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Employment Opportunities

Sustainability in the Urban Environment

Employment Opportunities


21st Century Jobs

The ability to analyze and propose solutions for sustainability and resilience issues is becoming increasingly important as the 21st century proceeds. Nearly every aspect of industry, commerce, and government is being re-evaluated in the context of long-term sustainability, which of course includes strategic adaptation to climate irregularity. Entrepreneurs are creating new firms with a sustainability focus, to address issues in energy, water resources, air quality, land use, waste management, transportation, construction, and urban planning. New York City's sustainability planning--embodied in PlaNYC under former Mayor Bloomberg and OneNYC under current mayor DiBlasio--is achieving critical momentum, and in the long run should generate demand for hundreds of project managers, analysts, managers, researchers, and consultants. New job titles are emerging, e.g., Sustainability Manager; Sustainability Plan Examiner; Sustainability Compliance Director; Sustainability Coordinator; Director of Energy Efficiency; Clean Air/Clean Energy Specialist; Renewable Energy Consultant; Green Building Coordinator; LEED Project Supervisor; and Life Cycle Modeling Specialist.

"CCNY's plan for an interdisciplinary Masters degree on sustainability is timely in light of heightened interest in the public and private sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and building performance and developing adaptive strategies to climate change."

Francis J. Lombardi, P.E.
Chief Engineer,
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 

Potential Professional Settings

  • Local, state, and federal governments
  • Intergovernmental organizations 
  • Non-governmental organizations 
  • Firms that plan and design sustainable buildings, building complexes, and infrastructure for communities, districts, and regions 
  • Construction companies that build sustainable buildings 
  • Consulting firms
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Sustainable energy research and development organization
  • Educational institutions

Actual Program Successes

Our relatively young program has already produced graduates (or in some cases, current students) who have been placed in the following positions:

Public / Governmental Sector

  • Public Marketing Advisor for NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, producing building energy efficiency manuals
  • Director of Green Infrastructure for NYC Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Project Manager, New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)
  • Sustainability Program Manager, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Resiliency Task Force Coordinator for a New Jersey municipality
  • Principal Planner and Commissioner for a New Jersey Municipality working on a $230 million "Rebuild by Design" project for coastal flood protection
  • Building energy researcher, US Department of Energy national laboratory
  • Environmental Protection Specialist for Federal Emergency Management Administration

Private Sector

  • "Green Guru" for a leading sustainable development real estate firm in New York City
  • Architect, AECOM, working on Amtrak's Penn Station upgrades
  • Skanska USA, working on the N-line rehabilitation in south Brooklyn
  • Sustainability Consultant, New York green building architecture firm
  • Specification Writer and Healthy Material Researcher, International Architecture and Engineering Firm
  • Creative Director, New York Passive House materials supplier
  • Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant, NYC sustainable home architecture firm
  • Architect, NYC firm involved with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects
  • Architect for Chilean firm working in LEED certification and assessment
  • Registered Landscape Architect, New York architecture firm

Non-Governmental/Non-Profit/Other Organizations

  • Building Resiliency Task Force Member with US Green Building Council
  • Development and Sustainability Project Manager for a New York City community development corporation (CDC)

Education Sector

  • Green Buildings Teacher and Career Technical Education Department Lead, Urban Assembly School for Green Careers
  • Capital Projects Administrator and Projects Manager for a New York City higher educational institution
  • Facilities Director, Advanced Science Research Center, CUNY
  • Project Coordinator, Barry Commoner Center for Health and the Environment, Queens College
  • Program Manager, Sustainability in the Urban Environment at City College of New York

Further Studies at PhD Level

In addition, seven of our graduates are now enrolled in PhD programs. Areas of focus include: development of automated environmental data acquisition system; Electrical Engineering with a focus on complex fenestration for energy consumption reduction in buildings; Environmental Engineering; Water Resources Engineering; Civil Engineering – Water Resources; Biology and Society with a focus on “land grabbing” in Tanzania; and Architecture). The majority of these PhD candidates decided to remain at City College. One student decided to pursue a further Master’s degree in Architecture at UC Berkeley.