Best jobs for saving the world

10 of 20
10. Environmental Project Manager

best jobs, jobs helping others, environmental project manager
Median pay: $75,300
Top pay: $112,000
10-year job growth: 15%
Total jobs: 30,000
The job: Environmental project managers safeguard ecosystems for future generations. They might make sure building projects comply with environmental regulations, analyze development plans or oversee restoration schemes. Reestablishing natural systems so they can function again is deeply rewarding, says Peter Brand, who restores river and wetland systems along the California coast. "I can visit areas that I've helped save and helped restore. That's a very satisfying thing for me to see now, but it's also a legacy that will be there long after I am gone."

How to switch: A background in environmental sciences or planning is common, but project management skills gained from a previous career can also facilitate the transition. Volunteer with a non-profit conservation organization to get hands-on experience and make useful contacts.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility

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Do Environmental Project Managers have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources:, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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