5 Ethical & Green Industries That Need You To Make Oz A Better Place

You watched The War On Waste. You bought a Keep Cup. You educate yourself on social issues, especially when they don’t directly relate to you. You research brands before you buy their goods.

You’ve even stopped using straws and plastic bags, to the point where your trip home from the grocers looks like a less glam version of this:

We’re sure you look chic juggling toilet paper, avocados and booze. (Image credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

But what’s next? If you’re still feeling like there’s more change to be done, then have you considered a career switch into a nobler profession? We’re not just talking about professional activism either – with a growing urgency towards environmentalism and social consciousness, there are more ethical job opportunities than ever before.

Here are the ethical industries undergoing a boom in Oz right now, and we’ve even included a few ideas to get involved.

Even if you don’t take the leap right now, it’s something to consider when you’re moving forward. You could always give the ol’ PEDESTRIAN JOBS  a squiz for ethical jobs too.


Tourism, of course, is one of Australia’s largest industries, raking in $41.2 billion from Sep 16-17. Given that much of our draw for travellers relies on our natural resources, it’s unsurprising that ecotourism has too taken off as a way for environmentally conscious travellers to see the sights and allay their fears. Broadly defined by Ecotourism Australia, who have been regulating the industry since 1991:

“Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”

The recent trend towards luxury ecotourism – hello $1300 a night tents at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef – means there’s more need to hold accountable what ecotourism is and can do (though no shade to Sal Salis, who by Ecotourism Australia’s accounts does the right thing). That’s where you, Passionate Eco Warrior, come in, whether that’s in an active conservation or habitat protection role, working front-of-service at a hotel or within the travel industry.


(Image credit: Twin Peaks)

Okay, so this industry isn’t so much booming as in constant need for fresh blood. Social and care work in Australia is vital, providing supports to communities and individuals who rely on it.

Aged care, in particular, is only growing in need – over the next 40 years, Australia’s aged population is projected to more than double to 8.8 million.

Outside of switching careers, we’d recommend volunteering in some capacity – whether that’s through programs like Meals on Wheels or ACON’s Community Support Network, where vollies visit the elderly living with HIV to assist with daily living tasks.

Community Services qualifications.


Despite the ongoing sledges it receives in both parliament and media, Australia’s renewable energy sector is experiencing, ahem, a real glow-up.

In 2007, renewable energies counted for roughly 7 per cent of Aus’s electricity supply; last financial year, it was 17 per cent. OR, to put that statistic to scale: if that electricity was just put into our homes, it’d light up around 70% of houses across Oz.

Last year, a report by GetUp estimated that 8868 full-time jobs would be created in a year by the industry, meaning there’s a coupla options for you. We’re not just talking electrician positions either – there’s a whole industry  which needs support.

Degrees of Applied Engineering for Renewable Energy Technologies, qualifications in environmental studies.


Teachers are just bloody good people, aren’t they? Okay, maybe not your teachers, but teachers in general? Sure. And we’re going to need wayyy more of them.

While the registered teacher rate is growing by roughly 1% per year, by 2022, we’ll have increased school students by 26% by 2022. One big problem is that there’s a steady decline of qualified graduates going on to actually teach, suggesting that a lot of people are drawn to other adjacent careers. Or, if they do head into teaching roles, around 20% of them tend to leave the role within five years.

There’s a lot to be said for what that means, and how the nine separate teaching federations (one for each state/territory, then Catholic and Independents) need to work together. But, in short, teaching is 100% vital, it’s largely selfless, and, if Hollywood films have taught me anything, a good teacher can change lives.

Of course, before you go full Dead Poets Society, you’ll need some kind of teaching qualification.


In 2018, we’re all massive fans of Laura Dern. It’s the law. Part of this new law is that you all have to watch Enlightened, the shamefully ignored two-season HBO show where Laura plays Amy Jellicoe, a woman working at big pharma and trying to create positive change from the inside. So now, as per the law, you must do so too.

Ideally, any industry can be ethical (don’t @ me on this, you know I’m speaking relatively to what they are now). If you’re passionate about your current job but eager to see some sort of change, then why not go your own way about it?

Create a more sustainable industry, whether that’s through your own startup, taking a course in sustainable practices, or just reconsidering your day-to-day working habits. Just don’t do what Jellicoe does:

Immensely satisfying, but think of the carbon emissions.

We’re all about bettering ourselves and moving forward in our careers and lives in 2K18. Feeling the momentum? TAFE NSW’s enrolment week is from 15th-20th Jan, so pop down to a TAFE NSW campus and get moving with over 1,200 courses on offer, from degrees to certificates, short term classes and online studies.

Image credit: Captain Planet/Geek Tyrant