What Can I Do Green With a Major In?

  • Architecture

  • Arch Studies

  • Digital Design

  • Industrial Design

  • Interior Design


A green architect realizes that a building is like an eco system and that each component in a green building affects its overall performance.  Environmental design includes using the best natural materials, natural daylight, breezes etc., and also rehabilitating existing buildings to have a connection with nature and the natural elements. 

Industrial Designer

Industrial design is the profession that determines the form of a manufactured product, shaping it to fit the people who use it and the industrial processes that produce it. Industrial green product design can encompass material selection, resource use, production requirements and planning for the final disposition (recycling, reuse, or disposal) of a product. It is not a stand-alone methodology but one that must be integrated with a company's existing product design so that environmental parameters can be balanced with traditional product attributes such as quality, cost, and functionality. Green products can be made with fewer materials and can be designed to be more easily upgraded, disassembled, recycled, and reused than their conventional counterparts.

Interior Designer

Interior designers are concerned with aesthetics, style and mood.  The interior designer focuses on all aspects of the space - whether it's a home, a public building, a business or an institutional facility (such as offices, restaurants, retail establishments, hospitals, hotels, or theaters). They also plan the interiors of existing structures under renovation or expansion.

Green Designers must be familiar with the materials and products that will be used in the design and make responsible environmental choices. They must also understand the ways that texture, color, lighting and other factors interact to create the desired result in a space, the structural requirements of their plans, the health and safety issues, building codes, and other technical aspects.

Digital Designer

Applications of digital design can run the gamut from web-based communications to advertising to entertainment design in movies and television, magazine ads, video games, museum and trade show exhibits and of course, online. Digital designers must understand design fundamentals, lettering and typography and graphic design, using computer applications and sophisticated software as design tools. Today's designers must be entrepreneurs observing market trends, creating intellectual property, and applying green considerations to issues such as using recycled and organic papers in designs or understanding the new resurgence for letterpress printing and it’s impact on choice of paper etc.

Green careers can be found within each of these job titles:

Green Architect Sustainable Design Specialist
Architecture Drafter Energy Efficient Lighting Specialist
Landscape Architect Green Facilities Management Specialist
Landscape Drafter Green Building Supply Sales
Consultant for Sustainable Design and Sustainable Planning Green Building Supply Entrepreneur
Sustainable Procurement Affordable Housing Consultant

Green jobs can be found within the following industries:

Architecture Firms Architectural Services
Military Services Consulting Services (Management)
Engineering Firms Educational Services
Government (State & Local) Engineering Services
Real Estate Scientific Research & Development Services
Transportation Equipment Wood Products
Waste Management & Remediation Services Window Products
Wholesale Trade Healthcare and Social Assistance
Building, Developing, & General Contracting  

Green Internet Resources:

Architecture Careers ( http://archcareers.blogspot.com/). A blog that discusses aspects of becoming an architect

AIA Career Center   A membership association for licensed architects

Architect Jobs   An employment website for architect careers.

Green Career Central   A members-only career portal of articles, resources , discussion forums and job postings.

Greenbiz   This site examines the latest news on companies that are integrating sustainable principles into their business and operations.

Sustainable Business   It provides global news and networking services to help green businesses grow, covering all sectors: renewable energy, green building, sustainable investing, and organics.

AIGA   The professional association for design, is the premier place for design — to discover, discuss, understand, appreciate and be inspired by it. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design

Re-Nourish   A green website for the graphic design industry.

Other Green Building Resources:

USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) has developed a LEED certification, a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings

Green Careers Guide  Site offers green career categories with job descriptions, training required, training programs by state, and job listings. It also gives job search advice provided by careerbuilder.com

National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)   Organization that provides education, advocacy, and resources to save America’s diverse historic places and revitalize our communities

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