Many of our country’s most respected environmental protection organizations employ environmental lobbyists. The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, The Wilderness Society, and Friends of the Earth are just a few of the organizations that are actively involved in lobbying on behalf of our environment.
Students interested in becoming environmental lobbyists should contact various environmental organizations to discuss lobbying activities.
Professional lobbyists usually have backgrounds as lawyers, public relations executives, congressional aides, legislators, legislative staffers, government relations coordinators, government officials, or professionals in business and industry. Once established in a government or law career, lobbyists begin to hear about corporations, nonprofit organizations, and associations that need knowledgeable people for their government relations departments. The American Society of Association Executives' Web site, https://www.asaecenter.org/association-careerhq, lists available positions for executives with trade associations.
Environmental lobbyists can advance by gaining experience, demonstrating their abilities, or earning advanced degrees. In large environmental organizations, they may have the opportunity to assume management responsibilities.
Unlike lobbyists who work for special interest groups that represent major industries, environmental lobbyists are rarely motivated by ambition. Most choose the profession out of a genuine desire to protect our country’s natural resources.
Tips for Entry
Learn as much as you can about environmental issues to prepare for the field.
Work on a grassroots environmental campaign as a canvasser, field organizer, or volunteer to gain experience and make valuable contacts.
Work as a Congressional staffer to gain experience in government relations.
Use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up to date on environmental issues and pending legislation.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: