Working in the environmental sector is all about sustaining and protecting our natural environment. Growing environmental concerns have resulted in an increasing amount of careers in the industry becoming available.There are many different careers within this sector, ranging from practical roles, such as gamekeepers and tree surgeons, to roles focused on environmental policy, education and corporate social responsibility.

Environmental policy jobs

Many businesses are now especially concerned with making sure that they comply with environmental legislation and policies. They are also keen to restrict the environmental impact of their activities. Consequently, companies either employ people within their own corporate social responsibility departments, or utilise the services of environmental consultancy companies to ensure that they are as environmentally friendly as possible.

Environmental policies and laws need to be developed, implemented, regulated and enforced. These policies can be applied locally, or can have much wider national or international implications. Consequently, various people contribute to the creation of these policies, such as park supervisors, ecologists, economists and environmental policy makers.

Environmental laws are often broken and this necessitates the need for environmental lawyers and conservation police officers. Environmental education is another essential career area, which raises awareness of environmental issues and develops good practice in response to environmental policies.

Policies, laws and sustainable development initiatives are not the final answer to environmental problems. Action needs to be taken, and this is where environmental scientists, conservation workers, volunteers and engineers come in. In order to facilitate environmental change, both scientific assessments and research need to be carried out. Solutions then need to be designed, engineered and actively instigated.

Environmental & conservation jobs

Careers that involve hands-on environmental and conservation work are very varied and specialist, such as woodland environments, requiring tree surgeons and forestry management specialists. Other careers are dedicated to the sustainability of animal life, including careers in gamekeeping, and animal health and welfare.

However, it’s not all about land-based ecosystems and environments. Indeed, many careers are dedicated to marine and other water environments, such as fishery management, coral reef conservation, water resource management and water pollution control. Similarly, the quality of our air is incredibly important and various careers are dedicated to the control of air pollution.

Environmental apprenticeships

On an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) you could train in roles like:

- estate worker

- ranger

- recycling officer

- conservation officer

On an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) you could train in roles like:

- access/recreation officer

- ecologist

- senior ranger

- education/interpretation officer

- senior estate worker

- environmental management officer

School leavers could also look at environmental-related courses at further education college and university.

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