So You Want to be In An Environmental Career?

Paul Downing

I get lots of enquiries from students wanting to know how to be an “Environmental Consultant” and start in an environmental career. As usual the request itself triggers another set of questions. From my experience you have to know what area of environmental consultancy you want to work in and where you want to end up – do you like the technical survey side of things or do you aspire to manage a team of people and a large budget? I have produced a list of roles in environmental consultancy that you may wish to consider, note that many of these are quite specialist and your degree will determine to some extent if you can pursue a career in one or other of these specialisms.

Types Of Environmental Consultant

  • Contaminated land – Phase 1 & Phase 2 investigations followed by Phase 3 remediation strategies and clean up
  • Hydrology and hydrogeology – Ground water mapping and modelling
  • Acoustics and Vibration – looking at the effects of noise and vibration on the environment and human health
  • Air quality – both sampling (stack emissions) and modelling for permit applications and planning applications
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR is a recent discipline and fall into the role of audit and reporting
  • Environmental due diligence auditing – services for banks and financiers for sale or transfer of land and property
  • Environmental management systems – Management systems to ISO 14001, system set up and audit
  • Flood risk – for developers and planners
  • Ecology – surveys mainly for planning but also for industry
  • Permitting – administiring permits for industry and dealing with associated surveys
  • Environmental Impact Assessment – EIA for planners and developers in order to achieve planning permission

If you are looking to get into one of the larger corporate consultancies then I suggest you apply for a role as a technician or junior consultant, get some experience then decide where you want to pursue your career. Do you want to progress to team management or account management? environmental consultancy is like any other business and it values people who can sell. If you can speak to clients and develop relationships that turn into new projects and surveys you will do well.

Do you want to be an all round generalist environmental consultant? then experience in all of the above and team management is an essential requirement.

For more information about environmental consultancy, please do not hesitate to contact us direct.

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