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Environmental consultant Eco consultant

Environmental consultants advise organisations on a range of sustainability issues, from managing waste and recycling to assessing flood risk and the effects of climate change.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a degree in environmental science, geography, geology, science or related subjects.

Employers may also ask for a postgraduate qualification and experience.

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) have more information about careers in the environment.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent written and presentation skills
  • scientific and numerical skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • project management and business skills

3. What you'll do

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

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

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000

Experienced: £33,000 to £44,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000 or more (senior or principal consultant)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to work irregular hours if you're making a site visit or writing a report.

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.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 12 April 2017