Environmental Education Program Directors


Employment Prospects


Numerous organizations hire environmental education program directors to run their educational programs. Directors work for schools, community centers, conservation groups, management consulting agencies, museums, and nonprofit organizations. They may also work as independent consultants, running their own businesses and providing educational services to various clients. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) does not cite statistics specific to environmental education program directors, but it does show that approximately 181,600 instructional coordinators working in the United States. About 70 percent of coordinators work in public or private educational institutions. The remainder work for state and local government; individual and family services; child day-care services; scientific research and development services; and management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

Starting Out

Environmental education program directors usually start their careers as educators, and prior to that, they start as students. Learning is a career-long pursuit in this field, so if you are curious and always on the hunt to learn more, this is a profession you will enjoy and succeed in. Many educators also get their start in this career through volunteering at an environmental program at a museum or school. Find one near you and speak with environmental program directors there to learn what they do in their jobs. Ask them how they got started in their careers and what recommendations they may have for ways to explore the field.

Advancement Prospects

Program directors can advance by working on more complex, specialized projects, and by innovating educational technique and tools. Commitment and dedication to the field, and willingness to share what they have learned, can lead education directors into other areas of education as well, such as writing and creating documentaries and films about the environmental subject in which they have expertise or on topics they are exploring.

Tips for Entry

Read publications such as Current: The Journal of Marine Education (https://www.marine-ed.org/journal) to learn more about the field.

Join professional associations such as the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.

Attend the NAAEE’s Annual Conference and other industry events to network and interview for jobs.

Use social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on industry developments and learn about job openings.