- Help protect the environment by monitoring and advising on environmental and sustainability issues
- Work in a wide range of settings and with the opportunity to specialise in areas of specific interest
- You'll need to have good knowledge of your subject and excellent communication skills
Most environmental consultants work for consultancy firms who are hired by local and central government or by private organisations. You may work on a range of environmental issues or specialise in one field. Specialisms include renewable energy, flood risk water and sanitation, waste and recycling, construction of buildings, highways and rail networks, climate change and emission management.
- Exploring the suitability of sites for developments like power stations or wind farms
- Working out environment risks caused by industries like energy or chemical production
- Going out to sites to collect contamination data and then analysing it
- Writing scientific reports and presenting findings
- Reporting organisations that don't meet environmental laws and regulations
- Responding to environmental accidents and managing clean-up operations
- Providing advice to industry or government
You'll usually be based in an office, but will also visit clients and spend time outdoors. For most jobs you'll need a full driving licence.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent written and presentation skills, scientific and numerical skills, the ability to use your initiative, plus project management and business skills.
You'll usually need a degree in environmental science, environmental studies or a related subject like biology, chemistry, geoscience, ecology and agricultural science.
It's becoming more common for employers to ask for a postgraduate qualification, as well as some experience of working in an environmental setting.
As a graduate you could look for postgraduate training opportunities offered through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). In a KTP you would get the opportunity to run a research project together with an industrial organisation and a university or research body. You may also work towards postgraduate qualifications.
You can also start by doing an environmental practitioner degree apprenticeship.
Volunteering is a great way of getting experience and a taste of environmental work. It will also give you the opportunity to develop your skills and make contacts. You can get experience by volunteering for an environmental charity, applying for internships or studying towards a qualification that includes industry experience. Organisations who offer volunteering opportunities include The Conservation Volunteers, The National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts.
it would also be helpful to join the Society for the Environment for professional development and networking opportunities.
With experience you could move into an associate role, or senior or principal consultant position. Other options include lecturing or running your own consultancy business.