Sustainability Specialists

Occupation Information table
Overview: Sustainability Specialists design ways to salvage valuable minerals, wood extracts, carbons, chemicals, etc. from the waste materials generated by factories during manufacturing processes, power generation, etc. They design mechanical and chemical systems to extract these materials.
Duties: They conduct research to find new ways to extract marketable materials from waste products produced in factories and power generation plants and conduct experiments using these processes.

They design and build pilot systems to evaluate the quality and quantity of the materials recovered from waste and estimate the cost and time involved in the process.

Coordinate marketing activities to develop an interest and to motivate potential customers to purchase the materials recovered. Demonstrate to customers the benefits of their use.

Confer with government agencies to determine how to best comply with regulations for solid waste recovery. Design and conduct information workshops and lectures to media and other groups.

Degree(s): A.S. Engineering Science 
A.S. Biotechnology 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 5% to 8% percent from 2018 to 2028, which matches the average growth rate for all occupations.
Salary Range (National Average): $46,000 to $51,000
Growth: Growth
Green: Green Career
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: A bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program with an emphasis in chemical engineering and materials science is the typical requirement for entry positions. Courses in environmental engineering sciences and computer applications are essential. All states require certification by passing a written examination.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Analyzing requirements for a new product or service and creating a design to satisfy those needs.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Using mathematics and/or statistics to solve problems.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
Recommended Values:
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.
  • Having a level of income that will afford you with luxuries, and which will allow you to become financially independent.
  • Being able to decide on how to get something done without significant direction from someone else.
  • Having a job where you can spend a significant amount of time outside.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.