While Delaware has long been an early adopter of sustainability programs and initiatives, this state’s green efforts really began to take shape in 2012, with the creation of the Energy & Sustainable Leaders Roundtable, which encourages communities and businesses to implement energy-saving efforts, and in 2013, with the adoption of the Green and Better Building Advisory Committee, which brings together the best and the brightest from all public and private sectors to advise the state’s governor and the Delaware General Assembly on energy-saving green building design and construction.
Today, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Energy & Climate oversees Delaware’s green building incentives and initiatives, the state’s Green Energy Program offers incentives for businesses that install renewable energy systems, and the Delaware Electric Cooperative provides assistance to businesses that install renewable energy systems.
And that’s not all; with the assistance of the Delaware Energy Office and the Green Building Council of the Home Builders Association of Delaware, energy-efficient construction and on-site renewable energy sources are commonplace in the First State, thereby helping the state reach its 2025 residential goal and 2030 construction goal of zero-net energy capable construction.
Delaware’s sustainability goals are ambitious, wide-reaching, and more complex than ever, which means the need for experts in sustainability is also greater than ever. And because the broad nature of this field, professionals in energy, technology, public policy, business, agriculture and more are needed to realize Delaware’s goal.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Delaware with the Right Degree
Your aspirations for a career in sustainability and Delaware’s sustainability industry are a great fit thanks to the outstanding agencies and organizations that are helping make the state’s green initiatives a reality.
For example, the Dover-based Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is a major nonprofit that ensures clean drinking water and the preservation of the region’s waterways and open spaces. This organization, which is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs designed by Congress, partners with private business, nonprofits, and government agencies to prevent pollution and protect the wetlands.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is a major state agency that focuses on the protection of natural resources to create healthy, sustainable communities. Some of the major efforts of this agency include sustainable planning, implementing green infrastructure to address issues like pollution, flooding, and erosion, and weatherization assistance to help establish homes that are both comfortable and energy efficient.
The Delaware Clean Water Alliance is a coalition of organizations, agencies, and stakeholders working together to put clean water initiatives into motion, such as securing dedicated funding and educating citizens about the importance of clean water.
Professional opportunities in sustainability in Delaware come with impressive salaries. According to 2018 BLS statistics, environmental engineers earn an average salary of $84,480, urban and regional planners earn an average of $64,120, and conservation scientists earn $55,300 on average.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Delaware
Master’s degrees in sustainability are often focused courses of study that allow you to take your current knowledge of environmental science and sustainability or your expertise in areas like engineering, science, and technology to the next level to secure in-demand jobs in this burgeoning field.
The University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers a number of master’s programs in sustainability, including animal and food sciences, entomology and wildlife ecology and water science and policy. This esteemed college boasts a 94% employment rate among recent graduates.
The University of Delaware’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences offers an MS in Plant and Soil Science that features in-depth study into areas like landscape design, crop science, social science, soil microbiology and biochemistry, and soil and water quality.
The Master of Energy & Environmental Policy through the University of Delaware explores energy and environmental policies and comes with your choice of specialty in energy sustainability, water sustainability, environmental justice, political ecology, global environments, or sustainable development.
The Wesley College MS in Environmental Science is a broad-based degree designed to prepare you for a variety of careers in sustainability. You’ll enjoy in-depth study into areas that address the social, economic, political and environmental issues affecting sustainability.
The University of Delaware offers master’s degrees in civil engineering and ocean engineering, with students of the Master of Civil Engineering choosing from concentrations like coastal engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and water resources engineering.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Delaware
Bachelor’s degrees in sustainability provide the ideal foundation on which to build your knowledge and skills in the green industry for either direct entry into the field or for future graduate study.
For example, the University of Delaware offers bachelor’s programs in both civil and environmental engineering, along with a host of sustainability-focused bachelor’s in areas like agriculture and natural resources, environmental and resource economics, food and agribusiness marketing and management, insect ecology and conservation, natural resource management, sustainable food systems, and wildlife ecology and conservation.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Delaware
Degree programs in sustainability are no longer limited to just on-campus options. Online programs have increased in both Delaware and throughout the nation in response to the needs of today’s adult learners and nontraditional students.
For example, Wilmington University offers an online BS in Environmental Science and Policy, which offers the same robust curriculum as the university’s on-campus programs while affording students the flexibility and convenience of studying at a distance. Plus, hands-on learning isn’t sacrificed in this program, thanks to at-home lab kits completed under the close guidance of the program’s dedicated faculty.