Emerging occupations typically are the result of:
- an increased human need (for example, alternate sources of energy)
- technological advances
- greater specialization within an occupation.
Sustainability specialists also are emerging because of an increased need for communities and organizations to incorporate triple bottom line (people, planet and profit) accounting, life cycle accounting, sustainability planning and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, natural resource management and sustainability principles.
Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for sustainability specialists is unknown.
Sustainability specialists may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:
- industrial manufacturing or production facilities
- retail, finance and insurance corporations
- universities, colleges and research institutions
- laboratories involved in energy conservation or sustainability activities
- utility companies
- government departments.
The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- trends and events affecting overall employment
- location in Alberta
- employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
- size of the occupation.