How To Become a Chief Sustainability Officer

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

Chief Sustainability Officers

Chief Sustainability Officers communicate and coordinate with management, shareholders, customers, and employees to address sustainability issues. Enact or oversee a corporate sustainability strategy.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Bachelor’s Degree

We did a survey to ask other Chief Sustainability Officers what degree they had when they became a Chief Sustainability Officer. Here are the results.
Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Chief Sustainability Officers or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Chief Sustainability Officers what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Public Administration
Business Administration and Management
Entrepreneurial Studies

Many Chief Sustainability Officers begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in business-related fields or in fields that support their careers in a specific industry. For those who wish to enter the sustainability field, some colleges offer minors in sustainability that students may earn in addition to their major. Students may be required to take courses in sustainability, environmentalism, or other related topics.

How hard is it

Very Hard

You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be a Chief Sustainability Officer. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, a surgeon must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Careers in this difficulty category may need some on-the-job-training, but most of these careers assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, and work-related experience and training. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Related work experience required
6 to 8 years

6 to 8 years

2 to 4 years

Over 10 years

Job training
Up to 1 month

Up to 1 month

1 to 3 months

6 months to 1 year

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required

For those working in the sustainability field, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) provides professional membership. Additionally, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) offers a certificate program for current and aspiring professionals ( Requirements for this certificate program include a series of workshops delivered monthly, and it may take up to two years to complete.

Skills required

We asked other Chief Sustainability Officers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2. Speaking what does this mean
3. Critical Thinking what does this mean
4. Complex Problem Solving what does this mean
5. Active Listening what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Chief Sustainability Officers are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Administration and Management what does this mean
2. English Language what does this mean
3. Design what does this mean
4. Building and Construction what does this mean
5. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean

Learn more about Chief Sustainability Officers

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)

Related to Chief Sustainability Officers Requirements

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