Environmental Jobs for People Without a Degree

Although not as plentiful, there are some careers open to those who do not have a degree, but are interested in working with the environment. Learn about some of the career options available and the job duties of each.

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Career Options for Environmental Jobs for People Without a Degree

Most environmental jobs for people without a degree are technician or worker positions in a particular field. Many of these jobs provide on-the-job training. Below is a table that lists a few of the possible options for those interested in environmental jobs, but do not necessarily have a degree.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians $48,820 9%
Forest and Conservation Workers $26,940 4%
Agricultural Workers $22,540 -6%
Logging Workers $37,590 -4%
Fishing and Hunting Workers $29,280 -1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Environmental Jobs for People Without a Degree

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Occupational health and safety technicians work to protect the environment, the public, workers and more. They are responsible for inspecting and evaluating the safety of various workplaces to make sure that there are no hazards. These hazards may come in the form of toxic materials, unsafe equipment or other hazardous conditions. These technicians will also investigate any accidents and work to prevent them from occurring again. Although some occupational health and safety technicians may pursue an associate's degree or certification in the field, on-the-job training is another acceptable path into the field.

Forest and Conservation Workers

Forest and conservation workers assist and work closely with foresters and conservation technicians to perform a wide variety of forestry and conservation activities. They may help plant new trees, clear debris, spray insecticides, suppress fires, cut trees and more to improve the quality of forests. This may also involve measuring and counting trees in a given area. Most forest and conservation workers have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.

Agricultural Workers

Agricultural workers also work to improve the quality of the environment, but they focus specifically on farms, including crops and livestock. These workers include animal breeders, greenhouse workers, ranch animal farmworkers, agricultural equipment operators and more. Their work usually requires the use of farm machinery and tools as they harvest crops, irrigate areas and feed livestock. They work closely with farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers to inspect crops and livestock for illness and disease. The majority of these workers receive on-the-job training, but you may need a high school diploma if you wish to work as an animal breeder.

Logging Workers

The primary job of logging workers is to cut down trees. Specific positions include fallers, buckers, tree climbers, choke setters, log sorters, log equipment operators and more. Usually working as a logging crew, these workers may contribute to the management and sustainability practices of forests by harvesting timber to make a variety of products. This involves operating heavy machinery, separating and grading logs and ensuring that equipment is safe to use. Logging workers get on-the-job training, and may have a high school diploma.

Fishing and Hunting Workers

Fishing and hunting workers may also contribute to the management and sustainability practices of different ecosystems as they catch and trap animal life. Typically their catches are sold for food or to create a variety of products. Fishers specialize in using fishing gear to locate and catch different kinds of fish, while hunters and trappers may use traps or weapons to catch their targets. Both professions must follow current regulations for legal catches/kills. A formal education is not required for fishing and hunting workers, as most learn through experience.

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