The first Career of the Month for 2020 is Environmental Consultant.
Environmental consultants advise on sustainability, including waste management, recycling, flood risk and the effects of climate change.
How to become an environmental consultant
You can get into this job through:
You’ll usually need a degree in environmental science, environmental studies or a related subject like:
- 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.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
Volunteering and experience
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
- studying towards a qualification that includes industry experience
- Organisations who offer volunteering opportunities include:
- The Conservation Volunteers
- National Trust
- The Wildlife Trusts
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.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Society for the Environment for professional development and networking opportunities.
You can discover more about environmental work and training through the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to read English
- thinking and reasoning skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- exploring the suitability of sites for developments like power stations or wind farms
- working out environment risks from 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 could work in an office or at a client’s business.
Your working environment may be you’ll travel often and outdoors some of the time.
Career path and progression
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.