Education empowers. As such, an environmental educator empowers individuals to take positive action towards the protection and preservation of natural resources. Thus, this job is best suited for individuals who have a passion for the environment, for education and for action.
The career outlook for an environmental educator is good to excellent. They make on average $37-$53 thousand a year.
Why It Is Green
An environmental educator teaches individuals how best to manage their behavior in relation to their ecosystem so as to live in an environmentally sustainable manner. Ultimately, it is the environmental education of humans, that will most contribute to preserving and protecting the planet. After all, since humans are the main users of natural resources, then humans must be their main protectors, too!
What the Job Demands
It must be emphasized that environmental educators work in a variety of settings with various types of individuals. Working environments range from teaching green living in schools from the elementary to the post-graduate levels and educating the general public about environmental protection in museums, national parks and campgrounds to serving as instructor to college students taking up environmental education as a course subject.
Depending on above mentioned working environments, environmental educators will perform any or all of the following responsibilities: o Create outreach and extension programs to educate and encourage the general public, the student populace and the clients to adapt a green lifestyle (i.e., waste recycling and reduction, solar power possibilities and other environmental concerns) o Produce printed and graphic texts for distribution to media outlets, general public and other educational institutions (i.e., press releases, advertisements, brochures and the like) o Guide children and teens in basic ways to protect the environment, often in school settings although outdoor excursions are also possible. o Coordinate with environmental groups to strengthen ties towards the achievement of common goals o Perform related duties as functions as the need arises
Jobs of environmental educators are often on a part-time basis with compensations as low as $26 an hour. Although there is flexibility in the working hours chosen, most employers will require prompt reporting on said hours. Also, travel may be required especially when employed in nature parks and camps, with time spent in the office preparing reports and plans. In some instances, heavy lifting may also be needed.
What the Qualifications Are
In terms of professional qualifications, environmental educators must possess the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and its related programs. Required working experience will vary from one employer to the next although it is usual to be asked for at least 2 years relevant experience.
On one hand, required professional skills will include knowledge in effective strategies in environmental education, graphic arts and webpage design, modern office procedures, processes and equipment, as well as basic organizational skills. On the other hand, personal skills necessary include good interpersonal skills with coworkers, clients and the general public and ability to work under virtually any circumstances indoors and outdoors, to name a few.
If you are a nature lover with a passion for imparting your knowledge about environmental protection, with good communication and interpersonal skills and in fit physical and mental condition, then a career as an environmental educator is for you.