Environmental management and consultancy
This involves helping companies make sure their activities don't damage the environment.
This is a large and growing sector with opportunities for an increasing number of environmental professionals to help businesses understand and comply with their environmental responsibilities, to monitor air, land and water quality, and to identify and carry out climate adaptation measures
A requirement to assess the environmental impact of new developments is opening up roles for environmental and geotechnical specialists, as well as engineering geologists. Climate adaptation measures, where changes are made to infrastructure so we can better manage climate events, such as flood risk management, require scientists and engineers.
The environmental consultancy market is expected to continue to grow, thanks to continued investment in infrastructure and increased demand in response to climate crisis.
This video from CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management) showcases recent initiatives in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience in the water and environmental management sector and gives a good impression of the type of projects undertaken.
Most roles will require a relevant science or engineering degree, as well as proven mathematical ability and computing skills.
The main employers include engineering consultancies and contractors; oil and gas companies; local and central government bodies (for example the Scottish Environment Protection Agency); geotechnical and geo-environmental site investigation companies; environmental consultancies; higher education institutions; utility companies; research and development agencies.
What's it like?
Many roles in this sector will combine site work with office-based work. For more detail see these profiles which include outlines of typical responsibilities and working environments.
This blog by one of our alumni describes how she became an environmental consultant.
Work experience that’s related to your degree, such as engineering, may be most appropriate for you.
We recommend using the links in Getting a graduate job to research employers. Consider targeting some of these with a speculative application.
Other suggestions include:
Bright Green Business - paid placements across Scotland for students and graduates. Website includes current vacancies and case studies.
FreshSight - a student-led consultancy working with local organisations – a great way to get experience of consultancy work. Recruits students in September and January.
ChangeWorks – provides advice on recycling and energy efficiency - volunteering opportunities.
This is a competitive sector so postgraduate qualifications will help you to stand out – and may be required in some roles.
Getting a graduate job
MyCareerHub - Look at the opportunities and organisations in MyCareerHub to find vacancies, and employers who have advertised with us before.
Earthworks - a leading jobs portal for environmental and related industries.
Green Jobs - vacancy website with details of environmental jobs and renewable energy jobs.
ENDS (Environmental Data Services) Directory - detailed listing of UK environmental consultancies. Includes small consultancies which are less likely to advertise large numbers of vacancies or be listed on major job sites. A good way to find consultancies to target with speculative applications.
Environment Analyst: Environmental Consultancy Directory - Online directory of a wide variety of environmental consultancies worldwide
The Geologist's Directory - Online directory for companies working in the. Earth Sciences Sector.
Membership of a relevant professional body gives access to resources and networking opportunities.
Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) - is the professional institute supporting professionals in the fields of ecology and environmental management. Student membership gives access to a mentoring platform and networking events.
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) - leading professional and examining body for scientists, engineers and other environmental professionals and students committed to sustainable management and development of water and the environment. The website advertises vacancies and has career sector information under 'information and resources'.
Association of Geotechnical & Geo-environmental Specialists (AGS) - trade association covering site investigation, geotechnics, geoenvironmental engineering, engineering geology, geochemistry, and hydrogeology. Searchable database of members, publications and useful links.
UK Groundwater Forum - aims to raise awareness of the importance of groundwater. Includes list of companies that employ hydrogeologists.
Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) - leading professional body representing waste management professionals. The site includes education and careers sections.