What Can I Do Green With a Major In?

  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Urban Systems
  • Transportation Engineering

Urban, city, and town planning is the integration of the disciplines of land use planning and transport planning, to explore a very wide range of aspects of the built and social environments of urbanized municipalities and communities.  Another key role of urban planning is urban renewal and re-generation of inner cities by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructure decay.

In theory, a sustainable design can lead to the development of sustainable communities by ensuring that infrastructure knowledge makes improvements that do not deplete natural resources. Consequently the transition and mass adoption of renewable resources features heavily in sustainable infrastructures.

Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering is the science of safe and efficient movement of people and goods (transport). It is a sub-discipline of civil engineering. The planning aspects of transport engineering relate to urban planning, and involve technical forecasting decisions and political factors. The design aspects of transport engineering include the sizing of transportation facilities (how many lanes or how much capacity the facility has), determining the materials and thickness used in pavement, designing the geometry (vertical and horizontal alignment) of the roadway (or track).

Operations and management involve traffic engineering, so that vehicles move smoothly on the road or track. Older techniques include signs, signals, markings, and tolling. Newer technologies involve intelligent transportation systems, including advanced traveler information systems (such as variable message signs), advanced traffic control systems (such as ramp meters), and vehicle infrastructure integrationHuman factors are an aspect of transport engineering, particularly concerning driver-vehicle interface and user interface of road signs, signals, and markings.

Going green involves continued development of pollution prevention, recycling, energy efficiency, and sound environmental management practices where environmental engineering and/or economic benefits are recognized without compromising roadway engineering requirements.

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

Civil Engineer  Permit Agent
Highway and Bridge Design Community Planner
Project Manager Air Traffic Controller
Area Director Air Quality Specialist
Traffic Engineer Salesperson
Transportation Planner Consultant
Traffic Engineering Technician Urban/Regional Planner
CADD Technician Project Engineer
Urban Transportation Engineers Research & Development Specialist
Traffic Signal Engineer Test Engineer
Transit Planner Highway Engineer
Systems Analyst Structural Engineer
Airport Engineer Surveying Technician
Senior Planner Design Engineer
Airport Planner High School Teacher
Construction Engineer Management Trainee
College/University Professor  

Green jobs can be found within the following industries:

Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturers State and Local Government
Architectural Services Scientific Research & Development Services
Building, Developing & General Contracting Services Urban Planning Centers
Communication Services Transportation Services
Computer and Electronic Products Manufacturers Department of Transportation
Computer Systems Design/Computer Consulting Services Transportation Equipment Manufacturers
Consulting Services Utilities Services
Colleges/Universities Waste Management & Remediation Services
High Schools Airports
Electrical Equipment, Appliance & Component Manufacturers US Military
Engineering Services Train/Transit Systems
Federal Government  


Green Internet Resources:

Institute of Transportation Engineers   Acts as a source for expertise, knowledge and ideas. ITE is a gateway to knowledge and advancement for its network of nearly 17,000 members working in more than 92 countries.

Right of Way   Generally speaking, the term right of way is used to describe the industry as a whole and the professionals who are involved in it. There are many areas of specialization in right of way to include acquisition and negotiation, property management, relocation, appraisal, title, surveying, engineering, attorneys, and records management.

Access ITS America   The Intelligent Transportation Society of America is the leading advocate for technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's surface transportation system


Federal Highway Administration   FHWA promotes and maintains a high level of engineering excellence in the delivery of transportation products, and delivers technical assistance and training to state, local, and tribal government transportation managers and staff.  It also fosters nationwide uniformity of standards for signs, signals, designs, and safety features on major highway systems.


The US Department of Transportation   To find a list of currently posted DOT job vacancies, please go to jobsearch.dot.gov  .

Cyburbia   A planning related web site, The Cyburbia Forums is the oldest and most active urban/town planning message board on the Internet. The Cyburbia Forums has hundreds of active members,who are planners, planning students, architects, and urbanists who care about and/or help shape the built environment.

Urban Land Institute   Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members representing all aspects of land use and development

Green Careers Guide   Site offers green career categories with job descriptions, training required, training programs by state, and job listings.


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