Sustainability Specialist

The support and implementation of programs that focus on improving the environment and green building practices falls to the sustainability specialist. They address organizational sustainability issues (such as waste stream management and energy usage) with a combination of business expertise, green building knowledge, and understanding of the energy industry. The goal of the sustainability specialist is to reduce expenditures of resources with effective and efficient use. They promote environmental stewardship and provide administrative and technical support for sustainability programs and policies.

Also known as: Campus Energy Coordinator, Energy and Sustainability Strategic Advisor, Sustainability Advisor/Coordinator, Sustainable Design Coordinator

Pay Scale

$77,700 in 2021 in WA

$74,670 in 2021 in U.S.


Bachelor’s+ Certifications

Projected Opportunities

6,940 through 2030 in WA

114,200 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path to becoming a sustainability specialist begins with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, or another engineer degree. It continues with job experience such as a junior architect or energy auditor, and additional certifications to become a sustainability specialist. With continued experience and learning leadership skills a specialist can advance to an energy efficiency program director or building scientist.

sustainability specialist career path

Training & Requirements


Sustainability Specialists typically have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, or a related field. Most employers will also require 1-3 years of experience and look for additional certifications such as: LEED Green Rater, Certified Energy Manager, and the Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing Bureau. Unrelated degrees will also be considered with additional work experience.

Required Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software use
  • Communication with supervisors, peers, and subordinates
  • Knowledge or business and management principles involved in resource allocation
  • Building and construction knowledge
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team


    • Develop sustainability project goals, objectives, initiatives and strategies
    • Monitor and track sustainability indicators (energy usage, waste generation, and resource usage)
    • Provide technical and administrative support for sustainability programs
    • Review and revise programs and initiatives as needed