Sustainability isn’t just a goal in Arizona – it is programs and people in action.
Just a few noteworthy efforts to gain statewide attention here include the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative, which works to protect the pollinator habitat in North America while getting the word out about the importance of pollinators in our global food supply…the Desert Botanical Garden’s Spaces of Opportunity program which through its 3,000 square foot incubator farm provides farm plots to farmers with limited resources…and the Northern Arizona Forest Fund, which creates and manages programs aimed at improving the health of our forests by mitigating erosion and wildfire risk, initiating watershed restoration projections, and performing erosion control and drainage improvement on roads and trails.
While sustainability is a simple concept—protecting and preserving natural resources through the implementation of environmental, economic, and social best practices—, nearly all sectors and fields can implement sustainability, thereby making this field rather broad. From civil engineers to environmental scientists to chief sustainability officers, careers in sustainability in Arizona are abundant, and they all start with the right degree.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Arizona with the Right Degree
Reducing harm to our environment, developing and cultivating sustainable communities, and creating an economic system that renews resources faster than they are being used are just a few of the objectives at the heart of Arizona’s sustainability efforts.
Sustainable Arizona is a network of leaders whose work has a singular goal: the pursuit of sustainable development. Through collaboration, education, and ongoing support, Sustainable Arizona helps communities, businesses, civic and social groups, and environmental organizations come together to create flourishing, self-reliant, sustainable communities.
Science Foundation Arizona is a nonprofit leader in Arizona that links industry needs with university research through research grants. Their research investments are highly targeted, focused on areas with the highest impact commercial potential, such as environmental sustainability and clean energy.
The Arizona Sustainability Alliance is a nonprofit advocacy group that creates and supports project-based sustainability initiatives through collaboration, education, and civic engagement. Just some of the sustainable efforts here are aimed at urban forestry, sustainable food systems, renewable energy, and water resources management.
Sustainability efforts often require the insight and expertise of a variety of professionals, from engineers to scientists to urban planners and environmental managers. While salaries for these professionals tend to vary as much as the jobs themselves, in Arizona, the earning potential is impressive. According to 2018 BLS statistics, conservation scientists in Arizona earn an average salary of $71,190, while environmental scientists earn $72,150 on average.
Arizona’s engineering and architecture occupations in sustainability also come with competitive salaries. Civil engineers earn an average salary of $84,770, environmental engineers earn $80,330, and landscape architects earn $68,520.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Arizona
A master’s in sustainability is where a broad foundation of knowledge in sustainability becomes a focused one, thanks to programs aimed at specific fields like energy, technology, and policy.
The University of Arizona’s MS in Architecture – Sustainable Market Transformation places an emphasis on sustainable design through coursework in design communications, theory/history, active building technologies, digital fabrication, and more.
Northern Arizona University’s MA in Sustainable Communities is an interdisciplinary course of study that allows students to gain in-depth knowledge of issues related to sustaining community life to become leaders in social justice, sustainability, and civic engagement.
Arizona State University’s Master of Sustainable Leadership and the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership are designed to prepare students to advance the concept of sustainability through effective organizational leadership.
Northern Arizona University also offers the Masters in Environmental Sciences and Policy, which aims to apply the science of environment when informing policy decisions. This programs’ emphasis in science and policy allows students to study environmental law, regulation, and policy and how they relate to natural resources.
The online Master of Engineering in Innovation, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurship through the University of Arizona online is a unique collaboration of engineering and business studies. Students here learn what it takes to translate scientific research into advances in sustainable technologies and processes.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Arizona
A career in sustainability can often start with a solid bachelor’s degree in sustainability or a similar field. In Arizona, you’ll enjoy a variety of options to get your career in sustainability off the ground.
Arizona State University offers the BS in Sustainability, which is available both on-campus and online and in a variety of concentrations, including Sustainable Energy, Materials and Technology; the Economics of Sustainability; and the Ecosystems of Sustainability.
Northern Arizona University also offers a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, a broad course of study that prepares students to apply scientific approaches to develop real-world solutions to environmental and sustainability issues.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Arizona
Online programs in sustainability provide students with convenient and flexible, distance-based study to accommodate geographic limitations and professional responsibilities.
Both the Master of Sustainable Leadership and the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership programs through Arizona State University are offered online, as is the University of Arizona’s Master of Engineering in Innovation, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurship. Their undergraduate program in sustainability, the Bachelor of Sustainable Built Environments, is offered either on-campus or online for the best in flexibility.