careers. They offer prospective candidates the opportunity to utilize their management skills in a variety of projects.

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